By Hanif Ghaffari

Trump's record on race

July 16, 2018 - 11:34

Tehran - Donald Trump has a long history of criticizing immigrants, which includes Mexicans and Muslims, black women, and people protesting racism. In an interview with The Sun, and a press conference on Friday (July 13) with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the U.S. president explicitly endorsed the far right and nationalist views during his trip to Britain.

Trump told The Sun that Britain is “losing its culture” because of immigration. When he was pressed on the remarks by a British reporter during the press conference, he doubled down. Britain has already absorbed the food, language, and customs from around the world, but Trump appeared to be referencing the influx of Muslims into Europe in recent years, and to South and Central European immigrants in the U.S.

The United States controversial president whose hardline immigration policies have led to the separation of immigrant families, condemned migration flows into Europe this time, and called the changing population there "a shame."

Standing next to the British prime minister on Friday, Trump took his racism to a higher level: "I think the immigration, allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame," Trump said. "I think it changed the fabric of Europe, and unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was, and I don't mean that in a positive way. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you're losing your culture."

The U.S. president continued: “I just think it’s changing the culture. I think it’s a very negative thing for Europe. I think it’s very negative,” he said, as if we didn’t hear him the first time with the foghorn. “And I know it’s politically not necessarily correct to say that. But I’ll say it and I’ll say it loud. And I think they better watch themselves because you are changing the culture.”

Experts, politicians, and activists warned that Trump’s words are dangerous, especially in a Europe where nationalism and anti-immigrant feelings are spreading.   Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies, University of Leicester wrote accordingly “When world leaders adopt cultural racism in this way, they legitimize right-wing extremism.”

“The way he put this argument about changing our culture … about Europe becoming less nice than it is, in other words, these people are here and they are making the culture crappy and making the place lesser, that’s straight out of the white supremacist/white nationalist playbook,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.

Claire M. Massey, a scholar at the Institute for British and North American Studies at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universitنt in Greifswald, Germany, said Trump’s comments were “awfully painful,” especially for the United Kingdom, where immigration has played a key role in rebuilding the country after World War II. “England and the United Kingdom wouldn’t be what it is today without immigrants,” she said.

It's to be noted here that according to a Quinnipiac University poll: 49% of people said they believe President Donald Trump to be a racist while 47% believe he is not. These results indicate that half of the American citizens believe that their president has racist views.

The fact is that Trump has repeatedly played with racist and xenophobic language and sentiments. He used to say that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the United States, and stated that the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was a "both sides" issue. The examples aren't limited to these two cases of course. His late order on separating children from their families raised lots of anger worldwide. Anyhow, there is no need to review here the list of Trump's offensive comments and policies that led to such a hatred among American citizens as well as other people around the world. This issue raised serious concerns among many experts since before Trump won the White House.

In a joint article, David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick, explain that why the current U.S. President is regarded as a racist figure: "Donald Trump has been obsessed with race for the entire time he has been a public figure. He had a history of making racist comments as a New York real-estate developer in the 1970s and ‘80s. More recently, his political rise was built on promulgating the lie that the nation’s first black president was born in Kenya. He then launched his campaign with a speech describing Mexicans as rapists."

They continue: "The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive, and Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so."

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