The Slatest

Trump Frets That “Racial Tensions Have Gotten Worse.” True—and He Is Part of the Reason.

Say hello to some of your blasts from the past.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

In response to the Dallas shooting, in which a dozen police officers were shot following a protest against police shootings, Donald Trump released a statement saying, “Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better.” His observation about racial tensions is especially curious given the many racially and ethnically divisive statements he has made. Here is a choice selection:

1. This tweet: “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”

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2. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. … It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably—probably—from the Middle East.”

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3. After the Trump supporters who, inspired by his anti-immigration message, beat up a homeless Latino man, Trump responded, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

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4. In response to the black man roughed up by Trump supporters during his protest of a Trump rally, the candidate said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

5. When discussing Muslims on 9/11: “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”

6. After calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” he explained that “until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

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7. In response to Anderson Cooper’s question, “do you think Islam is at war with the West?” Donald Trump explained, “I think Islam hates us, there is something—there is something there that is a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”

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8. “We must suspend immigration from regions linked with terrorism until a proven vetting method is in place.”

9. His tweeted warning: “With Hillary and Obama, the terrorist attacks will only get worse. Politically correct fools, won’t even call it what it is - RADICAL ISLAM!”

10. Perhaps deserving of a dishonorable mention: “Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him,” Trump said. “Are you the greatest?”

These remarks, coupled with the general hostile mood of Trump’s campaign rallies, have cultivated aggression toward black, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern protesters. In an irony surprising to no one, the very issues that Trump condemns are ones that he himself helps perpetuate.

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