The Trump ‘Re­sis­tance’: Right-wing racists bad, left-wing racists not so much

Edmonton Sun - - COMMENT - Larry ELDER

Newly elected Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-cortez, D-N.Y., in a re­cent 60 Min­utes in­ter­view, said there is “no ques­tion” that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is “racist.” If Democrats — the party of slav­ery and seg­re­ga­tion and whose con­gres­sional mem­bers voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act at a lesser per­cent­age than Repub­li­cans —stand for any­thing to­day, it’s anti-racism and anti-big­otry.

Ex­cept when it comes to lib­eral racism and lib­eral big­otry.

For­mer CNN pun­dit and “me­dia stud­ies and ur­ban ed­u­ca­tion” pro­fes­sor Marc La­mont Hill, for ex­am­ple, con­demned what he called Trump’s pur­suit of “racial divi­sion, white supremacy and xeno­pho­bia.” The Pres­i­dent, Hill said, has a his­tory of “dan­gling black peo­ple around as al­most pup­pets or trin­kets.”

But what does Hill think of the bla­tant anti-semitism of Na­tion of Is­lam Min­is­ter Louis Far­rakhan? In a speech last year, in which he de­clared, “pow­er­ful Jews are my en­emy,” Far­rakhan said: “White folks are go­ing down. And Satan is go­ing down. And Far­rakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Sa­tanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

Hill, how­ever, de­fends Far­rakhan: “Again, Min­is­ter Far­rakhan is my brother. The idea that we have to re­nounce him, de­nounce him, throw him away ... in the black tra­di­tion, I ain’t got the luxury of throw­ing peo­ple who love us away. I ain’t got the luxury of tak­ing peo­ple who come out of tra­di­tions that have saved us and cleaned us and throw them away. We can’t do that. We shouldn’t do that.”

When Trump-hat­ing blacks — who call Trump “racist” — rat­tle off the list of racial sins sup­pos­edly com­mit­ted by Trump, the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 1975 con­sent de­cree of­ten tops the list. Trump and his father en­tered into the de­cree af­ter the Depart­ment of Jus­tice sued their com­pany for al­legedly dis­crim­i­nat­ing against blacks as prospec­tive ten­ants. The Trumps ad­mit­ted no wrong­do­ing, but agreed to change rent­ing prac­tices and, among other things, to ad­ver­tise va­can­cies in news­pa­pers that served the black com­mu­nity.

If be­ing sued for racial dis­crim­i­na­tion — or agree­ing to a set­tle­ment with­out ad­mit­ting wrong­do­ing — proves “racial divi­sion, white supremacy and xeno­pho­bia,” what about some of the ma­jor play­ers in the Trump-hat­ing me­dia?

Take The Wash­ing­ton Post. The Ob­server pub­lished a piece in 2017 with this head­line: “Wash­ing­ton Post Qui­etly Set­tles Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion Suit: The four-year le­gal bat­tle has been ig­nored by me­dia.” The al­le­ga­tions against the Post in­clude racial harass­ment and forc­ing out older black em­ploy­ees to make room for younger, white work­ers. The Ob­server com­men­tary said: "Vet­eran ad depart­ment sales­man David Deje­sus, who brought in more than one bil­lion dol­lars in ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue over nearly 20 years be­fore he was abruptly fired by a shriek­ing and curs­ing boss, brought the law­suit against his for­mer em­ployer ...”

In his July 2013 fed­eral claim, Deje­sus as­serted that his fir­ing in 2011, as well as that of at least 47 other older black em­ploy­ees around the same time, was to make way for younger, cheaper white staffers.

“Undis­puted af­fi­davits filed by three black ex-posties de­tailed ram­pant racial harass­ment, most no­tably by ad­ver­tis­ing vice-pres­i­dent Ethan Selzer, who signed off on the dis­missal of Deje­sus with­out the re­quired pro­gres­sive dis­ci­pline, told one black fe­male em­ployee to clean the depart­ment kitchen and made racist jokes about an­other black sub­or­di­nate’s hus­band.”

What about The New York Times? The Times is cur­rently bat­tling a law­suit, filed in 2016 by two black fe­male em­ploy­ees in their 60s who claim the staff in the Times’ ad­ver­tis­ing depart­ment had been “sys­tem­at­i­cally be­com­ing in­creas­ingly younger and whiter.” The law­suit said: “Not only does the Times have an ideal cus­tomer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, un­en­cum­bered with a fam­ily) to draw that pur­ported ideal cus­tomer ... In fur­ther­ance of these dis­crim­i­na­tory goals, the Times has cre­ated a work­place rife with dis­par­i­ties.”

Then there’s CNN, Hill’s for­mer em­ployer. In 2017, the chan­nel was sued f+or al­leged racial dis­crim­i­na­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, CNN is “rife with racism”: Mi­nor­ity work­ers en­dure “bigoted re­marks,” such as “It’s hard to man­age black peo­ple” and “Who would be worth more: black slaves from times past, or new slaves?”

The Trump con­sent de­cree oc­curred more than 40 years ago, when Don­ald Trump was 28 years old. Since then, “civil rights lead­ers” like the Rev. Jesse Jack­son and the Rev. Al Sharp­ton at­tended gath­er­ings where they warmly greeted Trump, the “racist” real es­tate mag­nate. They con­tin­ued to as­so­ciate with Trump — un­til he be­came “racist” as a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date — despite the con­sent de­cree that now serves as Ex­hibit A for Trump’s sup­posed racism. Yet for Trump-haters like Pro­fes­sor Hill, when it comes to Far­rakhan’s big­otry and anti-semitism, the no-fly zone re­mains.

don­ald trump

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