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Is Trump racist?

Undoubtedly, US society has developed deep internal fissures since the time Barack Obama was first elected president. According to a US commentator, the majority White community has since felt it has ceded control of the country to the minorities.

This attitude of the White community is evident from the abuse which Obama and the African Americans have been subjected to since his election as president. The rise in attacks of White policemen against African Americans during Obama’s term manifests this growing tension.

This was one of the reasons Trump won the presidency, as he was able to connect with segments of the population which are inimical towards minorities, especially White racist groups like those having affinities with the Ku Klux Klan. So does this mean that Trump is a racist?

Singling out Trump

Before he ran for elections and won, Trump was a pragmatic businessman, whose main concern was making his business ventures successful. He still owns several businesses and deals with partners belonging to different races and religions. Some of his comments have been cited as lined with racist undertones, such as his call in the past for killing five ‘Black men’ who were accused of raping a White girl in Central Park, New York in the 1980’s.

The men were later found to be innocent. However, many American politicians - such as George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton - have suffered from such lapses in judgment, which some might say belie hidden racist tendencies. Bush, for example, introduced his grandchildren as “the little brown ones” to President Ronald Reagan. It should be noted that these were the children of his son Jeb Bush, who is married to a Latin brunette.

The entire controversy springs from the fact that Trump is a politician who has emerged from outside the so-called ‘state establishment’

Dr. Ahmad al-Farraj

President Bill Clinton also took a racist dig at Obama during the latter’s presidential campaign when he compared the promising candidate to the African American activist Jesse Jackson, who had once run for elections but suffered a humiliating loss.

Eventually, Obama had a one up on Clinton when he defeated his wife Hillary during the preliminary elections of the Democratic Party in 2008. Few had expected that defeat then. What is strange is that the media, which is now accusing Trump of racism, did not play up the racist remarks of either Bush or Clinton then.

The media’s grudge

It is also noteworthy that Trump’s son-in-law, the husband of his favorite daughter Ivanka, is Jewish. Needless to say white supremacists hate Jews as much as they hate ‘black people’ and other minorities. So how can Trump be called a racist? We must ask this question: “Is Trump a racist politician?” The evidence points to the contrary.

The entire controversy springs from the fact that Trump is a politician who has emerged from outside the so-called ‘state establishment’. Therefore, he is frank and is not familiar with the wiles and deceit of conventional politicians.

He sometimes speaks on impulse and the resulting faux pas is invariably blown out of proportions by the media, which has a grudge against Trump for having defeating Hillary Clinton, who is backed by the state machinery. This is the reality of Trump’s issues with the media and the accusations which so many are laying at his door.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Dr Ahmad al-Farraj is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah daily. He holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Indiana and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He was the Dean of the Arabic Language Institute in King Saud University and a member of the university’s council. He tweets under @amhfarraj.

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Last Update: Friday, 25 August 2017 KSA 11:43 - GMT 08:43
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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