Friday, October 25, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He gave a speech at a historically black college which almost no black students were allowed to see.

Earlier this week, Trump said the impeachment investigation against was a "lynching." On a political level, this was probably an attempt to distract from the actual news of that day: his own appointee, the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, testifying that Trump explicitly demanded that Ukraine interfere in the 2020 election in order to receive promised military aide. Even so, the sight of a white billionaire president comparing himself to the thousands of victims of racist mob violence horrified Americans across the political spectrum.

Today, Trump gave a speech today at Benedict College, a historically black college in South Carolina. Only ten students were given a chance to attend. 

The remainder of the student body was told to stay in their dorm rooms, supposedly for security reasons. The rest of the audience, more than 200 people, were donors and supporters invited by the Trump campaign. Trump did not speak with the students or acknowledge the protestors demonstrating outside. 

By contrast, when President Obama visited the school in 2015, he spoke at an auditorium seating 3,500. Most of Obama's time on the stage was spent taking questions from students.

Lynching was a form of state-tolerated terrorism carried out in the form of mob violence and executions of people who threatened the racial order in the Jim Crow era. It was often carried out against African-Americans falsely accused of sexual violence against white women. Trump is facing investigation by a co-equal branch of government as provided for in the Constitution.

How is this a bad thing?

  • The most powerful person on the planet doesn't get to play the victim.