Donald Trump traffics in racial epithets.
Since his first year in office, Trump’s display of xenophobic, misogynistic, LGBTQ-phobic, and racist remarks, to name just a few from his laundry list of bigotries, appears to have no cutoff point.
However, if a tape of Trump using the n word appears, a tape that former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman says exists, does the GOP have a cutoff point? What stance will the Republican Party take? Impeachment or apology?
What is troubling, however, is knowing the GOP under Trump is now racist too.
In a recent YouGov poll, 70 percent of Republicans said they believe diversity unfairly advantages blacks and hurt whites, 59 percent said blacks don’t have as much motivation as whites, and 59 percent said the judicial system treat blacks fairly.
And two of Trump's top staffers are just the tip of the racist iceberg. For example, in June, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recited the biblical passage Romans 13 to defend Trump's indefensible “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of the order,” Sessions said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
The scripture has been used as a text of terror by miscreant thugs in power throughout history: slaveowners, Nazi sympathizers, apartheid enforcers, supporters of Japanese-American internment, and loyalists opposed to the American Revolution, for example.
In 2017, Boston-born White House chief of staff John Kelly came off as die-hard Lost Cause apologist on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, reopening a divide deep in this country about slavery when he told the conservative media television host that he viewed Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as “an honorable man” and that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.”
The n word is one of the most odious of words deriving from this country’s original sin of slavery. And it is firmly embedded in the lexicon of racist language that was and still is used to disparage African-Americans. If President Trump used the n word, then he has breached his oath of office to respect and represent “all the people” as one who holds the highest office in a democratic society.
However, Trump has a history of racist statements and actions toward blacks: He mocked LeBron’s James intelligence, called Don Lemon the dumbest man on TV, said Auntie Maxine Waters has a low I.Q. Trump has called NFL players SOBs for taking a knee at games, created birther fearmongering, and came to national attention when he took out full-page advertisements in four New York newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty for the Central Park Five — and he continued his call after they were exonerated.
Trump’s embrace of white supremacy showed itself in his statement about black immigrants from what he depicted as “shithole countries." And Trump’s removal of white supremacist groups — the Ku Klux Klan, Identitarians, Identity Christians, neo-Nazis, and neo-Confederates, to name a few —from a list of violent extremist groups put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center highlights the Jim Crow era Trump wants the country to time travel back to when he says “Make America Great Again.”
Trump's 1950s is long gone, and the Republican Party is too feckless to move forward.
The GOP has an allegiance to its party over the country. White nationalists are gradually winning state and county seats, and Republican incumbents are running scared in states with huge numbers of Trump supporters. The party has no cutoff point when it comes to Trump’s demands and his supporters. And with neither a spine nor a moral compass, the GOP will neither impeach Trump nor will it make him apologize because the Republican Party, whether willingly or by dragging its feet, has become the party of racism.
REV. IRENE MONROE does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” on Boston Public Radio and is a weekly Friday TV commentator on New England Channel NEWS. She’s a theologian and religion columnist.