Donald Trump plays on racial fears and animosities in an ugly, deliberate and dangerous way. This dance with bigotry goes far beyond his temporary amnesia about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.
Trump speaks as if he considers whiteness the norm and sees people of color as somehow alien and suspect. He is the only major American political figure in many decades to display such an antediluvian worldview so openly. Trump doesn’t tweet dog whistles, he blasts foghorns.
He brags about getting along famously with “the blacks” and “the Hispanics.” How long has it been since anyone in public life used such casually exclusionary language? There are about 40 million African Americans and more than 55 million Hispanic Americans, all of them reduced, by Trump’s use of the definite article, to sidekick status — the “good” ones being, I suppose, a bunch of Sammy Davis Jrs. and Ricky Ricardos.
The Sammy mention is why I posted the picture of him kissing Archie Bunker. Trump is supported by more than a few thoroughly unmodern modern Archie Bunkers, after all. I do, however, think the Donald might prefer having Birmingham Brown from the Charlie Chan movies or the Cisco Kid’s wingman Pancho as his ethnic sidekicks. They were infinitely more comedically subservient than Sammy or Ricky. Plus, Lucy had much better hair than the Insult Comedian. Frank, sadly, did not.
Speaking of the Cisco Kid, I now have an earworm thanks to Gene Robinson. At least it’s a good one: