There's a certain point where you want to scratch your head and wonder if Trump realizes how utterly racist he is when he says how stupid some public figure is who is black. Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Frederica Wilson and basketball star LeBon James are just three of the more recent and most-notable who come to mind. (Side note: a few months ago, ESPN had a long article on its website extolling the NBA star, and if you do a search for it, the listing comes up as, "LeBron James' greatest weapon may be his brain.") But of course it reached its height even before he ran for president, trying to suggest that Barack Obama was dump and that he should release his college transcripts.
Okay, another side note: my friend, the oft-mentioned here Nell Minow has a two sisters, one of whom Martha was the dean of Harvard Law School. Decades ago when she wasn't dean yet but merely a professor there, she contacted her father, Newton -- the former FCC Commissioner under President Kennedy, and a partner at the prestigious law firm in Chicago, Sidley Austin -- and told him that she had the smartest student she'd ever taught, and he should hire him. That was a kid named Barack Obama. Keep in mind that he wasn't President of the United States yet, or U.S. senator, or Illinois state senator, or even a public figure of any kind...let alone a law school graduate. Just some unknown student she was praising to the sky. And yes, her father's firm did end up hiring the young Mr. Obama -- though in fairness, Sidley Austin ended up getting a LOT of recommendations of him by the time they did, since he'd been president of the Harvard Law Review. And P.S. It was at that firm where he met Michelle Robinson.
There have been many others who Trump has creepily tried to demean as stupid, disproportionately women, so you can throw in "misogynist" along with "racist," that we've leaped far past dog whistle by this point. Pretty much all species can hear it just fine.
His latest is Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia. And yes, she is black and female. So, it really didn't come as all that much of a shock -- other than wondering if a doctor should be called in to check him out, or a exorcist -- when (speaking of Oprah Winfrey, who had just given a long, deeply-impressive speech on behalf of Ms. Abrams), he said, "The woman she is supporting is not qualified to be the governor of Georgia — by any stretch of the imagination.” And if that wasn't clear enough, he repeated it -- "She is not qualified to be governor of Georgia." And then repeated it again -- "Not qualified." Just in case you missed it the previous two times he said it Because he wanted his idiot base to know she's really, really, really not qualified. As if he base was thinking of voting for a black women.
For the record -- not that it's necessary, but it's fun to show the contrast -- Stacey Williams got a Masters degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, where she was a Harry S Truman Scholar, and then got her Juris Doctor law degree from Yale Law School. She worked for a tax attorney after graduating from Yale, and subsequently co-founded a beverage company with a focus on infants, and is CEO of a legal consulting firm. In her spare time, she was elected to the George House of Representatives where she served for the past decade, and was the state House Minority Leader for the past six years.
Trump has no prior public service, no post-graduate degree, one of his professors at the University of Pennsylvania, the late William T. Kelley, has been quoted as saying, “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.”
So, no, that sound you hear is not a dog whistle. It's a fog horn. Warning all the ships at sea of danger ahead.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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