Surprise! Fifty years of Republican racism culminates in a racist president

If you’re wondering why Republicans have been so hesitant, circumspect, and wary—ahh let’s call it what it is, afraid—of criticizing Donald Trump, read this article from Charles Blow.

Here’s a passage from his “Other Inconvenient Truth.” It’s from a transcript of a 1994 interview with Watergate co-conspirator John Ehrlichman:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”

Mr. Blow links that philosophy to the war on drugs, the systematic suppression of voting rights, the courting of Southern racists, and the incarceration of upwards of 35 million people of color. It’s a fascinating and disturbing read, one that goes a long way toward explaining how the Republican Party found itself in this fix today, and how their leanings toward subtle racism have exploded into the rabid nationalism and bigotry of the alt-right and its chief spokesman, Donald Trump.

Mr. Blow also includes an observation from Martin Luther King, Jr. “In the final analysis,” Dr. King said in a 1967 speech, “racism is evil because its ultimate logic is genocide. Hitler was a sick and tragic man who carried racism to its logical conclusion. And he ended up leading a nation to the point of killing about six million Jews.”

If we equate racism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism with genocide, it becomes even more difficult to accept Donald Trump’s fatuous observation that there are “good people on both sides.” And his falsely equivalent implication that Heather Heyer and David Duke are two sides of the same coin should sicken anyone with a modicum of sensitivity and intelligence.


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Chuck Radda

I'm a former high school English teacher, currently a literacy volunteer and novelist. I invite your responses right here or to You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter—where I tweet annually at @chuckrad45.

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