Has anyone bothered to ask Donald Trump why he thinks all three Black prosecutors who have launched criminal investigations into him are racist? Because, as far as I can tell, he’s just saying it because they’re Black.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could all have been white legal officials with the same political views and Democratic backgrounds. Trump would still have had plenty of negative (and childish) things to say about them, but arbitrary allegations of racism would never have occurred to him. Instead, Trump noticed, first and foremost, that his legal opponents are all African American — and not the “look at my African American over here” kind. There’s just no reason not to believe the former president saw that Bragg, James and Willis are Black and his first thought was to weaponize that against them.
“I will be heading downtown to meet with a Racist who leaked that I would be there at 9:30 a.m.,” Trump recently posted to his Truth Social platform in reference to James, who has alleged that the Trump family and the Trump Organization are guilty of more than 200 instances of fraud.
As usual, Trump didn’t elaborate at all about what makes James racist, just as he didn’t when he referred to Willis as a ”racist District Attorney” or to Bragg as a “racist in reverse.” He also didn’t expound on the race-involved part of his claims when he referred to all three officials as “radical, vicious, racist prosecutors.”
Here’s the thing: I often receive angry emails from white readers who accuse me of racism due to the perceivably disparaging (although often hilarious) remarks I’ve written about white people. And I’m fine with that — despite white conservatives’ warped understanding of what racism is, how it works and why the conversation about systemic racism they keep trying to dilute with petty white grievances is important. Of course I’m racist based on their limited and simplistic understanding of racism. At the very least, they’re not pulling it out of thin air.
Trump is just making things up.
Unless I’m missing something.
Did Bragg stand before a crowd of Black constituents and say that Europe is sending us only their rapists and drug dealers while “some, I assume, are good people”? Did James allegedly call North and South Dakota “shithole states”? Maybe Willis doubled down on calling for the executions of five Caucasian teens who were ultimately exonerated after being jailed for falsely alleged crimes.
My point is, whether you personally believe Trump is racist or not, the argument is there. Trump led the racist birther movement against former President Barack Obama. He led the propaganda-reliant war against the teaching of critical race theory and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs in education and in the workplace. And now he’s blatantly trying to leverage anti-Black racism by accusing Black officials of anti-white racism. (Unless Trump is saying they’re specifically racist against comically over-tanned, orange-tinted Caucasians, but I doubt that’s the case.)
So, the real question is: Where does right-wing America stand on all of this? Certainly the legions of fierce warriors against “race-baiting,” the “race card” and allowing race to divide America will not stand for the most prominent member of their political party engaging in all of the above. Surely conservative media outlets won’t let “leftist” media outdo them by running the only op-eds condemning Trump for failing to un-see color. I mean, this is a former U.S. president who is currently the Republican front-runner for the presidency in 2024. And here he is essentially claiming the American justice system is racist against him, and that’s why he can’t stay out of trouble.
It’s reverse-critical race theory, I tell ya’!
Truthfully, there’s no reason to expect any conservative pundits or politicians to challenge Trump on his race-baiting. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, apparently, doesn’t even like Trump, but the two are such peas in the same white nationalist pod that ex-KKK grand wizard David Duke accused them both of piggybacking on his ideological platform. Carlson is so invested in anti-white racism propaganda that he accused President Joe Biden, who is notably white, of anti-white racism because he appointed way more Black women as federal judges than white men — who overwhelmingly dominate federal courts across the country. He also felt Biden was engaging in anti-white racism by ignoring white drug addicts by providing Black drug addicts with “crack pipes,” which, of course, Biden did not do.
In fact, the GOP and the rest of the MAGA world have been far too busy spreading the narrative that Trump’s indictment in Manhattan this month proves there are two Americas, including one in which Republican conservatives are being oppressed and persecuted, to be bothered with petty issues like Trump’s clear anti-Blackness. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t even accused Trump of being reverse-woke.
Not that there’s any point in expecting consistency from someone like DeSantis, who claims to believe no one should be made to feel discomfort or guilt due to their race but also said podcaster Joe Rogan shouldn’t have apologized for using the n-word, making stereotypical remarks about African people and referring to a Black neighborhood as the Planet of the Apes. DeSantis has, however, joined Trump in suggesting that Bragg is being funded directly by billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, which, of course, he is not.
Bragg recently filed a federal lawsuit against Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who he accused of engaging in a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack.” This was Bragg’s response to the House Judiciary Committee scheduling a hearing in Manhattan on Monday on crime in New York City and Bragg’s “pro-crime, anti-victim” policies, which makes no sense because, as Bragg pointed out, violent crime in Manhattan has dropped since Bragg took office in January 2022. It’s almost as if House Republicans responded to Trump’s indictment by dog-whistling about Black criminals in NYC. Bragg’s lawsuit stated that it was brought “in response to an unprecedentedly brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress on an ongoing New York State criminal prosecution and investigation of former President Donald J. Trump.” And if Bragg had also used the adjective “racist,” you can bet the GOP would be unanimous in condemning Bragg for playing the race card.
Bragg also said recently that since the indictment of Trump, his office has received more than 1,000 calls and emails from Trump supporters and that many of those messages have been “overtly racist and antisemitic,” including messages where he was called “black trash” and “Aids Infested.”
But, OK, Bragg is a public figure, as are James and Willis, and they’re likely used to having to deal with racist and otherwise threatening harassment. What about when Trump turns his ire, and subsequently his MAGA minions, on civilians?
Do y’all remember Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, the Black Fulton County, Georgia, election workers who were referenced more than a dozen times in Trump’s 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger? During that call, an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential vote in Georgia, Trump referred to Freeman, a woman he does not personally, or in any way, know, as a “professional vote-scammer and hustler.” It would be easy to argue Trump used racially coded language in reference to Freeman — but that would be race-baiting, amirite?
Anyway, Freeman and Moss testified before that Jan. 6 House select committee that due to the former president of the United States and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani using their massive MAGA platforms to defame them, they were driven into hiding after suffering what The New York Times described as “an onslaught of racist abuse.” And yet, despite the damage that it’s done to their reputations and sense of safety, as recently as January of this year, Trump has taken to his social media platform to renew his dangerous and demonstrably untrue allegations against these two Black women who are guilty of nothing but doing their jobs.
Donald Trump is claiming to be a victim of anti-white racism while blatantly displaying the impact of white power. It’s the same impact that inspired a riot at the U.S. Capitol and the same impact that caused 147 Republican legislators to vote to overturn a legal election, an act that would have disenfranchised largely Black and Latino voters, all based on Trump’s big lie.
It’s the same racist impact that catapulted the propaganda campaign against critical race theory, which, broken down to its core, is all about white conservatives not believing Black people when we say we experience systemic racism.
They don’t have that same energy for Trump, though.