Trump Tweets ‘White Power’ Video

Of course he did.

NPR (“Trump Retweets Video Of Apparent Supporter Saying ‘White Power’“):

A video shared by President Trump on Twitter Sunday includes a man who appears to be a Trump supporter saying “white power” in response to protesters.

In the video, apparently taken at The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, people with Trump shirts and signs on their golf carts drive by protesters yelling insults at them and about the president.

In one exchange, a white man holding a sign that says “Make America Sane Again,” a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, yells: “Where’s your white hood?” In response, a white man driving a golf cart with signs reading “Trump 2020” and “America First” yells back “white power.”

Trump retweeted the video, which was shared by an unknown Twitter user, and said, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe [Biden] is shot. See you soon!!!”

“White power” is a white supremacist slogan, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment about the president’s tweet. He retweeted the video before 8 a.m. ET Sunday, and it was still up as of 10 a.m.

It has subsequently been deleted. Here’s a screen capture:

According to any reasonable reading of the Presidential Records Act and court rulings pursuant to it, that’s illegal destruction of government records. But, as a practical matter, he’s not going to be impeached or otherwise suffer any consequence for the crime.

Regardless, the President of the United States (a phrase that I’ve needed to italicize for emphasis in two posts this morning) just tweeted out a white supremacist slogan. I’m sure it was a joke. Or a jest. Or something.

South Carolina’s Tim Scott, the only Black Republican senator, called the retweet “indefensible.”

“He should not have retweeted and he should just take it down,” Scott said on CNN.

RINO.

The tweet is raising eyebrows even across the Pond.

The Guardian (“Outrage over Trump’s retweet of supporter shouting ‘white power’“):

Donald Trump has deleted a tweet in which he approvingly shared a video showing one of his supporters yelling “White power!” at a group of anti-Trump demonstrators.

The US president, or someone with access to his Twitter account, deleted the controversial tweet at 11am Eastern time, more than three hours after it was posted at 7.39am.

“This is really not about the president taking it down,” the famed civil rights attorney and academic Sherrilyn Ifill said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “This is really about his judgment in putting it up in the first place.”

His judgment, indeed. Or, you know, his white supremacy.

The President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Race and Politics, Social Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. “Or, you know, his white supremacy.”

    Yup.

    25
  2. Teve says:

    I watched the video before it was deleted, and the guy starts shouting white power about six seconds into the video.

    12
  3. Mister Bluster says:

    How can this be? It was just 1055 days ago when President Puke denounced the KKK, Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists!
    Niblick Blanton must have not seen that tweet…

    3
  4. CSK says:

    Maybe it’s just that Trump’s faculties have disintegrated to the point that he no longer really apprehends what he sees or hears. Seriously. If his faculties were even slightly sharper, you’d think he’d realize that no matter how much he secretly agreed with the white power sentiment, it would be self-destructive to advertise that approval.

    Then again, he resisted the notion that the Charlottesville Nazis were not, in fact, “very fine people.”

    11
  5. Mister Bluster says:

    After reviewing the video I’ve got to wonder where law enforcement was, hiding in the Clubhouse at the links?
    The demonstrators need to proof their placards.
    I believe the Bigots/Raciest Fly Trump Flags sign should read Bigots/Racists Fly Trump Flags.

    2
  6. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Raciest Bigots sounds like a porn flick tailor-made for Donald Trump.

    9
  7. CSK says:

    Latest excuse from White House spokesperson Judd Deere:
    “He [Trump] did not hear the one statement on the video.”

    So…Trump is stone-deaf as well as totally senile. Good to know.

    12
  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    This is an example of the limitations of the stoopid psychopath. A smart psychopath would know better than to just always default to his worst predatory instincts.

    12
  9. Lounsbury says:

    Regardless, the President of the United States (a phrase that I’ve needed to italicize for emphasis in two posts this morning) just tweeted out a white supremacist slogan. I’m sure it was a joke. Or a jest. Or something

    From the context, I would rather suspect that he probably didn’t actually watch it before retweeting, but was just reflexively retweeting anything that he thought was showing popular support to himself.

    Which of course is grotesquely irresponsible for anyone but of course particularly for the President of the USA…

    This makes more sense than a deliberate action after actually watching, which even he would know would be a gross act of self-harm.

    8
  10. PJ says:

    This was done on purpose, and it was done to push the other story down.
    The one about Russians offering Taliban bounties to kill US troops.

    16
  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Lounsbury:

    This makes more sense than a deliberate action after actually watching, which even he would know would be a gross act of self-harm.

    Why do you say that? Direct racism is probably 50% of the reason he was elected in the first place. He is just sending kisses to his base.

    8
  12. @PJ: I don’t think that they are that clever. I simply don’t.

    9
  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lounsbury: This makes more sense than a deliberate action after actually watching, which even he would know would be a gross act of self-harm.

    This is trump we are talking about, who made racism the central plank of his campaign, for whom self harm comes as natural as breathing, and once said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose any support. There was a time I thought that was mere hyperbole, but now I think he actually believes it.

    4
  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    he’d realize that no matter how much he secretly agreed with the white power sentiment, it would be self-destructive to advertise that approval.

    In what nation of the world are there Trump supporters about whom Trump would need to worry that approval of white power would be self-destructive?

    That’s too limited a choice in scope; I’ll expand it to what planet?

    2
  15. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    He doesn’t need to worry about his supporters; he has to worry about the universal trashing he’ll get from everyone else. Even Trump, as delusional as he is, must realize by now that he can’t win in November with nothing but the support of a dwindling bunch of troglodytes.

    2
  16. EddieInCA says:

    This, once again, proves, without a doubt, that there is no bottom when it comes to Trump and his most diehard supporters.

    How does Tim Scott still support this man?
    Why haven’t more Republicans spoken out against this?
    Why would any person of color vote for this man?

    I have no words.

    11
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well, maybe he doesn’t want to be reelected. After all, he didn’t want to be elected in the first place.

    2
  18. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    Even Trump, as delusional as he is, must realize by now that he can’t win in November with nothing but the support of a dwindling bunch of troglodytes.

    This is one of those things that supports the theory that he’s positioning himself for his next grift. Even if the troglodytes are “dwindling”, there are still a lot of them in raw numbers. More than enough to be worth grifting yet again.

    1
  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There was a time I thought that was mere hyperbole, but now I think he actually believes it.

    Of course he believes it, because it’s true. He’s openly betraying the country to Putin, lying every time he breathes, and doing nothing whatsoever to help as more than 120,000 Americans die. He knows he’s the ‘personality’ in his cult of personality and he knows his culties, just as David Koresh or Jim Jones or Shoko Asahara knew theirs. If he were a politician he’d be trying to save himself by restraining his rhetoric, but he knows better, he knows what he is and he knows what his supporters are.

    Cult45 is not a political group, it’s a quasi-religion which expands Father, Son and Holy Ghost to include Donald Trump. It’s why I don’t think, all due respect to Dr. Taylor, political scientists get the Trump phenomenon. This isn’t poli sci, it’s comparative religion and abnormal psychology.

    12
  20. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @DrDaveT:
    Indeed. He ran in 2016 as a branding exercise to start Trump TV. Since he’s recently mumbled a bit of drivel about doing something else if he loses this November, perhaps it will be to start, finally, his own network. Imagine: Programming with the intellect-impaired troglodyte in mind! Yes, the raw numbers are there for an audience. He might, however, have difficulty finding advertisers.

    2
  21. senyordave says:

    @EddieInCA: Tim Scott is a gutless coward. He is a US Senator, and he is not up for re-election until 2022. He really doesn’t have anything to fear if he were to say something. His ancestors must be rolling over in their graves. What would it take for Tim Scott to speak out? Nothing in the realm of possibility. Maybe if Trump personally sold his children into slavery, Tim Scott would speak up. And Susan Collins would be on full furrowed-brow watch.

    6
  22. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: After doing it over and over, you don’t think Trump has somehow internalized “when in trouble, tweet outrageous/racist shit”?

    There are three possibilities I can think of:
    – He does it deliberately
    – He does it accidentally and sporadically and there’s just always something that needs to be distracted from
    – He does it all the time so it always follows some other offense and serves as a distraction.

    Oh, there’s another possibility isn’t there? His administration does terrible things all the time that need a distraction to get it out of the news, and he spews out offensive/racist shit on Twitter all the time, and we are seeing patterns in the differing layers of shit thrown at the wall.

    Ugh. Ok, I think that’s right.

    3
  23. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    So then if he does start Trump TV he can position himself as a televangelist and rake in piles of cash.

    What the hell, he already has the ridiculous coiffeur and fake tan.

    3
  24. gVOR08 says:

    @senyordave:

    Maybe if Trump personally sold his children into slavery, Tim Scott would speak up.

    Trump’s children or Scott’s? Trump would be up for either, although I bet he’d ask quite a price for Ivanka. Oh, I see Scott is unmarried and childless. He might be OK with Trump selling Ivanka and Jr.

    1
  25. inhumans99 says:

    So the funniest thing about this story (and I am not making light of the racist actions of the person in the re-tweeted video, but let me finish) is that Politico has a story up that says that President Trump is well aware that he is losing and he has started to course correct. My questions is, does course correcting include re-tweeting a video of a Floridian yelling a White Supremacist slogan? If this is Trump course correcting…yikes.

    The article says he is being told he may end up with a 400 electoral vote deficit and might have to re-consider being the Republican Presidential candidate soon. It also highlights a comment regarding Trump’s interview with Sean Hannity which was a hot mess even given what we have come to expect of Trump. He is breaking down in front of folks who are ardent supporters of his.

    I think the Politico article about Trump admitting to himself that he is in trouble is definitely designed to gauge how folks might react to a new Republican candidate for President if he resigns, in other words would people vote for Pence if he became the default candidate or would the GOP be better off riding the Trump train all the way off the cliff and into the jagged rocks jutting out from the ocean because stranger things have happened and he could still win in November.

    I will say this, if I were Pence my self-esteem would be taking a beating right about now because folks are hesitating to ask Trump to step down today because you know…Pence is waiting in the wings to take over and and the GOP worries this would be them jumping out of a frying pan into a fire…lol, and ouch, talk about bruising one’s ego.

    Finally, Michael Reynolds may end up having the last laugh as he is proven right…resign, self-pardon (or Pence pardons, close enough), flee or retire to FL if he can cut a deal to avoid jail time.

    ETA: Could we end up with a Pence/Haley Ticket? I could see the GOP having a slim shot of keeping the White House if that happens.

    3
  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    @inhumans99:

    As I said elsewhere today and at other times, we don’t want Tiny to resign of withdraw. We want Biden running against Trump.

    Fortunately the rethug operative who made the suggestion about Tiny withdrawing is currently not allied with either the WH or campaign and is probably raising the possibility at the behest of party insiders who see Tiny self-destructing.

    3
  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    James or Steven, please let my previous comment out of moderation.

    Thanks

    1
  28. Lounsbury says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Why do you say that? Direct racism is probably 50% of the reason he was elected in the first place. He is just sending kisses to his base.

    Why would I say that? Well because I am capable of bare modicum critical thinking and not bindly reacting as USA Party Political Partisan.

    That Direct racism is a substantial factor in his election and base is bloody obvious. It however has f-all to do with what I wrote.

    Trump has hitherto been – on this subject – clever enough to maintain a façade of plausible deniability. He obviously and clearly has understood in the past (and past goes back to his days as a NYC Real Estate Developer and his legal problems around racial exclusion).

    The rather more rationale and plausible explanation, entirely in keeping with Trump’s past behaviours, is he blindly retweeted without really paying attention or watching

    To reduce the Knee-Jerking misreading from partisanship impairement of basic joined up reading, this says nothing about Trump’s racism nor asserts he is not racist nor that he wouldn’t behind closed doors agree with the supporters….

    It merely credits Trump with (1) his observed laziness and inattention, (2) his observed basic attention to not too obvious statements in this area.

    Occam’s Razor says this is Trump scoring an own-goal due to his laziness and inattention.

    @OzarkHillbilly: the observation is not about racism and Trump, only Trump being as of yet aware that something as grotesquely obvious as shouting White Power is self-damaging to his election prospects.

    I fully credit Trump with being actually sympathetic to actual White Power sentiments.

    I also credit him with gross laziness and laziness…

    2
  29. gVOR08 says:

    – Trump could try a Hail Mary by dumping Pence in favor of Nikki Haley, or even Tim Scott. Anyway, one token or another.
    – Trump could resign, elevating Pence to Prez in return for a pardon. Even as the incumbent, Pence has no claim to the nomination.
    – If Trump resigns before the convention we would have Romney, Cruz, Cotton, Graham, Jeb Bush, and a hundred others volunteer to be the savior of the party. Much confusion, and hilarity would ensue.
    – If Trump resigns after the convention and before the election, I have no idea what Party rules are, but again much confusion and hilarity.
    – If Trump stays for the election and loses, he can try to pardon himself. I can’t see even this Supreme Court standing still for that, but Trump might think otherwise. Or he can ask Pence to pardon him in return for resignation, Is even Pence dumb enough to buy that deal to be Prez for a few weeks?
    – Maybe he could try to get Pence to appoint him ambassador to Saudi Arabia or somewhere else without an extradition treaty.
    – Or Trump could continue to go for reelection. To quote him, what has he got to lose? His self respect? Like a narcissist can lose his self respect.

    Seems to me his best options are to cut a deal with Pence right now, before it becomes obvious to even Pence that his end of the deal is a mess of pottage, or stick it out. However, he may see it differently, what with being delusional.

    3
  30. Jay L Gischer says:

    @gVOR08: Should Trump lose the upcoming election, I am looking for that sort of maneuver – Trump resigns so Pence can pardon him. It’s crazy and unprecedented, but that’s the hallmark of Trump territory. I’m thinking just a couple of days off at the end of the term, honestly. I’m not weighing in on the likelihood of such a scheme, I’m just noting that this is a possibility in Trumpland.

    The big stumbling block to this is whether Trump thinks he can trust Pence to do it. Because Trump doesn’t like giving anyone at all power over him.

    4
  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Since I may be the only person here who actually knows / has any direct knowledge of Trump, I’ll toss this one out.

    In all of the time that I was around the man, I’ve never heard him say a racist thing. I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable saying he’s not really a racist.

    He’s a pragmatist and an opportunist, who I will grudgingly admit has a finely tuned sense of how to play issues and the media to get what he wants. What he ostensibly believes is putting on a show of believing whatever he thinks will benefit him at any given time. It’s entirely an exercise in amoral self-interest.

    The short version of that is: He had made a calculated decision that signalling to his base that he’s still in their camp benefits him to some degree. In a time of significant backlash from many quarters of that base against what’s being seen as history being cleansed in order to placate the liberals they honestly, truly do hate with every fiber of their being, I’m not entirely sure that it won’t. If it subsequently got deleted, well, *wink wink* they know what he was really saying to them.

    15
  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Lounsbury: Assuming Trump is feeding his racist base seems like the logical conclusion to me. Assuming that he tweeted it out before looking at it seems like a stretch.

    1
  33. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    and once said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose any support. There was a time I thought that was mere hyperbole, but now I think he actually believes it.

    You have to put his original statement into context (as most people don’t). He said it during the 2016 primaries, when “his support” only constituted about 30% of the Republican primary electorate. He was talking about “his support” in relationship to that of his Republican rivals, and saying that no matter what he said or did his supporters wouldn’t abandon him for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or whomever. In context, it was a fairly accurate assessment of the situation: his standing in the primaries seemed unbreachable no matter how many controversies came his way.

    But in the years since, as he went on to win the nomination and ultimately the general election, people have continued to invoke this remark in contexts that are a lot more questionable. Sure, he has a mob of mindless fans who will never abandon him. If his 2016 vote had been limited to this group, he would have lost in a historic landslide. His electoral win absolutely depended on gaining the support of people who were genuinely ambivalent about him. Yet the myth persists that all “Trump voters” are MAGA-hat-wearing, lock-her-up-chanting cultists. It’s an important misconception that leads to inaccurate conclusions on how he was able to win last time. Trump may indeed be among those who harbors this misconception–but so do many liberals.

    4
  34. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    That’s very interesting, because that was my impression as well. Trump has no deep-seated animus against black people because, just as he has no love for anyone, he has no deep-seated animus against any group. People exist only insofar as they can be useful to him, and if it’s useful to villainize POC, he will. If it’s useful to pretend to love them, he will.

    Trump probably has more real contempt for women than he does for non-whites. He thinks about women occasionally. He requires them for sex, and to incubate his spawn. He doesn’t bother to think about POC. They don’t impinge on his consciousness except when he needs them as a tool to gin up support.

    8
  35. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I think we all know that Trump’s win in 2016 depended on people who held their nose and marked the ballot for him. He may lose those people this time around. People don’t adore Biden, but they don’t loathe him the way they did Clinton.

    3
  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    I’m not even sure I would go there, to be honest about it. Trump doesn’t really have contempt for anybody, or Trump has contempt for everybody. Either way you go with that statement, it misses the truth to vary degrees. Trump divides the world into people who are useful for him and people who are not. Where people get lost in the weeds is in assuming that those he attacks and those who are not useful to him are the same people. More often than not, they aren’t.

    If you ever saw the original Night Gallery, the pilot episode with Joan Crawford playing the blind dowager? The completely self-absorbed harridan who could only relate to other people in terms of how they might serve to meet her own needs? That’s the most accurate depiction of Trump I’ve ever seen. Other people are of interest as long as they are of benefit, but ONLY because they are of benefit. It’s entirely 100% transactional.

    4
  37. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    He had made a calculated decision that signalling to his base that he’s still in their camp benefits him to some degree.

    This is exactly my take, although not from personal knowledge but rather from watching him operate for 40 years.

    Trump has a standard routine with any of his many “deals*. The end of them always involve more and more lashing out, more and more self destructive behavior, and an eventual spittle flecked denunciation of the losers he took on as business partners. And following each fiasco he dropped down another notch in both the business and social communities. All he has left at this point are racists and ecstatically grinning crazy people who say “Jesus!” every other sentence. I know who I think he’s more comfortable around.

    You can argue differently, as Lounsbury does, but then you have to go the extra mile of saying this “this time he has learned some self control.” And that’s arguing facts not in evidence.

    *I’m talking the real ones here, When he was still running through his father’s money, not the phony scams and cons he used to rob his fanboys.

    1
  38. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    In all of the time that I was around the man, I’ve never heard him say a racist thing.

    The thing is, several people have reported to hearing him say racist things in private, including two Apprentice producers, and John R. O’Donnell in a 1991 book on Trump (which included the lines “Laziness is a trait in blacks,” and “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day”), a book Trump didn’t challenge at the time and claimed the things said about him in it were “probably true.”

    8
  39. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    Trump has no deep-seated animus against black people because, just as he has no love for anyone, he has no deep-seated animus against any group.

    I think you are dead on here, and one of the reasons why is the lack of any stories of Trump mistreating waiters or caddies or anyone else he comes in contact with. Unlike his mentor, Cohn, he doesn’t seem to have that need to humiliate people.

    That said, I think he is a racist, not only as a practical, useful strategy, but also in his heart. Trump has no great understanding of anything and always looks at things in the most basic way possible. Does he hate black people the way his buddy Richard Spencer does? No. But I would guess he believes a lot of stereotypes.

    5
  40. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: What we might be seeing is Trump’s dementia taking hold. He doesn’t really have enough brain cells left for this to be actual strategy–Trump is simply going by his “gut feel” at present. He knows how to schmooze the rabble he calls his supporters so what we’re seeing is Trump instincts all the time.

    As I’ve said many times before, we would have avoided so much trouble had we shoved Trump into a room lined with mirrors, a replica of Napoleon’s coronation costume, and an applause track. Then locked the door and quietly tiptoed away.

    4
  41. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Agreed.

    1
  42. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Well, I did say that for Trump, “people exist only insofar as they can be useful to him,” which is another way of making the same point. He notices POC when he can benefit in some way by it.

    2
  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’d characterize that more as lazy prejudice than overt racism, to be honest. We’re all probably more guilty than we’d want to admit of invoking stereotypes that service our worldview, if we’re honest with ourselves.

    Being overtly racist would require him to have done something I’ve never known him to do in my life – consider another human being beyond the context of “what can they do for me?”

    6
  44. @Gustopher: Yeah. I just think a) he constantly does terrible things, and b) he constantly tweets horrible things.

    They are both constants and he isn’t doing B to cover for A.

    3
  45. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’d characterize that more as lazy prejudice than overt racism, to be honest.

    I disagree. “Laziness is a trait in blacks” is, to paraphrase Paul Ryan, a textbook example of a racist statement.

    7
  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod:

    It’s a stereotype that many view as being racist, no argument. The problem with stereotypes is that we are biologically hardwired to categorize and to derive conclusions about category relevant specific, and novel, situations. We create stereotypes as a function of our biology. We all do it, and we do it without thinking about it.

    That said, how we choose to utilize those categorizations is where the potential for harm comes into play, but the underlying fact is that stereotypes tend to be based in varying degrees on truth because we derive them to a great degree automatically based on observation. It’s when stereotypes become actualized into generalizations that we start getting into problems.

    In Trump’s case, I can pretty much tell you that “Laziness is a trait in blacks” translates to “Black people are problem tenants and I don’t want the headache”. Unfair to apply that characterization across an entire ethnic group, without question, but also misguided to say that it has never been true to the extent that society formulated it into a stereotype to begin with.

    That said, you have to consider the motivator behind how the stereotype is actualized. Is he saying “I do not like black people” or is he saying “I do not like problem tenants”? Knowing him as I do, I’d lean towards the latter. Does that make him racist, or does it make him a self-absorbed landlord whose only focus is on his own benefit?

    4
  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: I think what HarvardLaw92 is saying is that Trump doesn’t have the BRAINS to be an active racist–he just lives in a world of ME ME ME ME indifferent to everyone and the only thing in his mind when meeting someone is “How useful can these people be to me?” He’s a lazy bastard, so he lives in a world of stereotypes–racist and sexist–he picked up as a kid from his parents (Daddy Trump most likely) and has never been interested in checking beyond his stereotypes because ME ME ME. He isn’t actively running around looking for “data” to confirm his stereotypes (such as Idiot Ex-friend of mine does). I think Trump’s also learned that he can get a lot of attention from White Identity types by saying certain dog-whistling or outright racist phrases, so he’s perfectly willing to go down that path. But it’s Trump’s Ego that’s the most important, and forever will be.

    4
  48. Raoul says:

    I wonder if the ridiculous racist tweet is an attempt to divert the news from the far more serious story of bountygate.

    4
  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’d say that’s accurate, although I’d take issue with the contention that it’s predicated in a lack of intellect. As much as I can not stand the man, I would never call him stupid – both because it’s inaccurate and because it commits the fundamental error of underestimating one’s opponent.

    Trump isn’t stupid. Grudgingly, I will admit that he’s quite intelligent. He’s just completely and totally self-absorbed, and that factor – that unwavering focus on his puny little person and what he thinks is due to it – is the basis of his thinking. Hows does it affect me? How does it benefit me? What can I gain from it? That is literally all the man thinks about. It’s what informs his worldview and what motivates his actions. It’s decidedly one-dimensional thinking exhibited by someone who exists in a one-dimensional universe of himself.

    Dogwhistling to racists doesn’t mean he’s a racist. It means that he has found a way to use racists to his benefit – to advance his own personal power and to feed his own sense of self-love. They’ll be replaced by somebody or something else just as soon as they cease to be of use to him. It’s narcissism run amok.

    5
  50. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I suspect that Trump’s intelligence has been considerably trashed by his increasing dementia. Either that, or his increasing narcissism. Interesting to watch someone turn his entire universe into a funhouse of mirrors.

    If I had run a laboratory the way Trump has run his presidency I would have blown up the building the first week of testing.

    1
  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think that I have come to the conclusion that he has become the dog who caught the car. He has found the ultimate pinnacle of his pathology of self-absorption. He’s the president of the United States. The problem is that its a finite gig. Where is there for a narcissist to go from there? What I believe we’re seeing now is a narcissist who is gamely deflecting the reality that it’s likely to end, and take the lovefest that has been feeding that pathology for several years now with it. A person like Trump can’t allow himself to admit that it’s almost over, so you’ll see behaviors that are increasingly detached from reality as the quest to avoid acknowledging that reality becomes more and more vehement. It’s a narcissist’s last stand.

    2
  52. @HarvardLaw92:

    In Trump’s case, I can pretty much tell you that “Laziness is a trait in blacks” translates to “Black people are problem tenants and I don’t want the headache”.

    That’s a racist assessment.

    18
  53. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The problem with stereotypes is that we are biologically hardwired to categorize and to derive conclusions about category relevant specific, and novel, situations. We create stereotypes as a function of our biology. We all do it, and we do it without thinking about it.

    Nobody disputes that stereotyping is very natural. Nobody disputes that not all stereotypes are racist stereotypes. However, some are. A black teen blasting rap music from his radio on a city street is a stereotype. “Laziness is a trait in blacks” is a racist stereotype.

    You are acting like there’s some hard boundary between stereotypes and racism, when there isn’t. Racist stereotypes are one of the engines of racism. There is, of course, more to racism than stereotypes–you also need power structures that enforce racism (what has come to be called systemic racism). But a person who believes racist stereotypes is, by definition, someone with a racist belief system. And even at the individual level, racism comes in different shades. Trump doesn’t have to have the exact belief system of Richard Spencer or David Duke to be considered a racist. (If he did, then there would hardly be any racists in America.)

    That said, you have to consider the motivator behind how the stereotype is actualized. Is he saying “I do not like black people” or is he saying “I do not like problem tenants”? Knowing him as I do, I’d lean towards the latter.

    I appreciate you bringing your personal experience to bear on understanding Trump–but with respect, you are not the final word on the subject. Many other people who have personally interacted with Trump over the years have concluded that he’s a racist.

    9
  54. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Trump may not be stupid, but he does and says stupid, self-destructive things. And for all his vaunted business acumen, he’s had six bankruptcies, and seen various enterprises such as Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, Trump Airlines, and Trump University, go belly-up. No U.S. bank would touch him.

    He doesn’t read. He writes on a fifth-grade level. He has no attention span. He has zero intellectual curiosity. His marketing professor at Wharton called him “the dumbest student I ever had.”

    I’ll accept your judgment that he’s smart, because you know him. I just find it difficult to believe. He sounds and acts, frankly, like a fucking moron.

    14
  55. Monala says:

    @CSK: Except long before he ran for president, Trump was villifying people of color. Why did he run a full page NYT ad calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, and later, but before running for president, saying they shouldn’t have been exonerated? Why was he sued for not allowing black people to live in his properties? Snopes has a list of all the pre-2016 run for president where Trump said or did something racist.

    Trump’s racism is about as consistent and long-standing as his misogyny. And just because he has some black people who he doesn’t treat with contempt, that doesn’t mean he isn’t racist overall. After all, he has some women in high positions in his administration. Does that make him not misogynist?

    7
  56. Kylopod says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I suspect that Trump’s intelligence has been considerably trashed by his increasing dementia.

    I’d agree about that. When I’ve referred to Trump as a moron, I’ve mostly based it on the way he acts now. If you look at old interviews, he has a much larger vocabulary and seems a lot more articulate (while still coming off as an obvious BS artist)–though you can see even some of his current tics at work. A few weeks ago I saw a letter he wrote from around 1990 about the Central Park Five (and the letter was, um, amazingly racist) in which he spelled the word “City” with a capital-C mid-sentence for no good reason.

    8
  57. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod:

    My point is that you are unavoidably layering how YOU interpret the statement – the layers of meaning and intent that inform your understanding of what it is saying – to imply that the same perceptions motivate and/or color Trump’s use of it.

    Trump’s would have been informed / predicated on the experience of having been first the son of a slumlord and then the leader of an organization whose foundation was providing substandard housing to the marginalized. In that reality, there would have been an enormous degree of dealing with welfare tenants. Let’s face it – the poor and marginalized do not tend to make for ideal tenants under any circumstances. That’s the truth element of stereotypes – they always tend to contain more of it than we want to acknowledge, and we tend to glean onto those that match our own experiences and tests. The unspoken (but accurate) corollary there is that he’d almost certainly have said the exact same thing about Hispanics, or poor whites, or Asians. It fits your narrative to consider him to be a racist. I respect that, but I’d counter with what Trump really can’t stand is poor people – of any shade of the rainbow. You happened to hear about a small slice of a much larger perception.

    2
  58. Monala says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    In Trump’s case, I can pretty much tell you that “Laziness is a trait in blacks” translates to “Black people are problem tenants and I don’t want the headache”. Unfair to apply that characterization across an entire ethnic group, without question, but also misguided to say that it has never been true to the extent that society formulated it into a stereotype to begin with.

    Really? You really wrote those words? Of course some black people are lazy, just like some white people are, and some people of every race and ethnicity. (Notice how our laziest presidents, at least in my lifetime, are the two white men who bookended the presidency of the extremely disciplined Obama).

    But what you wrote here suggests the stereotype formed because, hey, there’s some truth to it! (beyond just, there’s some individuals who are black who might also be lazy, just like in any group of people). I seriously hope you rethink that.

    5
  59. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Monala:

    I think you need to examine the time frame during which he was making those statements and what else was going on in NYC at the time. The basic message in those ads was legitimately “crime is out of control and something needs to be done about it”. He chose those five young men as scapegoats because they fit into his purpose at the time.

    As for saying they shouldn’t have been exonerated, the man doesn’t admit error. Ever. Even when he’s clearly and profoundly wrong.

    Finally, and again I am not defending what happened – I think you need to contextualize what not wanting to rent to people of color (they didn’t particularly care for Puerto Ricans either), in the context of the type of properties that the Trump Org was running by that time and the nature of how tenants would be paying for them. Trump basically didn’t want to rent to people on welfare, and fair or not, the perception at the time was heavily tilted towards the perception that an applicant of color meant a welfare applicant.

    Offensive, no doubt about it, but again, context is important. It’s not that he has any real degree of animus based on color; he has a very finely tuned sense of what he believes will cause problems for him. To be frank about it, Trump wasn’t atypical with respect to landlords in the early 70s. He was very much the norm.

    1
  60. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Monala:

    What I wrote there suggests that someone running a slumlord operation in NYC would be inordinately exposed to lazy (let’s be real, if you were upwardly mobile, regardless of skin color, you weren’t likely to be living in a Trump property in the early 70’s, and white flight had already taken hold in earnest in the city by that point.) I’m not saying all people of color are lazy – far from it. I’m saying that Trump’s position at the time would have caused him to be inordinately exposed to folks who were. We base our perceptions on what we see.

  61. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    It’s hard to explain, other than to point out that Trump is equally contemptuous of everybody. Everything with him is transactional. As for the Central Park Five, there is no way he would admit to having been wrong about them, because Trump is never wrong.

    White supremacists despise POC. Anti-Semites despise Jews. Islamophobes hate Muslims. Misogynists hate women. Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t even regard anyone else, no matter their color or ethnicity, as fully human. They’re just things that serve his needs. And after they’ve served his needs, he discards them.

    As I say, it’s almost impossible to explain. Yes, he’s a racist. But it’s something other than standard racism.

    5
  62. An Interested Party says:

    In the end, whether he is racist or not really isn’t the point…he’s just a totally rotten horrible person…that his followers do not see that shows an incredible lack of awareness/sense of delusion on their part…

    7
  63. JohnMcC says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Just to make this clear — the scene you paint in which Mr Trump resigns and is pardoned by Mr Pence actually is not imaginary. It’s exactly what happened to the Republican president on Sept 8th, 1974.

    3
  64. An Interested Party says:

    Let’s face it – the poor and marginalized do not tend to make for ideal tenants under any circumstances.

    Written by someone who sounds like he has never had to live life as a poor or marginalized person…

    Unfair to apply that characterization across an entire ethnic group, without question, but also misguided to say that it has never been true to the extent that society formulated it into a stereotype to begin with.

    I’d love to know what Jim Brown 32 thinks of that statement…

    3
  65. Monala says:

    @An Interested Party: Exactly. There’s this statement:

    What I wrote there suggests that someone running a slumlord operation in NYC would be inordinately exposed to lazy (let’s be real, if you were upwardly mobile, regardless of skin color, you weren’t likely to be living in a Trump property in the early 70’s

    Poor people are often some of the hardest working peopl/e out there. To the extent that they are problem tenants is often a function of their poverty – e.g., fewer shifts this month, or an unexpected medical need, might mean they can’t make rent.

    9
  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    Imagine: Programming with the intellect-impaired troglodyte in mind! Yes, the raw numbers are there for an audience. He might, however, have difficulty finding advertisers.

    Are there no products that intellect-impaired troglodytes need to have? No scams to trick them into? No money to spend or credit to leverage? Unless the answer is always “no, there aren’t.” there will be advertisers. Count on it.

  67. Mister Bluster says:

    @JohnMcC:..It’s exactly what happened to the Republican president on Sept 8th, 1974.

    You are referring to Nixon’s pardon by Ford.

    Richard Nixon announced his resignation on August 8, 1974. The resignation was effective at noon August 9, 1974.
    I remember this because my brother’s birthday is August 8.

    1
  68. Scott F. says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Dogwhistling to racists doesn’t mean he’s a racist.

    Maybe he’s not a racist, but he is a white supremacist. It’s just that the only white in his consideration is himself (and maybe some of his progeny… on their better days).

    3
  69. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    That said, you have to consider the motivator behind how the stereotype is actualized. Is he saying “I do not like black people” or is he saying “I do not like problem tenants”? Knowing him as I do, I’d lean towards the latter. Does that make him racist, or does it make him a self-absorbed landlord whose only focus is on his own benefit?

    1. Trump can be both racist Black people (and other minorities) AND a self absorbed landlord whose only focus is his own benefit. That he thinks Black people are problem tenants has to do with his racist stereotypes of Black people.
    2. You are displaying some racist thinking here by accepting his framing that Black people are more likely to be problem tenants and your earlier framing that strongly implied that the stereotype of Black people as lazy has a real basis in observed fact. You are diving back into the same ground you did during the Baltimore protests. You might want to put the brakes on it before we end up in the same situation where this thread devolves into people angrily denouncing your racism and you trying to defend racist comments.

    9
  70. Teve says:

    @Monala: sure, that’s what the ad said, but maybe what Trump meant was just that the central park five were bad tenants.

    2
  71. Teve says:

    If you look at interviews that Trump did 20, 30 years ago, he was a very different person than he is now. Biden has lost a step too, sure, but Trump seems like it’s a serious neurological problem. Like the family needs to have a meeting to decide what to do about grandpa.

    1
  72. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Monala:

    Again, no argument. I. Am. Not. condemning them for being poor. I am simply saying that the reality of their situation – for the reasons that you yourself cited – , from the perspective of a landlord who only cares about the rent being paid on time, every time, and nothing else does not lead to a positive opinion from that landlord’s point of view.

    3
  73. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: I see you made the point before I did.

  74. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Are there no products that intellect-impaired troglodytes need to have? No scams to trick them into? No money to spend or credit to leverage? Unless the answer is always “no, there aren’t.” there will be advertisers. Count on it.

    I’d like to talk to you for a minute about gold. You see, gold is real money, not that worthless paper that the government gives you…

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @inhumans99: I think a Pence/Haley ticket would stand a better than average chance against Biden. After all, aren’t they both part of that (assumed) contingent of “good” conservatives/Republicans who aren’t anything at all like Trump (no way, no how, nuh-huh)? I’d be willing to speculate that several people in the crowd here would be willing to vote that ticket. They’d even be able to promise a solution to immigration reform because Haley isn’t a bigot (how could she be, she’s not even white?) and Pence only went along with Trump because the GOP Senate was on his side.

    Surely everything would change with this ticket. It would almost be like a completely new morning in America’s continuing exceptional greatness. The ads, as we are fond of saying here, would almost write themselves.

  76. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It’s not that he has any real degree of animus based on color

    You seem to be operating under the misconception that real animus is required for racism. It isn’t.
    Believing and acting on racist stereotypes makes you a racist, even if you feel pity, some other emotion, or no emotion at all, rather than animus.

    9
  77. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Some of them like the fact that he’s a despicable piece of trash, because that gives them license to give free reign to their own trashiness.

    Some of them think he’s an exemplary human being. I have no idea why. Probably because they need to think that.

    4
  78. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    He’s the president of the United States. The problem is that its a finite gig. Where is there for a narcissist to go from there?

    Fishkill.

    1
  79. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Yeah, Trump might be able to get William Devane to do gold ads. And, let’s see…supplements to cure erectile dysfunction. Adult diapers.

    2
  80. Monala says:

    @Teve: Yeah, you know how David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) committed his crime spree in the 1970s, killing young women throughout Brooklyn and Queens, where Trump grew up and had his properties? But Trump didn’t pay for a full page article about him deserving the death penalty when he was caught (in fact, he’s still alive). He must have been a good tenant.

    6
  81. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Grewgills:

    I think you mean I’m challenging the peaceful serenity of groupthink here in the silo. No argument there. I’ve found that at this point in my life I take more enjoyment from upsetting silos than I used to.

    The broader point in that exercise was that people looking for racism will always find it, because they love to draw generalizations. In every single instance above, I’ve alluded to how the experiences unique to Trump’s life have colored his unique viewpoint. Partly because I know the man and not all that is being alleged by people who patently do not is accurate. The reality – that he’s simply a self-absorbed narcissist who devalues anybody and everybody who isn’t of use to him on that basis alone – is, to be frank, far worse than the facile utility of simply labeling him as racist, but that is lost in the rush to judgment for having had the temerity to make the observation in the first place.

    4
  82. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Grewgills:

    You seem to be operating under the misconception that real animus is required for racism. It isn’t.
    Believing and acting on racist stereotypes makes you a racist, even if you feel pity, some other emotion, or no emotion at all, rather than animus.

    What do we do about any elements of the stereotype that are accurate? For example, there is another stereotype which says that POC tend to be anti-Semitic. My own experiences have indicated that stereotype to be pretty accurate. Surveys done by ADL consistently bear it out as well. Are you suggesting that we all should universally jettison past experiences, however pervasive, and approach each new one in a vacuum of uninformed ignorance?

    Going further, under your definition of the term every single person here could be said to be a racist towards somebody or another. Food for thought …

    1
  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Would it be possible that misanthrope would be a better term for Trump? I understand why people don’t want to use it; “misanthrope” has a more sympathetic connotation to it than “racist,” but I wonder if it wouldn’t be more accurate.

  84. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh brother, trying to delve the depths or trump’s mind (pretty shallow water folks) is useless.

    I know trump is a POS. I happen to think he is a racist POS because he uses racism to further his goals, which pretty much defines a racist POS. Saying he has no particular animus for people of color misses the point entirely. To him, they aren’t people.

    I mean fer chrissakes, I don’t hold any particular animus for cows or pigs or chickens or fish or deer or squirrels etc etc and yet I eat them anyway. Why? Because they aren’t people and they’re really pretty damned tasty.

    A person is defined by their actions, fuck their reasons.

    9
  85. gVOR08 says:

    I try to be a pragmatist. It sometimes makes life a lot simpler. Did Trump try to avoid Black tenants because he was racist or because he had a history of trouble with them? Did he pick up attitudes from his KKK father? Did he go after the Central Park 5 because they were Black or because crime was a problem? Does he keep immigrant children locked up where they’ll catch COVID because he hates Latinos or to feed his base? Does he support white supremacy from conviction or political expediency? I have no idea. And there’s no way I can ever find out. I’ll never know what’s in his heart.

    But am I confident he will continue to behave as he has in the past? Yes. Does that make him a racist? Close enough.

    6
  86. @Grewgills:

    You seem to be operating under the misconception that real animus is required for racism. It isn’t.
    Believing and acting on racist stereotypes makes you a racist, even if you feel pity, some other emotion, or no emotion at all, rather than animus.

    Exactly.

    7
  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Nah… I’m not the guy who you want to talk to about the value of gold. I’m the guy who believes that the new standard of wealth after the impending systemic economic crash is 40 acres and a bag of seed potatoes. 😉

    2
  88. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I don’t know. I think misanthropes give more thought to their dislike of other people than Trump does. Maybe “all around appalling human being” suits him best. Is there a single word for that?

    ETA: Misanthropes don’t deny the humanity of other people. Trump does. They’re just objects, things to him. I wish I could explain this better.

    1
  89. @HarvardLaw92:

    I think you mean I’m challenging the peaceful serenity of groupthink here in the silo. No argument there. I’ve found that at this point in my life I take more enjoyment from upsetting silos than I used to.

    If you mean your assessment of Trump’s views on race, I don’t see your position as “upsetting silos” as much as a fairly common way by which racist attitudes are diminished because the person holding them didn’t use overtly racist language or doesn’t belong to an overtly racist organization.

    By definition, if a person has a worldview that includes “blacks are lazy” and therefore, that person doesn’t want them as tenants, then that person is a racist.

    You seem to be asserting, as many do, that if a person isn’t in the Klan or doesn’t use the n-word that they aren’t racist. That isn’t the case.

    13
  90. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: I mentioned “white supremacy” above. I suppose we can expect a move to capitalize White. Should I support or oppose such a move? As a pragmatist I can’t think of jack difference it actually makes one way or another.

  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: From your lips to God’s ears. I don’t think it will happen; we don’t do that to our political insiders. The fact that Trump is not “one of us” in the DC crowd offers the best opportunity we’ve ever had, though.

    My guess would still be “no” though. Too risky of a precedent. Might be one of “us” next time; then what would we do?

  92. Monala says:

    @CSK: The Germans are really good at coming up with portmanteaus that really nail all the nuances of meaning. So what do they call Trump?

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Grewgills: Under the conditions you’ve named, who’s not a racist? Not a challenge, or an argument against, understand. On the contrary, the conditions match my Calvinist upbringing perfectly–total depravity of man, and all that.

    ETA: I see HL 92 covered this topic before I commented. Ya snooze, ya looze.

    2
  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Don’t forget the mule.

    1
  95. An Interested Party says:

    What do we do about any elements of the stereotype that are accurate? For example, there is another stereotype which says that POC tend to be anti-Semitic. My own experiences have indicated that stereotype to be pretty accurate. Surveys done by ADL consistently bear it out as well. Are you suggesting that we all should universally jettison past experiences, however pervasive, and approach each new one in a vacuum of uninformed ignorance?

    And what do we do with the stereotype that Jewish people are greedy–that they don’t care about POC and only want to use them for however much money they can get out of them? I believe you are Jewish, are you not? Your views about the poor and the marginalized would seem to fit that stereotype of Jewish people…of course, I don’t want to assume that about you, lest I be accused of viewing you through a vacuum of uninformed ignorance…

    7
  96. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Dummkopf?

    3
  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I can see that you and I disagree on what the term means. No, I can’t think of another because “all around appalling human being” is how I would define “misanthrope.”

    On the other hand, I don’t ascribe any sympathetic connotations to the term. Calvinism at work again, I assume.

    ETA: @OzarkHillbilly: In the dystopia I’m imagining, all the mules have been eaten by rich folk who traded their gold for a last meal. 😉 ETA: A bad bargain all around, I would add.

  98. An Interested Party says:

    The Germans are really good at coming up with portmanteaus that really nail all the nuances of meaning. So what do they call Trump?

    There are a few here that would work…my personal favorites are evolutionsbremse and hosenscheisser…

    2
  99. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    “Kotzbrocken” is pretty good.

    2
  100. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Whatever Trump is, he’s worse than a misanthrope. That’s part of the problem. There’s nothing you can say about him that fully captures his awfulness.

  101. Monala says:

    @An Interested Party: evolutionsbremse has my vote! It not only capture’s Trump’s stupidity, but also the consequences for the rest of us.

    1
  102. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Thank you for that. It’s probably the most honest comment on the thread, and it gets to the meat of the question – we ALL hold stereotypical attitudes to some degree or another grounded in observationally derived prejudice, so maybe stop with the stone throwing lest you break your own windows.

    In our case, it’s more of a cultural denigration of lack of agency – the old “if you’re poor, odds are it’s your own fault” trope, which is pretty deeply rooted in our culture – but from the outside it’s easy to mistake for disdain for the poor (point being our culture is far more condemning of those on the inside who meet that criteria than it is of those on the outside. At least we’re consistent I guess …).

    I was taking a little poke at the self-congratulation society (which has always annoyed me here). You caught on.

  103. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The reality – that he’s simply a self-absorbed narcissist who devalues anybody and everybody who isn’t of use to him on that basis alone – is, to be frank, far worse than the facile utility of simply labeling him as racist, but that is lost in the rush to judgment for having had the temerity to make the observation in the first place.

    It isn’t either or, it’s both and. Trump is a racist because of his racist communication and his racist actions. He is also a narcissist. There is not contradiction there.
    HarvardLaw92: and Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Most people are bigoted to some degree or another in their thinking. We are all human, so we all tend to put things and people into neat boxes whether or not the fit is good. We were all raised to believe certain things that have little basis in fact. However, not all of us go around spreading stereotypes, not all of us act on those stereotypes, and certainly not all of us act on those stereotypes to the detriment of others and/or in the face of evidence to the contrary. There is a difference and I think you both know it.
    Re: Harvard’s POC antisemitism example
    One can acknowledge that in the aggregate certain cultures (be they POC or any other grouping) tend to have certain opinions without assuming that each person you meet that belongs to that culture feels that way. I was raised in the south, one generation away from the very rural south. Most of my relatives are bigoted against POC, homosexuals, Jewish people, the list goes on… Last I saw polling bore those out as trends among southern white people. That doesn’t mean that when I meet a southern white person I assume they are bigoted against those groups and that therefor I want nothing to do with them. Instead I treat each new person as a new person, even when I simultaneously know that polling data shows the culture they were (by appearances statistically most likely) raised in tends to in the aggregate hold certain views. (I’m sorry that was a grammatical mess)
    We are all relatively intelligent people here capable of holding multiple ideas in our head simultaneously. We can understand statistical likelihoods and that populations are not people.

    3
  104. Grewgills says:

    @An Interested Party:
    You’ve hit upon something here. There are stereotypes, here you mention stereotypes of Jewish people. Assuming Harvard holds those views absent him showing that he holds such views would be bigoted. However, noting that he holds those views AFTER he has shown that he holds those views is not bigoted. Believing that he holds those views BECAUSE he is Jewish is bigoted.
    Similarly, to use his earlier example, assuming someone is lazy because they are Black is bigoted. Recognizing that a particular Black person is lazy because you witness them being lazy is not bigoted. Assuming that they are lazy BECAUSE they are Black is bigoted.
    I don’t think that is particularly difficult to understand.

    1
  105. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Grewgills:

    You’re characterizing him as one because his actions predicated in narcissism tick the boxes of what you consider to be racist behavior. I tend to believe that motivation matters, as does accuracy. Somebody who views pretty much everybody with disdain outside of their situational / transactional usefulness isn’t really preceding on racist motives. I’d call it more sociopathic motives, but that’s digressing. The point was that you’re layering your perception of his operational drivers onto the situation and arriving at a word that isn’t IMO really accurate.

    For him to actually be a racist, he’d need to – IMO – actuate that attitude disproportionately towards one group or another. I can tell you, from experience, that he doesn’t. Everybody falls into the same pool of “things to be used for my benefit, but otherwise valueless”, where Trump is concerned. Hence the observation – calling it racist is a facile sidestepping of the true depth of the pathology.

    I also enjoy poking fun at the self-anointed enlightened, so I did a bit of that too. Mea culpa in that regard.

    2
  106. gVOR08 says:

    Conveniently for this discussion German Lopez at VOX has a long, long list of Trump’s racist actions and statements. Did he do all this stuff because he’s a racist at heart or because they were convenient for business or political reasons? Who cares. As I noted above@gVOR08: he’s done a lot of racist stuff and he’ll continue doing a lot of racist stuff.

    6
  107. JohnMcC says:

    @Mister Bluster: Your brother’s birthday would be easy to remember — eighty eight. Also the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing. I happened upon my date of Sept 8th by googling ‘date of Nixon’s pardon’. So it’s got very little to do with the resignation.

  108. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Absolutely. My point was that saying “he does racist stuff” and saying “he is a racist” are not the same thing. One characterizes actions, the other attributes motive.

  109. @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Under the conditions you’ve named, who’s not a racist?

    Indeed, isn’t part of the problem that racism is pervasive and hard to root out?

    3
  110. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    His racist housing policy is evidence of his racism. Even with your explanation of his supposed why, leaves him discriminating against POC in housing because of racist attitudes. His behavior had BOTH racist outcomes and was predicated on racist stereotypes, that makes him a racist.
    It may be that it is his narcissism that is primarily driving his promotion of racist narratives and racist policy, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t also a racist.

    For him to actually be a racist, he’d need to – IMO – actuate that attitude disproportionately towards one group or another.

    gVOR08 has handily provided a link that shows he has actuated that attitude disproportionately towards POC.

    Saying that he has a long history of doing racist stuff isn’t meaningfully different than saying he is a racist. We can’t see inside people’s heads, so demanding knowledge of intent is an out for all racists.

    Trump is a hot mess of narcissism, bigotry, simplistic thinking catering to the worst elements of our society.

    11
  111. @HarvardLaw92:

    My point was that saying “he does racist stuff” and saying “he is a racist” are not the same thing. One characterizes actions, the other attributes motive.

    If someone does racist stuff, then they have done racist stuff. Pretending to know their motives assumes knowledge one does not have nor that one can know.

    7
  112. @HarvardLaw92:

    I also enjoy poking fun at the self-anointed enlightened

    That just sounds pompous and makes it sound like you are not arguing in good faith.

    12
  113. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Thank you for that. It’s probably the most honest comment on the thread, and it gets to the meat of the question – we ALL hold stereotypical attitudes to some degree or another grounded in observationally derived prejudice, so maybe stop with the stone throwing lest you break your own windows.

    No, that’s the cop out.

    Yes, we are all prejudiced. Duh. Social science research has pretty firmly established that.

    The question is, where do you go from there? Do you fight it consciously, invoking your reason to fight your unreason? Or do you accept it, and continue to be a racist/sexist/bigot/whatever because it’s easier? Or do you actually double down on it, promoting the stereotypes as important truth, and refusing to think about individuals at all?

    Just because we’re all prejudiced doesn’t mean we’re all equally culpable.

    6
  114. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’d characterize it more as a reaction to endemic pomposity, but that’s a different conversation.

    1
  115. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And yet these discussions always seem to be littered with “Trump is a racist”. My suggestion would be to collectively heed your own advice.

    I also seem to spend a lot of time lately pondering whether actions and choices which are damaging to a particular racial group, even though undertaken in ostensibly good faith via presumably benevolent but misguided motives, are still racist based on their outcome. Or possibly not racist at the outset, but whether willful failure to acknowledge the damage going forward makes them racist when they might not otherwise be. After all, if we can examine our neighbor’s house, we have to be willing to examine our own. That’s another conversation for another day though. Time for breakfast

    1
  116. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Just because we’re all prejudiced doesn’t mean we’re all equally culpable.

    Ironically, that’s exactly what it means.

    1
  117. Grewgills says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Just because we’re all prejudiced doesn’t mean we’re all equally culpable.

    Ironically, that’s exactly what it means.

    Only if wanting to punch someone in the face is equivalent to actually sucker punching someone.

    Or possibly not racist at the outset, but whether willful failure to acknowledge the damage going forward makes them racist when they might not otherwise be.

    Yes, willful failure to acknowledge the damage going forward does make them racist.

    4
  118. grumpy realist says:

    Eh–I’d argue that Trump is worse than your generic racist–a racist will have animus against and despise members of another race, but he will at least treat members of his own race as equal. Trump divides the Universe into two classes: (himself), who is Perfect and the equivalent of God, and then (everyone else).

    ….but at this point this is a bit of an angels-dancing-on-the-heads-of-pins argument….

    4
  119. de stijl says:

    Someone recommended to Trump to retweet that.

    He is too lazy and too inept and too undisciplined to do his own search filtering.

    Someone fed him that tweet on purpose. Told him to retweet it. Knew exactly what it meant.

    I would like to know who.

    3
  120. Lounsbuty says:

    @MarkedMan: It seems like a stretch solely due to Left partisan knee jerking as he’s shown a habit of superficial retweeeting in the past.

  121. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    @DrDaveT:

    Just because we’re all prejudiced doesn’t mean we’re all equally culpable.

    Ironically, that’s exactly what it means.

    That is the most idiotic thing I will read here all year.

    2
  122. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “I think a Pence/Haley ticket would stand a better than average chance against Biden.”

    Seriously? Biden’s camp wouldn’t even have to make ads against them — just keep running the literally thousands of clips of each of them fawning over Trump’s wisdom and judgment and describing how Trump was sent by God to fix America.

    What’s the counter to a clip of Pence calling Trump the greatest president America has ever known? “I was lying to make him feel good?”

    3
  123. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You are such an intelligent, accomplished person. When you write about the law, you are truly fascinating. I don’t understand why at this stage in your life you’ve decided that trolling people — oh, sorry, “upsetting silos”– is a worthwhile use of your very valuable time. I can’t imagine that, unlike so many trolls, you are incapable of getting attention from other real people, or that you simply have nothing worthwhile to do.

    And I know you can come back with an endless screed about how you’re exposing liberal hypocrisy and groupthink and blah blah blah. You might as well save that, as it’s the justification of every quasi-literate troll.

    I’m not going to waste my time or yours engaging in this obvious excursion into troll-land. I hope that what you will take away from it is that you are indeed a sufficiently talented writer to piss people off for no reason if you choose to do so, and that in the future you will use those talents to something like an actual purpose.

    5
  124. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “My point was that saying “he does racist stuff” and saying “he is a racist” are not the same thing. One characterizes actions, the other attributes motive.”

    Okay, I said I wouldn’t engage… but what you’ve said here isn’t trollery. You’ve actually done a good job of nailing down the difference between the two sides of the argument. The question becomes “can racism be defined by racist actions or do we require racist motives?” We can agree the guy who burns down a black church because he hates blacks is a racist — is his friend who is willing to come along and help burn down the church because he’s dating the first guy’s sister and wants to stay in good with him also a racist, or just a loser?

    I think it depends on whose point of view we decide matters. If you ask the loser, he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. If you ask the parents of the children burned to death in the church, they might have a different opinion.

    Act versus intent — which defines racism? That’s actually a question worth interrogating…

    4
  125. mattbernius says:

    “Sure, he shot and killed someone, but you shouldn’t call him a murderer because he didn’t have murderous intent in his heart when he did it.”

    5
  126. DeD says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There was a time I thought that was mere hyperbole, but now I think he actually believes it.

    No, he believed it back when he first said it. Monsters never joke about such things.

    2
  127. @HarvardLaw92:

    After all, if we can examine our neighbor’s house, we have to be willing to examine our own.

    That is all well and good, but it is a dodge as it pertains to the overall conversation. While I agree with @wr when he states “Act versus intent — which defines racism? That’s actually a question worth interrogating…” and therefore with the notion that you are putting forward that a discussion of such could be worthwhile, this is not what you appear to be doing here–not when you put forward this whole silo upsetting bit.

    For one thing, even if we accept that Trump isn’t racist, but uses racism for his own ends, that still makes him a pretty terrible person, not to mention a reprehensible president. Arguing over his intent, therefore, has a serious missing the forest for the trees aspect to it.

    So, sure, we should examine our own houses and all, and even consider whether motives are more important than actions, but what does that have to do with Trump’s clear record of exploiting race politically and professionally? Does it really matter if he is racist in his heart or just plays one on TV when he is the President of the United States?

    Second, when you present yourself as “upsetting silos” and being some sort of, dare I say, ombudsman, come to correct the masses that comes across not as someone presenting a point of view or argument, it comes across, as wr noted, as trolling.

    Third, point number two is made all the worse when you present your position in the context of special knowledge you have that all the poor silo dwellers cannot access.

    Fourth, some of your statements about stereotypes and whatnot suggest that perhaps you don’t really take the topic all that seriously.

    10
  128. de stijl says:

    Shockingly, a person can be a narcissist, a racist, a misogynist, an uneducated boob, a functional illiterate, and the President all at the very same time!

    People are multifaceted.

    9
  129. DeD says:

    @CSK:

    Imagine: Programming with the intellect-impaired troglodyte in mind!

    Yeah, but they already have that with Fox News. Then again, maybe he’ll siphon off viewers and that trash of a so-called news network will die the death it earned and deserves. Then again, maybe his inglorious @$$ will be in prison soon, Barr, Mnuchin, Mulvaney et al. following.

    1
  130. DeD says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’d characterize that more as lazy prejudice than overt racism, to be honest.

    I’m actually surprised that you would say such a thing. I’m sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know: that is, racism doesn’t have to be overt to be racism. Not arguing with everything else you said; just surprised that someone of your quite obvious intellectual capacity would conclude that.

    6
  131. @mattbernius:

    “Sure, he shot and killed someone, but you shouldn’t call him a murderer because he didn’t have murderous intent in his heart when he did it.”

    Indeed. It was probably a performative murder.

    4
  132. @HarvardLaw92:

    My suggestion would be to collectively heed your own advice.

    My advice, by the way, was to look at actions and not try to assume knowledge that one does not have and ultimately cannot derive.

    How am I not following my own advice?

    2
  133. Mister Bluster says:

    @JohnMcC:..the scene you paint in which Mr Trump ******* and is pardoned by Mr Pence actually is not imaginary.

    @JohnMcC:..So it’s got very little to do with the resignation.

    Silly me. You’re right. It’s just my lying eyes seeing things that are not there…again.

  134. Kylopod says:

    I’m well aware of the difference between racist actions and racist beliefs, as well as the fact that historically much racism was perpetrated by people who were simply opportunists.

    And you know what? I really don’t care. The consequences are the same, either way. It’s also a pointlessly esoteric discussion: how do you prove what a person “really” believes, in his heart of hearts?

    That’s not what I was discussing here. I mentioned something Trump is alleged to have said in private, “Laziness is a trait in blacks.” HL92 didn’t dispute that Trump said it, or that it’s something Trump actually believes. He just disputed it’s a racist statement. That, to me, is an astoundingly obtuse conclusion, but it’s definitely something that can be argued one way or the other, quite unlike the question of whether Trump genuinely believes what he said or not.

    8
  135. Kingdaddy says:

    Pick one of the following:

    1. He agrees with the white power sentiment.
    2. He doesn’t agree, but he’s happy to play footsie with white supremacists.
    3. He’s too lazy to do anything well, including watching a video for 20 seconds before re-tweeting it.

    It doesn’t matter which you pick. They’re all unacceptable.

    8
  136. dazedandconfused says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Re:

    …to actually be a racist, he’d need to – IMO – actuate that attitude disproportionately towards one group or another.

    Might want to re-think that. It could be taken to mean that IYO someone who expresses hatred equally towards everybody who isn’t white isn’t a racist.

    2
  137. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: Scheisskopf

  138. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I agree with @Harvard92 that Trump’s primary pathology is extreme narcissism. Heck, I’d even say he’s more of a misogynist than a racist. But he’s rather obviously also a racist. Whether its a primary, secondary, or tertiary motivation, and whether it came from a racist stereotype or not (and how would that somehow make it ok?) is kind of missing the point.

    5
  139. An Interested Party says:

    It doesn’t matter which you pick. They’re all unacceptable.

    That’s the real bottom line with this whole discussion…just about everything Trump does is unacceptable…

    1
  140. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: Funny, we were never stereotyped as lazy when we were forced to work for free. We became “lazy” when white people wanted slave production on subsistence wages.

    Think about it, how the hell could any people survive Jim Crow by being lazy? These Stereotypes are just part of White America’s Black Derangement Syndrome.

    6
  141. @Jim Brown 32: Indeed.

    1
  142. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: Now Now….Im more than sure that a fair-minded person like HL92 will admit that there is at least a little something to Min Farrakhans statements about the Jewish community n’est-ce pas?

    2
  143. grumpy realist says:

    @mattbernius: Actually, the necessary mens rea is an element in any criminal case. There are in fact a list of crimes where unless you have the intention of carrying out that specific crime, you can’t be charged of said crime. First-degree murder is a specific intent crime, which is why in a lot of cases even though A has killed B, they can only be charged with a lesser degree (second-degree murder, homicide.) Which is also one reason why people who are drunk and commit crimes can get off the hook–they aren’t considered to have had the specific intent necessary at the time they committed the crime.

  144. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    You have not played Fallout 4 or 76.

    Desk fans are the basis of our new economy. Clean desk fans are great. Office desk fans are the best. Springs, gears, aluminum!

    So much loot!