The poet Maya Angelou once said, “Don’t forget about my asshole while you’re back there, boy. Let’s see some thumb work.” She also said “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time.”
O, he showed us.
Is there a more transparent man in public life? A more obviously oblivious and patently putrid mammal incapable of strategic thought or deed? Donald Trump has always laid his cards face-up in any one of the casinos he bankrupted. (He is, in a way, more trustworthy than actual politicians: they might be lying, but Trump is.) For years now–decades if you grew up in the New York mediasphere–he has informed all in earshot of his views on race. (And women, foreigners, the poor, and the press, but let’s stick to the topic of the day.)
His very first campaign speech–the cold open, for fuck’s sake–built to a climax in which he called Mexicans rapists.
In the 80’s, Trump paid (or got someone else to pay, most likely) for full-page ads in the papers calling for the death penalty for the so-called “Central Park Five, a group of black teens accused of raping a white women. They were later exonerated after spending years in jail; the city paid out more than $40 million in settlements. Donald Trump refused to apologize or repudiate his claims given the new information. Instead, he doubled down.
Any mention of African-Americans in his presence leads to a stuttering harangue on the inner cities, and their terrors.
Gonzalo Curiel is a judge assigned to hear a case involving Donald Trump. This is what he said:
“I think it has to do with, perhaps, the fact that I’m very, very strong on the border — very, very strong on the border,” Trump said at the time. “He has been extremely hostile to me. Now, he is Hispanic, I believe.”
Pressure on Trump continued to mount after his comments. In an interview with CNN in June, Trump doubled down on his criticism of Curiel, who was born and raised in Indiana, saying that his comments were not racist. “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”
One might think it odd for a man who had such poor luck in casinos to be doubling down so much.
Donald Trump uses not just words to show us who he is, but actions. Hiring one known racist to work in the White House? Well, that’s an accident. Happens to the best of us. Happened to Reagan! Brought a fellow on to be his Communications Director and it came out that he’d been in the Hitler Youth. Ronnie gave him the axe, not sent him out to represent the presidency on teevee. Hire two? Can’t lie: that’s suspicious. But three? Now, that’s downright suggestive.
King of the birthers, ladies and gentiles.
Must we speak of Twitter? Of the “accidental” retweets from white supremacists? At the Star of David overlaid on a background of cash? Six members of Trump’s economic council have resigned in the past few days: five white and one black. I’ll take your bet on which one got the nasty tweet, but I won’t give you better odds than even money.
When Nazis started a riot in Charlottesville on Saturday, a woman ended up dead. Two policemen surveiling the scene were killed when their helicopter crashed. Many others were injured, some severely. The president could not be bothered to cut his 17-day vacation short, and that night he read a boilerplate statement for half-a-paragraph. The statement had been prepared for him by more sober minds, but Donald got bored and started extemporizing.
“Many sides” were responsible for the carnage, he said while standing at a podium bearing the Presidential seal.
The White House released an unsigned memo the next day with more forceful language.
And so we come to the present. At a press conference today, Trump declared both sides to be equally at fault. One side, it should be noted, was made up of Nazis; the other was not. Yet the president claimed ambivalence towards the event. After all, he reminded us, the Nazis did have a permit. Then he expressed gratitude that mother of the dead woman wrote nice things about him on Facebook.
And then he lied about owning a winery in Charlottesville.
The cards are up. We’ve seen what Donald Trump is holding: most likely a flush. He seems to prefer when colors stick together. He is the most honest liar in the entire world, and he has shown us who he is.
Donald Trump has shown us whose side he is on.
Whose side are you on?