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Protecting the real America

7/19/2019, 6 a.m. | Updated on 7/19/2019, 7:16 p.m.
President Trump is a racist. Period.

President Trump is a racist. Period.

For those who didn’t know that about the man before he glided down the elevator at Trump Tower in New York City to announce his candidacy for president on June 16, 2015, his launch speech provided a big red flag.

He said:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. ...They’re sending us not the right people. “ It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East.”

He triggered scores of further alarms as his campaign progressed and during his first two and a half years in office. His remarks about the “very fine people” who carried out the white supremacist/ neo-Nazi/KKK rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, was another giveaway that President Trump is a racist.

We don’t need to remind our readers that one of these “very fine people,” a self-avowed white supremacist from Ohio, deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others. On Monday, a Virginia judge sentenced James A. Fields Jr. to life in prison, plus 419 years and a $480,000 fine, for Ms. Heyer’s murder and the mayhem he caused. It was his second life sentence.

Two weeks earlier, a federal court judge sentenced him to life in prison after his conviction on 29 federal hate crime charges.

We are buoyed to a small degree by the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to condemn President Trump for his latest racist tweet storm that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their home countries — although all are citizens and three were born in the United States.

While we cannot make President Trump’s racism disappear, we underscore here the threat caused by his racist rhetoric. It stirs up a real and present danger for African-Americans, people of color, Jews, Muslims and others that is carried out by people like James Fields and other hate mongers. The number of hate groups in the United States has risen by 30 percent during the Trump era, according to a 2019 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Locally, once-hidden KKK recruitment efforts have turned very public and open, most recently during the Fourth of July weekend outside the Hanover County Courthouse.

Unfortunately, we cannot stop President Trump’s racist rants. But until he is impeached or voted out of office, we cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into his fight over whose America is it, because America belongs to all of us.

Instead, we must work fervently to block the racist policies, practices, laws, judges and other appointees President Trump and his sympathizers put in place to sicken and destroy this nation.

That includes fighting the inhumane immigration decrees and practices that separate families and keep people in cages and unsanitary squalor in U.S. detention centers. We must combat the harmful tax, economic and other policies that strip money from public education and critical health care in this nation. We must oppose judicial, cabinet level and other appointees on the federal, state and local levels who seek to carry out the president’s plan to “make America great again” for a privileged few.