Trump is a racist; if you support him, are you?

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

The truth has a mighty power to bring itself to the forefront, making it impossible to ignore. The shootings in Wisconsin this week again shone a light on what might be the mightiest truth in our country right now: we still have a racism problem.

As in too many of us white folks are pretty freakin’ racist. Still.


Here in Chester County, one of the birthplaces of abolition, where Black folks were smuggled to safety in the years before and during the Civil War on the Underground Railroad, where the first Black college in America was founded (now Lincoln University), we like to thump our chests and say we’re not racist, here.

But that forgets how active the KKK has been for more than a century, and as recently as 2010 in this county. I know folks who witnessed cross burnings as recently as the late 1960s in the northern part of the county. It forgets the segregation seen as late as the early 1960s in the county. It forgets how we still pack minorities into small pockets — Coatesville, one ward of West Chester, a neighborhood in Kennett Square, among others. It forgets how we actively tried to suppress the Black vote in 2008 in Lower Oxford.

I could go on, sadly, and there are probably a million other, casual expressions of racism every day that I, as a white guy, never see. And over the last couple of years, thanks to a clearly racist president — Donald Trump — our local racists have seen fit to let their true feelings be known.

It’s time for it to stop.

Instead, we have a president fanning those flames — making a desperation pitch that people of color protesting are criminal thugs, that people of color moving into formerly all-white suburbs are some sort of threat. Obviously, they’re not, but it distracts from the death of 183,000 (as of this writing) dead from a virus, the loss of 10 million jobs and the unmitigated failure of this country — this president — to handle a crisis.

Donald Trump has a long record of being a racist, from his federal sanction in the 1970s for refusing to rent to Blacks and Latinos, to calling for the death penalty for the since cleared Central Park Five, to the entire “Birther” movement — claiming President Barack Obama was somehow illegitimate, using the false claim of his being born overseas, to cover for the real issue: the color of his skin. The same play was recently used against Sen. Kamala Harris — the Democratic nominee for Vice President — for the same reason: Trump and some of his followers think people of color are ineligible to be President of the United States.

Donald Trump is a racist. Pure and simple.

So, you have to ask yourself this question: “Does that mean everyone who supports Trump is also a racist?”

It’s a fair question – and one every Trump supporter, every Republican has to ask themselves: “Does this make me a racist?”

And honestly, I don’t know.

People obviously have different motivations for who they vote for, but if a candidate is a known racist, what does it mean if you can excuse that because you like the tax cuts, conservative judges or opposition to abortion?

At what level is the sin of racism, basically hatred, excused by other factors? At what point does supporting that make you a racist?

Those are questions everyone has to answer for themselves — I honestly hope at least some people ask those questions of themselves, although it seems doubtful.


Gov. Tom Wolf called for the legalization of marijuana this week — an idea long overdue, as a way to bring in added revenue, cut enforcement expenses and, interestingly, keep it out of the hands of minors.

Predictably, Republicans oppose it (as a rule of thumb, if it is a good idea in Pennsylvania, Republicans oppose it). Despite decades of taking massive campaign contributions (or maybe because of it) from opioid manufacturers, they focus their vitriol on marijuana, a drug that causes zero overdoses.

Oh, they say, marijuana is a gateway drug, leading to abuse of more dangerous drugs.

You know what, over the last two decades, has been a bigger gateway for young people? High school sports. Kids get hurt in sports and then get hooked on opioids. And yet, there’s no call to ban high school sports (in fact, quite the opposite) — and there shouldn’t be. Better prescribing standards and ending Big Pharma’s push to get doctors to prescribe these drugs are more important.

Interestingly, in the states where recreational marijuana is legal, use by minors is down because it is harder for kids to buy the drug.

So, let’s see legal recreational marijuana would:

  • Raise revenue for a state deeply in the red
  • Remove prisoners from jail serving sentences for simple possession
  • Slash costs for enforcement and incarceration
  • Expunge criminal records for thousands
  • Reduce youth use of marijuana

And….of course Republicans in Pennsylvania still oppose it. Even Republicans in South Dakota moved recently to legalize marijuana — South Dakota, for God’s sake.

That makes this fall’s legislative elections a referendum on marijuana, among other things — bad news for legislative Republicans, who, based on polling I’ve seen, are either trailing notably in all but two legislative races in Chester County, and one of those is within the margin of error. Between 60 and 70 percent of adults favor legalization — and yet Republicans choose this hill to die (politically) on.

You can vote for common sense, or you can vote for the mess this state has been for a generation. It’s a simple choice.

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