It seems like Donald Trump is trying a new technique to win the presidency, which has a lot of people wondering — is Trump a racist? It seems like a harsh condemnation, if it weren't for the fact that pretty much every other politician in the field seems to think so. Trump's own party has reportedly told him to "tone it down," and he's taking heat from other candidates as well.
At a speech in Kansas City, Missouri, Democratic dark horse Bernie Sanders refused to say whether or not he believes Trump is racist, telling CNN, "I don't want to psychoanalyze Donald Trump." But the Donald didn't escape reproach from Sanders. During his speech Monday at the National Council of La Raza conference, Sanders appealed to a major Latino voting bloc.
"Not Donald Trump, not anyone else will be successful in dividing us based on race or our country of origin," Sanders. "Racism has plagued the United States since its inception." After the speech, Sanders told reporters that Trump's comments were outrageous. "For a major candidate for president of the United States to be throwing slurs at one group of people because of the country of origin that they came from is totally unacceptable. Period," Sanders said.
Other Democratic candidates have also expressed unhappiness with Trump's statements. During her CNN interview, Hillary Clinton said that she was "very disappointed" with Trump. On Monday, following further inflammatory comments, Clinton also spoke to La Raza, saying, "I have just one word for Donald Trump: Basta! Enough!”
So what are the comments that are earning Trump the ire of the political world? Let's take a recap of some of Trump's most wildly offensive and racist comments.
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
Though never known as a bastion of civil rights and equality, Trump made the first major mistake of his candidacy during his announcement speech, when he went on a strange rant about Mexico, insulting every Mexican citizen, immigrant, and American of Latino descent. He then continued to discuss his plans to make Mexico pay the cost of building a giant wall to keep all the Mexicans out. Classy.
But it's all okay, because, as one Trump adviser points out, Trump is talking about Mexico, not Mexicans. According to Trump, the Mexican government is corrupt, and apologies aren't necessary, because "he didn't insult anybody."
Last week Trump was at it again during a campaign speech in Phoenix, stating, "These people wreak havoc on our population." When a group of Latino protestors interrupted the campaign, Trump was frustratingly dismissive, asking the crowd, "I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so."
These are people that shouldn’t be in our country. They flow in like water.
Although Trump appears to be building his campaign on the issue of strict immigration and border security, Hispanics are the only ones the Donald is directing his attention to.
Don't worry, African Americans, he didn't forget you either. Way back in 1973, Trump and his corporation faced a discrimination lawsuit that alleged that Trump's company refused to rent housing on a basis of racial discrimination. The lawsuit was long forgotten, until Trump told a reporter in 2011 that:
I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.
And although Trump has been a long time critic of President Obama, many feel that his opinion has less to do with Obama's political party and more about the color of his skin — something that Trump inexplicably feels the need to point out continuously. Trump is a famous and outspoken "birther," someone who believes that Obama was not actually born in the U.S. and has a fake birth certificate. And during the Baltimore riots earlier this year, Trump took to his favorite platform to blast Obama's handling of the situation.
More recently, Trump spoke with reporters about the black youth of America.
There's no spirit, there’s killings on an hourly basis virtually in places like Baltimore and Chicago and many other places. ... So you have an African American president and African American youth is doing worse than virtually it’s ever done. I mean we’ve had some pretty bad times in this country but virtually it’s ever done. And you would think that couldn’t have happened with Obama as president.
It's important to note that some of the "pretty bad times" in the country would include decades of slavery that African American youth suffered through. So, you know, comparatively, it seems like they're doing just a bit better.