Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of being a bigot several times this week in response to Clinton’s speech on the Alt-Right movement, and Donald Trump’s parallel views. First, let’s go to the full definition of the word Bigot as given by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.
The Democratic Party nominee for President is plainly not a bigot. Hillary Clinton’s greatest support is from black women all across the United States, and black men are very supportive also. Why? Well, she’s been an untiring advocate for children of all backgrounds, especially those of color. She has advocated for women’s rights to access reproductive health care, to assert themselves, and for equal pay for equal work. She has made long-term connections to the Latino and black communities, has been fully tolerant and welcoming to Muslim Americans, and is in sync with the aspirations of those communities. Donald Trump obviously is not.
While now reaching out to include minorities in his campaign, he does in point of fact employ extremely condescending language. And those Latinos and blacks he has and will be bringing into the campaign do not reflect anything like majority thinking within communities of color and those of religions outside Christianity. Though Trump has said he wants to embrace the LGBTQ community, he is opposed to gay marriage, and has no interest in forging laws to prevent discrimination directed against them.
Trump pointedly has said that the Black Lives Matter movement is a terrorist group. He’s refused to address the NAACP, the National Urban League, and just about any traditional minority oriented civil rights groups. He is planning some forays into urban minority communities. That’s a good development. But it will be Ben Carson showing him Detroit, and those blacks and Latinos he has courted in the rarified air of Trump Tower oddly believe Trump is going to be good for minority communities. This illogic, despite the past year of racialist language aimed at getting the white supremacist Alt-Right. Those people are the very base of his support.
Trump used an example when calling Clinton a bigot saying that she essentially professes to be tolerant of minorities, but actually is just looking for minority votes. True or not that is being a hypocrite, and not a bigot. The Donald’s understanding of his own limited vocabulary is faulty too.
On that score the Democratic Party has taken black support for granted to some extent. But African-Americans are a large part of the Democratic Party itself. Their very strong participation as Democrats is self- evident by the composition of so many of the delegations to the Democratic National Convention. And those delegations include many women of color, Latinos, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and even the differently abled among us.
These minority communities ARE the Democratic Party. That was completely lost on the beltway media last week. That has a great deal to do with why Democrats are not worried at losing significant black and Latino, Muslim, and LGBTQ support. Though Republicans do have some black members who are quite talented and vibrant, they are a kind of tokenism, and display an unquenchable desire to tear down their own racial and ethnic communities.
So no, Hillary Clinton is not a bigot at all, and she does not take black votes for granted. Minority communities within the Democratic coalition forged first by FDR, then Kennedy, and now Obama are part and parcel to all Clinton does and feels. And they feel the same way about her. Clinton does have some issues of trust. But almost 25 years of conspiracy theories and faux scandals have left some voters feeling she must be guilty of something terrible since there are so many scandals. Rather, it is oddly enough true what Clinton said about the vast far right conspiracy to get her name dragged through the mud repeatedly. The record shows this as lucidly as anything.
Donald Trump has for the last year almost non-stop uttered highly bigoted ideas and language aimed at minorities, so that almost no group that has a minority orientation to anything has been spared. Trump is a bigot, and his actions in so many ways speak even louder than his hateful words. This “softening,” or pivot induced by his new team has them flailing about for ways to engage minority communities in the last couple of months before the November election.
Yet, so many people around him have connections with white supremacist groups, and most supporters at his rallies obviously sport highly bigoted racial and ethnic views. Trump and his campaign and even the Republican Party that nominated this monster are thoroughly stained by Trump’s racism as well as that of his supporters.
Hillary Clinton has been saying and doing the right things for those 25 years and more. She in reality has close ties to black women and Latinos and the LGBTQ community, and more recently American Muslims that are based on real engagement with those communities. And her speech this past week presented Trump’s bigotry with his own words, and actions and with clear evidence of what defines the man.
Clinton’s most telling line was that Trump had revealed who he really is this past year and for much of his life, and voters are getting uncomfortable with that. They should. Voters should feel more than uncomfortable. They should cringe and turn away from racism and division this November.
Struggles for Justice