The White house has reacted angrily to suggestions by The New York Times that President Trump had emboldened racism in America during his short time in office. The article pointed out the ways in which President Trump had inspired acts of violence and discrimination against minorities.
A statement from the White House read “The president condemns violence, bigotry and hatred in all its forms, and finds anyone who might invoke his or any other political figure’s name for such aims to be contemptible.”
The rise in racism in America is stark. The New York Times went on to describe how Trump’s name had become a “racial jeer.” While Trump is trying to distance himself from racist groups, they are attracted to his divisive policies against minorities in the country.
The paper used evidence by citing FBI crime data figures. The analysis showed that there had been a 26% increase in bias incidents in the final quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter the previous year. The analysis also showed that the trend continued into the first quarter of 2017. The biggest increase was against Muslim minorities, which had doubled since 2014.
“Peppered among these incidents is a phenomenon distinct from the routine racism so familiar in this country: the provocative use of ‘Trump,’ after the man whose comments about Mexicans, Muslims and undocumented immigrants — coupled with his muted responses to white nationalist activity — have proved so inflammatory.” the piece went on to say.
Trump used race as a quiet — and sometimes not so quiet — part of his campaign to become president and it resonated with his supporters. It’s sad that in 2017 we are still dealing with racism on the scale that it still exists. The fact that it has increased is a sad stain on the Trump legacy and brand. He may not be totally to blame, but he certainly made racism acceptable and must be held to account.