Some me­dia fig­ures call­ing Trump racist af­ter re­marks

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL - As­so­ci­ated Press Me­dia Writer Rachel Mad­dow, host of “The Rachel Mad­dow Show” on MSNBC, calls Don­ald Trump an “openly racist pres­i­dent.”

PASADENA, Calif. — Don­ald Trump ig­nored the stun­ning ques­tion at a White House ap­pear­ance on Fri­day — “Mr. Pres­i­dent, are you a racist?” — but there’s no get­ting around that more peo­ple in the me­dia are will­ing to use that la­bel.

The pres­i­dent’s ref­er­ence to African coun­tries in pro­fane terms and re­ported re­sis­tance to more im­mi­gra­tion from Haiti felt like a tip­ping point in the num­ber of peo­ple will­ing to call Trump a racist, rather than say his words or ac­tions ex­hib­ited racism.

Call­ing some­one a bigot is not a step to be taken lightly, but now “the ar­gu­ments for be­ing ret­i­cent seem ab­surd,” wrote John Cassidy of The New Yorker. “The ob­vi­ous truth can no longer be avoided or sug­ar­coated: we have a racist in the Oval Of­fice.”

An emo­tional Sunny Hostin on “The View” Fri­day, not­ing that her hus­band’s fam­ily is from Haiti, said she’s al­ways re­sisted la­bel­ing Trump be­cause she couldn’t look into his heart. “I can say now, Don­ald Trump is a racist,” she said. “I hate say­ing that, but I can say that now.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Mad­dow called him “an openly racist pres­i­dent.” In us­ing the same la­bel, CNN’s Don Lemon asked, “how many ex­am­ples do you need of this?” CNN’s White House cor­re­spon­dent Jim Acosta said that “it’s a dis­turb­ing pat­tern be­cause it seems to come back to one truth here and that is that this pres­i­dent deep down may just be a racist.”

“Guys, I don’t know how to break this to you,” Trevor Noah said at the open­ing of Com­edy Cen­tral’s “The Daily Show.” “But I think the pres­i­dent might be a racist.”

Be­fore he was pres­i­dent, Trump once called civil rights ac­tivist Al Sharp­ton to com­plain that he called him a racist and Sharp­ton said he cor­rected him — he was speak­ing about his ac­tions and not him. The dis­tinc­tion is im­por­tant to Sharp­ton. But Trump’s long ef­fort into ques­tion­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s birth cer- tifi­cate con­vinced Sharp­ton that there might be a deep-seated prob­lem.

“You don’t want to just call peo­ple names that you can’t back up,” he said in an in­ter­view. “You don’t want to call a guy a thief. But if he keeps steal­ing things, he’s a thief.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press might quote some­one call­ing another a racist, “but would not make the ac­cu­sa­tion on our own ab­sent in­con­testable proof,” said John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice pres­i­dent for stan­dards. A group might be la­beled racist if it pro­claims racial su­pe­ri­or­ity.

Words or ac­tions could be char­ac­ter­ized as racist, but the AP would have to show in its re­port­ing that they are overtly based on race, he said.

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