Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York defended his claim on CNN that President Donald Trump is the “grand wizard” of the White House by citing examples of racism by Trump to disbelieving CNN host Alisyn Camerota.
Of course I don’t believe that the president is a card-carrying member of the KKK. But it did capture a troubling pattern of racially insensitive and outrageous, at times, behavior that spans, not months, not years, but decades.
Jeffries reminded the CNN host that Trump’s bigotry dated back to the 1970s when the Trump Organization was sued by the federal government for housing discrimination:
In the 1980s, it was Donald Trump who led the lynch mob that went after the Central Park Five — black and Latino teenagers — who were wrongfully accused, wrongfully convicted, wrongfully imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. For five years, it was Donald Trump who perpetrated the racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States of America.
We haven’t even gotten into the behavior that took place in the aftermath of Charlottesville or the s-hole comments about African nations or the fact that he’s hired Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Steven Miller and a parade of other individuals connected to xenophobia and the alt-right…
He has presided over and engaged in directly a series of racially insensitive remarks. We cannot whitewash that, we cannot hide it. And on King Day, we should be able to have that candid discussion.