Is Trump a racist? You don’t need an n-word tape to know
If you think a racial slur is the only way to determine if the president is racist, you haven’t been paying attention, and you don’t understand what racism is.
Omarosa Manigault Newman — who once declared that “every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump” — evolved from mentee to frenemy to antagonist before her nonstop media blitz promoting her new post-White House tell-all, during which she’s touted the existence of a recording of Trump using the n-word. It’s all sent the White House scrambling, with the president tweeting Monday that “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday she “can’t guarantee” Americans will never hear audio of Trump using the slur.
It doesn’t matter.
Trump is a racist. That doesn’t hinge on whether he uttered one particular epithet, no matter how ugly it is. It’s about the totality of his presidency, and after 18 months you can see his racial animus throughout his policy initiatives whether you hear it on tape or not.
Over the course of his career, well before he took office, Trump’s antipathy toward people of color has been plainly evident. In the ’70s, his real estate company was the subject of a federal investigation that found his employees had secretly marked the paperwork of minority apartment rental applicants with codes such as “C” for “colored.” After black and Latino teenagers were charged with sexually assaulting a white woman in Central Park, he took out full-page ads in New York City newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty. He never backtracked or apologized when the teenagers’ convictions were overturned. He championed birtherism, and wouldn’t disavow the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya until the end of his 2016 presidential campaign.