An African-American columnist from The Washington Post says that President Trump called him a racist in a letter in response to a piece critical of the president.
Post columnist Jonathan Capehart posted a PDF last week of the unexpected note he received from Trump after a July 6, 2015, op-ed in which he he tried to squeeze in accusations of racism, conspiracy theory-mongering and xenophobia, all with the trademark photo of Trump biting his lip in anger as he points his finger.
The piece was called “No one ‘has to like’ Donald Trump,” which certainly shouldn’t have been any sort of revelation in the offices of the WaPo.
“It is only a ray of hope that much of the GOP field has condemned Trump for braying about Mexican rapists during his presidential announcement ramble,” Capehart wrote.
“Also of comfort are Trump’s business partners who kicked him to the curb rather than be associated with his rank remarks. What’s sad is that despite such overt racism and intemperate remarks, Trump is polling well among Republican Party primary voters.”
Well, at least one part of those paragraphs aged well, and it didn’t have anything to do with racism: Trump does poll well. The rest of it is the usual nonsense — which had become cliche even at that point, only a month into the Trump candidacy.
Instead of ignoring it, however, Trump decided to turn the tables — and Capehart is obviously still furious about it:
“Jonathan – You are the racist, not I. Get rid of your 'hate.' Best wishes, Donald Trump.”
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) August 13, 2018
“Jonathan, you are the racist, not I,” the note said. “Get rid of your ‘hate.'”
The note was signed along with Trump giving his “best wishes.”
Capehart wrote that he was bringing up the incident after CNN anchor Don Lemon claimed on Aug. 8 that Trump called him a racist back in 2011.
“I was racist,” Lemon told Wolf Blitzer, “because of the way that I challenged him.”
Capehart struck back with his piece called “Yes, Donald Trump, you are a ‘racist,'” pointing to Trump’s treatment of Lemon
“CNN anchor Don Lemon revealed that in 2011, then-private citizen Donald Trump once branded him a ‘racist.’ Why? ‘I was racist,’ the African American journalist said Tuesday, “because of the way that I challenged him,'” Capehart wrote.
“Funny, Trump did the same thing to me four years later. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
“Lemon found himself revisiting that moment seven years later thanks to a racially tinged Twitter stink-bomb Trump lobbed last Friday after hate-watching Lemon’s interview with LeBron James about his new school in Akron, Ohio,” Capehart wrote. “In that sit-down, the basketball phenom understandably had nothing nice to say about Trump. So, the president of the United States lashed out.”
This is what Trump posted on Twitter:
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Strong stuff but understandable under the circumstances. (And many people like NBA legend Michael Jordan more than LeBron James, anyway, for reasons that have nothing to do with basketball.)
Both Don Lemon and LeBron James have taken to opining about sports and its intersection with politics. Neither has comported himself particularly well — particularly James. To be fair, though, James deserves some credit for being able to keep a straight face when he claimed that Trump is the one using sports to divide America — rather than the multimillionaire athletes using their position in American pop-culture to stage divisive protests on live television.
As for the “racism” here, cry me a canal. The media has been throwing the charge of racism in Trump’s face for years — mainly thanks to his opposition to former President Barack Obama. So, he decided to throw it back at them. The word “racist” has ceased to mean anything concrete. Instead, racism is what you think it is. It’s a word to throw around when you want to impugn someone.
Don Lemon is perfectly happy calling other people racists. He can’t take it himself?
If a word means nothing but puts a big scarlet R on the target, Trump might have reasoned, why not use it — particularly against television hosts (and newspaper columnists) known for race-baiting? Turnabout is always fair play, and the reaction of these media figures indicates that they find the word to be particularly sensitive. After all, they’re the knights in shining armor in the Fourth Estate. What would they do that anyone could consider racist? Aside from profiting off of race-baiting, that is.
The media has been openly racist for years. As for their outrage on being called out for it, well, tough. Perhaps now they’ll realize how manipulative their tactics really are.
I doubt it, though.
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