Racial views of Donald Trump
Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has a history of speech and actions that have been viewed as racist or racially charged. Journalists, friends, and former employees have accused him of fueling racism in the United States. Trump, however, has repeatedly denied accusations of racism.
Quotes by Donald Trump
- A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a black may think they don't have an advantage or this and that... I've said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I believe they do have an actual advantage.
- The R.A.C.E., NBC, quoted in Porter, David D. (13 September 1989), "What Must Blacks Go Through?", Orlando Sentinel, retrieved on 2011-06-06
- Of course! Do you think if I wanted to be a member they would have turned me down? I wouldn't join that club, because they don't take blacks and Jews.
- George Miller: Is this you? Discussing "Indian blood?" We're going to judge people by whether they have "Indian blood"? Whether they're qualified to run a gaming casino or not?
Donald Trump: That probably is me, absolutely, because I'll tell you what. If you look, if you look at some of the reservations that you've approved. You, sir, in your great wisdom, have approved, I will tell you right now, they don't look like Indians to me, and they don't look like the Indians. Now, maybe we say politically correct or not politically correct, they don't look like Indians to me. And they don't look like Indians to Indians, and a lot of people are laughing at it and you're telling how tough it is, how rough it is to get approved. Well, you go up to Connecticut and you look. Now, they don't look like Indians to me sir.
George Miller: Thank God that's not the test of whether or not people have rights in this country, or not. Whether or not they pass your "look test..." Mr Trump, do you know, do you know in the history of this country where we've heard this discussion before? "They don't look Jewish to me." "They don't look Indian to me." "They don't look Italian to me." And that was a test for whether people could go into business or not go into business. Whether they could get a bank loan. "You're too black. You're not black enough."
- Testifying before the House Native American Affairs Subcommittee, October 5, 1993. 
- Donald Trump: Do you like it?
Howard Stern: Yes
Trump to Robin Quivers: Do you like it?
Quivers: Well, I think you’re going to have a riot.
Trump:It would be the highest-rated show on television,”
- I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks.
- Robinson, Eugene (18 April 2011), "Donald Trump as GOP hopeful: Take him seriously", The Washington Post, retrieved on 2011-05-07
- Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog. Now he calls me racist-but I am least racist person there is
- Twitter (11 June 2016)
- It's just, like, a total catastrophe, the unemployment rates, everything is bad — no health care, no education, no anything, no anything. And poverty is unbelievable. Then, I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, vote for me. What have you got to lose? You can't do worse, you can't do any worse than what these people have been doing and I will do better.
- They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists
- Describing Mexican immigrants according to How Donald Trump lost his DC restaurants published October 23, 2016
- So here's the story folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen, in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person, in fact we did very well, relative to other people running as a Republican. [Shouts from the crowd] Quiet, quiet, quiet! See he lied about he was going to get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so, you know, so welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that, erm, I hate the charge, I find it repulsive, I hate even the question because people that know me, and you heard the Prime Minister, you heard, er, Netanyahu yesterday, you do hear him, Bibi, he said, "I've known Donald Trump for a long time", and then he said, "Forget it!" So you should take that and, instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question.
- Comments made during a news conference at the White House (16 February 2017)
- If you're telling me they're horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize, if you'd like me to do that.
- Interviewed on Good Morning Britain about his retweeting of inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos from Britain First the previous November (26 January 2018)
- We had a great event yesterday, an event that was so beautiful, young African American leaders. One of the things I asked them, and I’ve been thinking about this for a long time… And great people, great people. Some of them are here tonight. Do you like the name African American or Black? And they said, “Black!” all at the same time. No, true. I tell you. Because you say, “African American or Black?” And they said almost immediately, “Black.”
Quotes about Trump's racial views
- [Donald Trump] seems to harbor racist feelings about people of color from other parts of the world.
- Jim Acosta, as quoted in "CNN's Acosta: Trump 'seems to harbor racist feelings'" (11 January 2018), by Brett Samuels, The Hill
- Heidi Beirich, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, noted “an incredible increase in anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment over the past few years,” particularly “within the ranks of the anti-government movement.” The presidential campaign, she added, has “produced some of the rawest nativist appeals in recent memory.”
She says those appeals might have played a role in the surge of hate incidents since the election, including a wave of anti-Semitic threats and attacks and anti-Muslim hate crimes. Many incidents, she notes, “involved attackers who self-identified as Trump supporters or committed their acts in his name,” such as swastika-laden graffiti saying, “Make America White Again,” or an assault on a Muslim student and his Latino friend in which the attacker shouted Trump’s name.
While Trump, in his February address to Congress, did respond to these incidents in general terms, saying, “We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,” his policies appear to have sent a different message. In hundreds of the nearly 1,400 hate incidents around the nation that the Southern Poverty Law Center counted in the three months following the Nov. 8 elections, the perpetrators directly referenced the election or Trump.
- Heidi Beirich as quoted by David Neiwart in "Home Is Where the Hate Is", “Type Investigations”, (June 22, 2017).
- Trump Is a Racist. Period.
- What Trump is doing has popped up periodically, but in modern times, no president has been so racially insensitive and shown outright disdain for people who aren't white.
- Douglas Brinkley, as quoted in "Trump's own words revive debate over whether he's racist", AP News
- [Donald Trump is] clearly racist... It fits into a pattern that we have seen since the beginning of his career, maybe through his father's career, frankly. There's been a consistency, pattern of harsh judgment against black and brown people.
- David Brooks, as quoted in "Shields and Brooks on Trump's 's***hole' comments, 'Fire and Fury' fallout" (14 January 2018), PBS Newshour
- We have a racist in the Oval Office.
- Let me put it this way, I think he is very eager not to upset the racists who like him. Too eager.
- Days after a deadly attack on two mosques in New Zealand by a gunman who appeared to align with the white supremacist movement, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said President Trump's rhetoric emboldens white nationalists around the world. "The president uses language often that's very similar to the language used by these bigots and racists. And if he's not going to call it out, then other leaders have to do more to call it out and I certainly will," Kaine told "Face the Nation." "I think the president is using language that emboldens them." The suspected gunman in the New Zealand shooting had written a manifesto referencing "white genocide" driven by "mass immigration" and accused Muslims of invading the country. He also directly referenced Mr. Trump in his writings.
- In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for President with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border. None of that is true. Oh, and by the way, Mexico’s not paying for his wall either. If it ever gets built, you can be sure that American taxpayers will be stuck with the bill. Since then, there’s been a steady stream of bigotry.
- Trump claims he's surprised his election has unleashed a barrage of hate across the country. But he shouldn't be. It's the predictable result of the campaign he waged. Rather than feign surprise, Mr. Trump should take responsibility for what's occurring, forcefully reject hate and bigotry, reach out to the communities he's injured, and follow his words with actions to heal the wounds his words have opened.
- Richard Cohen, as quoted in "Trump's election led to 'barrage of hate', report finds" (November 2016), by Mazin Sidahmed, The Guardian
- Trump's statements disparaging immigrants who have come to this country legally are particularly unhelpful. Maine has benefited from people from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and, increasingly, Africa — including our friends from Somalia.
- Expressing deep frustration and anger over President Donald Trump’s ongoing refusal to unequivocally condemn white nationalism, critics on Sunday pushed back against the White House’s dismissal of reports that the suspect in last week’s Christchurch mosque attacks admired the president—even as Trump once again expressed support for white supremacist views... “This is a president who peddled the birther conspiracy about President Obama, called for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims, said he was open to closing down mosques in this country after the Paris attacks, has suggested that he’s open to getting rid of Muslims in this country,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats, on CNN. “I mean if that’s not white nationalism then I don’t know what is.” The mention of Trump in the suspect’s writings called to mind for many Trump critics the president’s refusal to condemn white supremacists who staged a violent rally in Charlottesville in 2017, his characterization of Central American immigrants as “invaders,” and his executive order banning travelers from several majority-Muslim countries—one of his very first actions as president.
- For the fourth year in a row, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, reports that hate and domestic extremism are rising in an unabated trend. The center found a 30 percent increase in U.S. hate groups over the past four years and a 7 percent increase in hate groups in 2018 alone, according to the center's annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report. The group designated 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018, a high of at least 20 years.
The watchdog group blames President Trump, his administration, right-wing media outlets and the ease of spreading hate on social media platforms for the alarming increase. The growth, it says, is largely driven by "hysteria over losing a white-majority nation to demographic change."
"The numbers tell a striking story — that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one," Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said in a statement. "Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as presidents of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it — with both his rhetoric and his policies. In doing so, he's given people across America the go-ahead to to act on their worst instincts."
- Leila Fadel, “U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30 Percent In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports”, All Things Considered, NPR, (February 20, 2019)
- The facts here are clear: These men were exonerated. Another man has admitted to committing the crime, as proven by DNA evidence. Trump rushed to judgment on the case, has refused to admit he is wrong and continues to peddle yet another racist lie.
- Maya Harris, on Trump's assertion that the men originally convicted of the Central Park jogger case are guilty despite their subsequent exoneration and despite the identification, arrest, and conviction of the actual perpetrator.
- "Hillary for America Statement on Trump’s Comments Related to Central Park Jogger Case" (October 7 2016)
- There should be little doubt about US President Donald Trump's views on race, despite his occasional 'denials', assertions of 'fake news', and/or his semantic distinctions. His election campaign theme was effectively a promise to 'Make America Great Again; America First and Only' and – nod, nod, wink, wink.
- John Hewson, "No place for the race card in the political pack, but Trump plays it anyway" (January 2018), The Sydney Morning Herald
- [I]n many ways, he embodies nearly every aspect of a racist. He's someone who regularly expresses racist ideas, like Latinx immigrants are invading this country, that Mexicans are animals, that black people live in hell, that their communities are infested. But then he simultaneously is supporting policies that specifically target racial groups. We're seeing what's happening at the southern border. We see the ways in which his policies, he's not seeking to protect black people being killed by police. We can see the Muslim ban.
And then when you put that all together, when we charge him with being racist, what does he say? He says, no, no. I'm not racist. I'm actually the least-racist person you've ever interviewed. I'm actually the least-racist person in the world. And so his consistent denial of his racism is the heartbeat of racism.
- Ibram X. Kendi, as interviewed by Rachel Martin in “How Racism Has Evolved Over The Last 2 U.S. Presidencies” (August 14, 2019), NPR Morning Edition.
- I don't see what else we can call him but a racist.
- [N]o matter what your feelings are about Trump, you should hope that these tapes, if they do exist, never see the light of day. It sounds counterintuitive. But let’s game out—honestly—what we think would happen if such a tape of the future president of the United States surfaced tomorrow. Do you think he’d lose support from his base? Do you think he’d pay a price for lying about the tape’s existence? Or for using the N-word? I do not. Everything we know about the president's base supporters suggests that there is no straw that will break the camel's back—only goalposts, receding constantly to the horizon.
- Jonathan V. Last, "Let’s Hope There Is No Tape of Trump Using the N-Word" (2018), The Weekly Standard
- [Donald Trump is] this racist 94-year-old grandpa.
- Marshall B. Mathers, as quoted in "Eminem Calls Donald Trump a “Racist 94-Year-Old Grandpa” in a Freestyle so Fire, Trump’s Gonna Need Ice for Those Burns: Political Eminem is my new favorite Eminem." (11 October 2017), by Andrea Wurzburger, VH1
- His hateful rhetoric has no place in the White House.
- Everything is a racial stereotype with him half the time; we've got to admit that about Trump.
- [T]he larger moral cowardice that has overtaken the party... Trump's shtick is that he's the grievance candidate... He's focused on the economically squeezed Caucasian voter... He is speaking to that rage. Mexican rapists, clever Chinese traders, African American people as dogs. That's Trump's DNA.
- Mike Murphy, as quoted in "'I'm not going there': As Trump hurls racial invective, most Republicans stay silent" (18 August 2018), by Ashley Parker and Robert Costa, The Washington Post
- Since Donald Trump won the Presidential election, there has been a dramatic uptick in incidents of racist and xenophobic harassment across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that there were four hundred and thirty-seven incidents of intimidation between the election, on November 8th, and November 14th, targeting blacks and other people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the L.G.B.T. community, and women. One woman in Colorado told the S.P.L.C. that her twelve-year-old daughter was approached by a boy who said, “Now that Trump is President, I’m going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” At a school in Washington State, students chanted “build a wall” in a cafeteria. In Texas, someone saw graffiti at work: “no more illegals 1-20-17,” a reference to Inauguration Day. Such harassment occurred throughout Trump’s campaign, but now appears to have taken on a new boldness, empowered by the election of a Ku Klux Klan-endorsed candidate who has denigrated women and racial and religious minorities.
- The New Yorker "Hate on the Rise After Trump’s Election", Alexis Okeowo (17 November 2016)
- Last Thursday night I happened to be on Twitter when news of the New Zealand massacre hit. Not realizing the magnitude of the horror... I quickly clicked away, but I'm afraid I won't ever be able to forget what I saw before I did. But the one thing I knew from the moment I saw the guns and heard the words, "Let's get this party started" was that this was a white supremacist terrorist. That macho, pseudo-warrior, "white power" swagger is all too familiar these days... The killer's manifesto, entitled "The Great Replacement," which he posted online... filled with white supremacist dogma and coy internet tropes designed to troll people who are unfamiliar with the jargon, while speaking to his mates in the racist online forums he frequented. There can be no doubt that there is a growing international white identity movement. And we can no longer ignore the fact that by failing even to admit that such a movement exists, the president of the United States is empowering and enabling it. In using the rhetoric of hate, he has aligned himself with it.
- We have a president, and I say this without any joy in my heart, who is a racist. It’s hard to believe that we have a president of the United States who is, in fact, a racist.
- Bernie Sanders, "Bernie Sanders calls Trump a racist before Apollo event" (05 April 2019), AP News
- Remember, Trump began his ascent to political power on a racist lie: birtherism. He launched his campaign for the presidency calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. His first major policy initiative was travel restrictions on Muslim-majority nations that felt a lot like a travel ban on people with darker skin. His supporters cited "economic anxiety" as their motivation, but they were driven by racial animus. Former KKK leader David Duke endorsed Trump twice for president.
Trump's presidency has always been about race and reacting to a nation more diverse than it has ever been. We've been reminded of that time and again since he announced his candidacy. So how can anyone still say, "This is not who we are"? Why do we continue to hear that same lie as the worst of America rears its head?
- Perhaps Trump is a racist. Perhaps not. Either way, we can have a productive conversation about whether particular Trump statements or actions are racist. But we can't have a productive conversation that starts from the premise that Trump is a racist overall, and that every action he takes and every statement he makes is therefore covered with the patina of racism. That conversation is about insults, not truth.
- All of Trump's constant bragging about his money and his poll numbers and his virility speak directly to this surprisingly vibrant middle American fantasy about a castrated white America struggling to re-grow its mojo... as basketball star turned pundit Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pointed out earlier this week, PC isn’t a new thing, or even a thing at all. It’s just an “emotional challenge every generation has had to go through.” We get older, our kids correct our bad habits, it happens. Not to Trump’s supporters. They’ve turned some minor cultural changes into a vast conspiracy of white victimhood. They're eating up Trump's Make America Great Again theme, which one supporter hilariously explained must be his true goal, because 'it's on his hat', because it's a fantasy tale of a once-great culture ruined by an invasion of mongrel criminals.
- Matt Taibbi, "The Republicans Are Now Officially the Party of White Paranoia" (4 September 2015), Rolling Stone.
- For reasons that are, again, obvious to everyone but Republican voters, this “woe is us” narrative is never to fly with the rest of the country, including especially (one imagines) the nonwhite population. Few sane people are going to waste a vote on a sob story about how rough things have gotten for white people. But Trump supporters are clinging to this fantasy far more fiercely than red-state voters were ever clinging to guns or religion. That leaves us facing a future in which national elections will no longer be decided by ideas, but by numbers. It will be a turnout battle between people who believe in a multicultural vision for the country, and those who don’t. Every other issue, from taxes to surveillance to war to jobs to education, will take a distant back seat to this ongoing, moronic referendum on white victimhood. And there’s nothing any of us can do about it except wait it out, and wonder if our politics only gets dumber from here.
- Matt Taibbi, "The Republicans Are Now Officially the Party of White Paranoia" (4 September 2015), Rolling Stone.
- We thought the blatant racism on display during Donald's announcement speech would be a deal breaker, but we were disabused of that idea when Jerry Falwell, Jr., and other white evangelicals started endorsing him. Maryanne, a devout Catholic since her conversion five decades earlier, was incensed. "What the fuck is wrong with them?" she said. "The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. It's mind boggling. He has no principles. None!"
- Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man (2020), p. 9
- Within a month of the election, I found myself compulsively watching the news and checking my Twitter feed, anxious and unable to concentrate on anything else. Though nothing Donald did surprised me, the speed and volume with which he started inflicting his worst impulses on the country- from lying about the crowd size at the inauguration and whining about how poorly he was treated to rolling back environmental protections, targeting the Affordable Care Act and enacting his racist Muslim ban- overwhelmed me. The smallest thing- seeing Donald's face or hearing my own name, both of which happened dozens of times a day- took me back to the time when my father had withered and died beneath the cruelty and contempt of my grandfather. I had lost him when he was only forty-two and I was sixteen. The horror of Donald's cruelty was being magnified by the fact that his acts were now official US policy, affecting millions of people.
- Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man (2020), p. 15
- The full-page screed he paid to publish in the New York Times in 1989 calling for the Central Park Five to be put to death wasn't about his deep concern fro the rule of law; it was an easy opportunity for him to take on a deeply serious topic that was very important to the city while sounding like an authority in the influential and prestigious pages of the Gray Lady. It was unvarnished racism meant to stir up racial animosity in a city already seething with it. All five boys, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam, were subsequently cleared, proven innocent via incontrovertible DNA evidence. To this day, however, Donald insists that they were guilty- yet another example of his inability to drop a preferred narrative even when it's contradicted by established fact.
- Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man (2020), p. 204
- Trump is a racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia to rouse his base and advance his electoral prospects. In this, he inspires imitators.
- This is racism, plain and simple, and we need to call it that.
- Tim Walz, as quoted in "Trump's 's---hole' remark sparks bipartisan backlash B" (January 2018), by John Bowden, The Hill
- He claims that he's bringing people together but make no mistake, he is a dangerous, unprincipled, divisive, and shameful racist.
- Maxine Waters, as quoted in "Maxine Waters Delivers Scathing SOTU Response: 'Make No Mistake. Trump Is a Dangerous Racist'", by Tess Koman, Cosmopolitan
- [M]y own view is that Donald Trump is incapable of being a racist in the traditional sense of that word, because racism is derived from a perverted and misapplied sense of loyalty, a sentiment from which President Trump is manifestly immune.
- Kevin D. Williamson, "Trump’s Omar Comments and Our Eroding Sense of Citizenship" (21 July 2019), National Review
- He [Donald Trump] doesn't mind being called a racist, because he is one.
- Trump is a walking contradiction – but his nativism is consistent. [...] Watching this pinball president ricochet around Europe, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s no method to Donald Trump’s madness. Nato is both a rip-off and very strong. Theresa May’s Brexit plan is both pathetic and terrific. Trump’s interview with the Sun was both fake news and generally fine. Trump has all the consistency of Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold, except when it comes to two things: immigrants and Vladimir Putin.
- Immigration is where Trump’s journey begins and ends: the message running all the way through this stick of rock. [...] There was a time when politicians like you preferred to use a dog whistle, but those days seem quaint now. There’s something to be said for using a foghorn to blast your racism across the continents. At least we all know what kind of politics you represent.
- The president of the United States just threatened the safety and security of immigrants the world over. [...] So now we know. The reason Trump ordered the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents – some never to be reunited again – was because they better watch themselves. They are changing the culture and it better stop or else they’ll get hurt. Trump has mused before about how good it would be to deport people without judges messing things up. He doesn’t consider his own country’s ample immigration laws to be actual laws that he respects. It’s one short step for a president – but one long step for democracy – to go from disrespecting the laws to ignoring them. This is the language and mentality of so many extreme-right and neo-Nazi parties in Europe. So in the Trump spirit of saying it loud, it’s time to drop the euphemisms: Trump is today’s first major government to be led by the racist far right. It’s not some kind of new populist politics; it’s the old National Front.
- Encyclopedic article on Racial views of Donald Trump on Wikipedia
- Boburg, Shawn (July 25, 2016). "Donald Trump's long history of clashes with Native Americans". The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 25, 2020.