The Slatest

Trump Just Told Bill O’Reilly That He Can Relate to Victims of Racism

Trump on The O’Reilly Factor on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

Screengrab/Fox News Channel

Donald Trump’s appearances on The O’Reilly Factor almost always contain that essential combination of unintentional humor and casual bigotry. Tuesday night’s show, in which Trump appeared as the main guest, was no exception. Bill O’Reilly began the program by alternately explaining that black people were complaining about injustices that occurred long ago, and wondering why everyone couldn’t just get along. (Bigots like Trump would be one answer, but never mind.) He then turned to Trump, who he said he had brought on to discuss how the candidate “would heal the racial divide in America.”

Trump’s answer to this question was typically confusing and senseless. He claimed that the problem with race relations in America was the president, who was a divider, rather than a cheerleader. “The country has no spirit,” Trump said. OK then.

But the conversation got even better. “There are some black Americans who believe that the system is biased against them,” O’Reilly told Trump incredulously. He then asked, “What do you say to them?” This would normally have been a nice tee-up for a Trump rant, but remember: If there is one thing Trump is more focused on than appealing to his racially insensitive base, it is himself. Trump’s response: “Well, I’ve been saying, even against me the system is rigged. When I ran for president, I could see what is going on with the system, and the system is rigged.” Trump also added, for good measure, “I can really relate it very much to myself.” (O’Reilly was left to point out, in this case accurately, that such talk wasn’t going to lift the country’s spirit.)

Still, take heart victims of racism: Donald Trump knows exactly what you are going through.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.