In recent weeks it’s become clear that Trump’s primary strategy for reelection is to stoke racial division, primarily by attacking prominent Black figures. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is quickly becoming one of his favorite targets. Trump has been smearing him on and off all week and made headlines by referring to the city of Baltimore — which is part of Cummings’s congressional district — as “rat and rodent infested.”
Widespread outrage sprang up immediately, with many accurately labeling Trump’s comments as white nationalist dog whistles. Earlier today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi came to the defense of Cummings and Baltimore by taking aim at Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner,
“The president — this comes as no surprise — really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But maybe you could ask his son-in-law, who’s a slumlord there, if he wants to talk about rodent infestations,” said Pelosi according to Politico.
The president was, in turn, asked about Pelosi’s comments by reporters and he gave a shameful response. Rather than address Kushner’s sordid business practices, he took the opportunity to once again insult Baltimore and by extension it’s inhabitants.
“No I think the responsibility is the people that have run Baltimore for so many years, obviously headed up by Elijah Cummings,” Trump responded when asked if Kushner bears any culpability for the city’s conditions. It must be noted that Cummings is not responsible for running Baltimore. He is not a municipal or state official and is tasked solely with representing his district in D.C.
Trump went on to flirt with his newly minted conspiracy theory that politicians in Baltimore have “stolen, misspent, or wasted” billions of dollars. The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore has received $2.3 billion total in federal grants over the past decade, meaning the city doesn’t even have the untold billions to misplace in the first place. The Sun also points out that federal inspectors have not accused Baltimore of wasting or defrauding billions of dollars.
The president expanded his attack from just Baltimore, saying there’s also a problem with other “Democrat-run cities,” which is clearly another racist dog whistle aimed at inciting his white nationalist voters against urban centers with large Black populations.
Trump is not even trying to be subtle with his hatred at this point and anyone who continues to support him is cosigning his bigotry. It falls to every patriotic American to do their part and vote him out of office come 2020.
Trump ends his press availability by spending about a minute crapping on the city of Baltimore pic.twitter.com/xA8P9kjkGy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 1, 2019