Speaking with White House aides, President Donald Trump reportedly said Jewish Americans have a loyalty to their religion above all other interests and always “stick together,” two anti-Semitic tropes that have been used for centuries to stoke resentment and anti-Semitism.
According to The Washington Post, Trump has repeatedly made anti-Semitic and racist comments behind closed doors which suggest his true feelings about race, religion, and loyalty to the United States:
“After phone calls with Jewish lawmakers, Trump has muttered that ‘Jews’are only in it for themselves” and ‘stick together’ in an ethnic allegiance that exceeds other loyalties, officials said.”
The Post also reports that the president has said insulting things about both African-Americans and Hispanics:
“Trump’s private musings about Hispanics match the vitriol he has displayed in public, and his antipathy to Africa is so ingrained that when first lady Melania Trump planned a 2018 trip to that continent he railed that he ‘could never understand why she would want to go there.’
“When challenged on these views by subordinates, Trump has invariably responded with indignation. “He would say, ‘No one loves Black people more than me,’ ” a former senior White House official said. The protests rang hollow because if the president were truly guided by such sentiments he “wouldn’t need to say it,” the official said. “You let your actions speak.”
Carol Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, says Trump’s remarks are a clear indication that he doesn’t see himself as president of the entire country, much the same as Andrew Johnson did:
“Johnson made it clear that he was really the president of a few people, not the American people. And Trump has done the same.”
As you might expect, the White House vehemently denies the allegations in the Post article, with administration spokesperson Sarah Matthews commenting:
“Donald Trump’s record as a private citizen and as president has been one of fighting for inclusion and advocating for the equal treatment of all. Anyone who suggests otherwise is only seeking to sow division.”
However, recent actions taken by the Republican Party suggest the administration is indeed worried about Trump being perceived as racist or intolerant:
“The Republican Party devoted much of its convention in August to persuading voters that Trump is not a racist, with far more Black speakers at the four-day event than have held top White House positions over the past four years.”
Knowing what we do about Donald Trump’s ugly history when it comes to race — i.e. refusing to rent apartments to African-American tenants — it’s not hard to believe he would indeed give voice to such disgusting thoughts in private.
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