CNN blasts Trump for intentionally promoting the views of white supremacists.
The Guardian reported on Monday about Trump’s recent spat with professional basketball player LeBron James.
In the last week we have witnessed LeBron James, a global sports star, open his new school for underprivileged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and his nation’s president publicly attack him in retaliation for remarks James made about Trump. This one case highlights two extremes of leadership; James, who is showing just how to utilise the status and platform of a professional athlete for the benefit of society, and Trump who epitomises petty, divisive and valueless leadership.
Trump’s public remarks about James prompted the publication of an opinion piece by CNN, making the case that Trump’s attack fits a well-established pattern.
CNN began their article asking if Trump was deliberately promoting the viewpoint of white supremacists:
There’s no disputing that Donald Trump’s pattern of attacking well-known African-Americans as having “low IQs” or being of low intelligence is parroting the white nationalist view that blacks are inherently less intelligent than whites. The only question is whether Trump was intentionally espousing the views of white supremacists.
Answering their own question, CNN wrote that “given Trump’s history, there’s only one reasonable conclusion: Trump knows exactly what he’s saying.”
Just take a look at Trump’s history of ridiculing the intelligence of prominent black Americans. In March, Trump first began his baseless claim that frequent Trump critic, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters from California, has a “very low IQ.” He was doubling down on his insult in July when he said, “I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.” Apparently, to Trump, repeatedly smearing a black critic as having a low IQ is an effective way of delegitimizing her to his political base.
And on Friday, Trump escalated this line of attack on well-known African-Americans. This time, the leader of the nation took to Twitter to mock the intelligence of both NBA great LeBron James and CNN anchor Don Lemon: “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!” (The “Mike” in the tweet was NBA legend Michael Jordan, who issued a statement in response standing with LeBron James.)
CNN went on to remind readers that “Trump’s practice of demeaning the intelligence of black Americans pre-dates his time in the White House.”
In 2011, he publicly claimed, with zero evidence, that then-President Barack Obama had been a “terrible student” and questioned how he could have been accepted at Columbia University or Harvard Law, both schools from which Obama graduated. Trump then suggested that Obama release his school records to prove that he was intelligent enough to get into these Ivy League schools.
Continuing, CNN reported that: “The claim that blacks have ‘low IQs’ is taken right from the white nationalist playbook. For decades, bigots have used what’s been dubbed ‘race science’ to support the assertion that whites have inherently higher IQs than blacks.”
CNN went on to give examples of Trump promoting this line of reasoning:
- “January 2018 when Trump said “he didn’t want immigrants from ‘Sh**thole’ countries like Haiti but would prefer more from European nations like Norway.”
- “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump refused to denounce the endorsement of former Klan leader David Duke when first asked to do so point blank by CNN’s Jake Tapper.”
- “And just a year ago, after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw a white nationalist kill Heather Heyer, Trump claimed that there were ‘very fine people’ within that group of white supremacist marchers.”
CNN concluded their article, with the following admonition:
In the time of Trump, the stakes demand that we must speak plainly and passionately when it comes to fighting bigotry. So let’s be blunt, Trump’s baseless attacks on the intelligence of black Americans is grounded in white supremacy. And any failure to call it that is a dangerous attempt to sugarcoat Trump’s vile racism.