Michael D'Antonio: Donald Trump has always been a racial divider

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona, on March 19, 2016. Photo from Whiteness on the Border: Mapping the US Racial Imagination in Brown & White / Facebook

No one has confronted Donald Trump in person for racially-charged comments he made about tribes in the 1990s and the 2000s but more recent diatribes continue to land in the news. Michael D'Antonio, the author of the new book The Truth About Trump, argues that they are part of a decades-long pattern from the Republican presidential candidate:
As Donald Trump moved through his adult life, he has regularly demonstrated an extraordinary level of concern about the ethnic and racial identity of people he encountered. When he testified before a committee in Congress about competing casino operators from Native American tribes he complained, out loud, that they "don't look like Indians to me."

In his book about Trump's years as a casino operator in Atlantic City, former Trump executive John R. O'Donnell wrote of how his boss made bigoted statements about African-Americans and Jews. O'Donnell quoted Trump saying:

"Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes... Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else ... Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that's guy's lazy. And it's probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks."

Trump has both confirmed and denied the accuracy of O'Donnell's reporting. In May 1997, he told Playboy writer Mark Bowden about the book generally, "The stuff O'Donnell wrote about me is probably true." Two years later, when he was eying a third party run for president he told Tim Russert, "I've never said anything like it."

Get the Story:
Michael D'Antonio: On race and ethnicity, Trump has always been a divider (CNN 6/4)

Also Today:
GOP worries rise amid hostile Trump comments on Latinos and Muslims (The Washington Post 6/5)
Could a Muslim Judge Be Neutral to Donald Trump? He Doesn’t Think So (The New York Times 6/6)

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