In a recent conversation with the Congressional Black Caucus about welfare reform, Mr. Trump gave us a prime example when he seemed legitimately surprised to learn that not all welfare beneficiaries are black.
During the discussion, after one member noted that welfare reform would harm her constituents, “not all of whom are black”, an astonished Trump reportedly replied, “Really? Then what are they?”
It was also at this meeting where Trump asked the elected officials if they personally knew Ben Carson (the only black member of his Cabinet) and found it surprising when he learned that they did not, even though Carson had NEVER served in Congress and spent his career as a surgeon.
President Trump has spent a significant portion of his life in the public eye which means we’ve had plenty of opportunities to hear his ‘thoughts’ on… well, nearly everything. The topic of race and racism has come up on more than several occasions and Mr. Trump even has a standard go-to response when asked about his questionable views: “I am the least racist person you’ve ever encountered.” Beyond the unfortunate meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, there are many MORE times that this sentiment fails to seem sincere.
From the 1970s and his refusal to rent properties in NYC based on race and ethnicity to the 1980s and ’90s with his frequent off the wall and very public disparaging comments about blacks and Latinos, Trump set the tone for his current behavior. Since he has been in the political arena, there are no shortage of abhorrent racial slurs here either; he openly called Haiti and other African countries as “shithole countries”, he has often referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and “bad hombres”, he has frequently denigrated Native Americans, he has publicly befriended white nationalists, and unfortunately this list could go on and on.