Is Donald Trump racist?
The answer isn’t a definite, “No," especially after today’s US Presidential debate. Donald Trump is one of the “most racist presidents" in modern history, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, as he tore into the current US president during the final presidential debate and accused him of pouring “fuel on every racist fire".
The racism topic has gained prominence after the horrific murder of an African American in police custody early this year in Minneapolis, triggering violent protest across the country.
Former vice president Biden termed Trump “one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history", asserting that his Republican rival at his last debate did not condemn white supremacy and told an extremist group to “stand down and stand by.”
“Here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire. Every single one," Biden alleged.
“He (Trump) started off his campaign coming down the escalator saying he"s going to get rid of those Mexican rapists. He"s banned Muslims because they are Muslims. He has moved around and made everything worse across the board. This guy has a dog whistle about as big as a foghorn,” he said.
The US president portrayed himself as a champion of Black people and reiterated that no president has done more for Black Americans than anyone other than former US President Abraham Lincoln.
“Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, possible exception, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I’ve done,” Trump said.
The former vice president misheard Trump’s remarks on Lincoln to which the president lapped on.
“You said you’re Abraham Lincoln,” Biden said.
“I said not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I’ve done for the Black community,” Trump said in response.
Responding to the widespread protests following the death of George Floyd, Trump said, “You have to understand, the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, they were chanting pigs in a blanket, talking about police. Pigs. Pigs, talking about our police. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. I said that’s a horrible thing and they weren’t marching down the street. And that was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter".
“I thought it was a terrible thing. as far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room,” he asserted, listing out the work that he has done for the black community including criminal justice reform, prison reform, opportunity zones, helping black colleges and universities.
Trump accused Biden and former President Barack Obama of ignoring issues of racial justice.
“You’ve done nothing but the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men in jail," Trump told Biden.
“I am the least racist person in this room,” Trump said, touting criminal justice reform and opportunity zone bills that he signed.
But not everyone on Twitter agreed - most felt that Trump had missed Biden’s sarcastic remark on calling him ‘Abraham Lincoln.’
Actual Quote From Joe Biden tonight:"Abraham Lincoln over here is the most racist president we have ever had."
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 23, 2020
Tonight the least racist person in the room who is better than Abraham Lincoln knows that wind kills birds.— Josh Gad (@joshgad) October 23, 2020
Biden: Abraham Lincoln over here…Trump: I’m not Abraham Lincoln. I’m Donald Trump.
Biden: Yeah we know bro.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 23, 2020
Fact Check: Donald Trump is correct when he says he’s not Abraham Lincoln— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) October 23, 2020
"I'm the least racist person in this room," Pres. Trump says."Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history," Joe Biden sarcastically responds. https://t.co/zkoTdi6727 #Debates2020 pic.twitter.com/MI1KhQtJqT
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2020
they only taught us about two presidents during black history month 1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Donald Trump
— spooky jarvis johnson (@jarvis) October 23, 2020
Biden called him Abraham Lincoln as a jab and that shit went over Trump head 😂😂😂— Phylicia Rashad Jr. (@ILoveJameson30) October 23, 2020
bold of Trump to worry that someone would confuse him with Abraham Lincoln— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) October 23, 2020
It appears that Biden called Trump "Abraham Lincoln" in mock jest (or maybe a verbal slip), but regardless, Trump took it as Biden calling him "Abraham Lincoln" and found that insulting. So, that's fun.#Debates2020— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 23, 2020
Trump said that Biden had four years as vice president to combat racism but failed to do so.
“You’re all talk and no action, Joe,” he said.
Biden said during the presidential debate that he understood why people of colour fear that their children could be targeted by police because of the colour of their skin.
“I never had to tell my daughter if she’s pulled over make sure she puts, for a traffic stop, put both hands on top of the wheel and don’t reach for the glove box because someone might shoot you,” he said.
“But a Black parent, no matter how wealthy or poor they are, has to teach their child when you’re walking down the street don’t have a hoodie on when you go across the street, making sure you in fact if you get pulled over, yes, sir, no, sir, hands on top of the wheel, because you are in fact the victim whether you’re a … person making USD 300,000 a year person or someone who’s on food stamps. The fact of the matter is there is institutional racism in America," Biden said.
Trump said that he decided to run for the presidency because his predecessor Obama and his vice president Biden did a poor job.
“If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run. I would have never run. I ran because of you. I’m looking at you now. You’re a politician. I ran because of you,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)