Calling Trump a racist for disparaging African and black nations as “shitholes” is, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “outrageous”. Why, you might ask? Because Donald Trump had a television show for 10 years, so by definition cannot be a racist.
“I think that is an outrageous claim,” Huckabee Sanders told reporters today at the White House. “And frankly I think if the critics of the president were who he said he was, why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV.”
By the same logic, Bill Cosby couldn’t be a rapist because he was on TV, and Harvey Weinstein wasn’t a sexual predator because he ran a powerful movie studio for decades. Huckabee Sanders’ argument can also be quickly demolished by firsthand accounts of Trump’s racism on the Apprentice. As former producer Bill Pruitt revealed to NPR, Trump routinely insulted women, jews and minorities at NBC (via Vulture):
Pruitt says that when producers would talk to Trump about whom to fire, Trump would make sexist comments about women, as well as racist and anti-Semitic remarks. The former producer described the comments as “very much a racist issue.” “When you heard these things, there’s the audible gasp that is quickly followed by a cough,” Pruitt said.
The White House’s tactic of being outraged by the outrage over Trump’s latest remarks is as childish as the president’s behavior. And yet it still seems to work for those who view the world through Fox News, Breitbart and right wing Talk Radio. In fact, they love his racism because it shows he is a real American (read white) defending the country from (non-white) immigrants. Huckabee Sanders knows this and understands that by attacking the press for pointing out Trump’s very blatant racism they score more points with Trump’s base.
It is right to be outraged by Trump’s remarks and the White House’s official response. But it is better to go to the voting booths this year and make sure the GOP is punished severely for it.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.