Trump’s racist campaign to belittle and smear prominent Black Americans continue to escalate. Over the weekend, he insulted Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md) and blew racist dog whistles about the people in his district. The past few weeks he’s stoked outrage by repeatedly attacking four Democratic Congresswomen, all of them women of color. Before that, he had a reputation for attacking Black athletes.
While his bad faith defenders will claim race has nothing to do with his targeting, it’s clear that what’s really happening is that he’s trying to excite the bigots in his base and drive them to the ballot boxes in 2020 to reelect him.
Now, Trump has decided to go after Civil Rights icon Reverend Al Sharpton. This morning he used an utterly benign tweet from Sharpton about Cummings as a pretext to call the reverend a “conman” and a “troublemaker” who is “always looking for a score.”
The president ended the tweet with one of his most blatant dog whistles to date by alleging that Sharpton “Hates Whites & Cops.” The president knows that such a message will inflame rage amongst his predominantly white voters and mobilize them against the reverend.
I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He “loved Trump!” He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops! https://t.co/ZwPZa0FWfN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
Never one to back down from a fight with a bully, Sharpton has already responded to Trump’s tweet. Appearing on MSNBC, he directed his comments at Trump, saying that he should stop trying to sell his “racist behavior to try and make the country more divided for his own political gain.” He went on to call the president’s attack on Cummings and his district “absolutely horrible” before shredding Trumps lies about both.
“Well, yeah I am a troublemaker,” Sharpton said, referencing Trump’s insult. “I intend to make trouble every time racists and bigots try to move around in any way shape or form including the president. And if he really thought I was a conman he’d be nominating me to his Cabinet.”
When asked about his existing relationship with Donald Trump, who he has known for decades, Sharpton said he marched against him before during the Central Park Five saga, during which Trump was calling for the execution of young black men who were later completely exonerated. The reverend pointed out that Trump has come to some of his events and invited him to Mar-a-Lago, strange behavior if he really believed Sharpton to be a conman.
“This is race-baiting at its best. This is Donald Trump playing the race card and it is a shame and it is a sham,” Sharpton concluded. Overall, it was a powerful response from Sharpton and exactly the manner in which one should handle Trump’s hatred.
Watch the clip below.
WATCH: @TheRevAl responds to President Trump's attacks against him.
"He's going to attack me as a 'troublemaker' and a 'con-man.' …I am a 'troublemaker'… I intend to make trouble every time racists and bigots move around in any way shape or form, including the president." pic.twitter.com/A9mmM53TR2
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 29, 2019