Leading Democrats and their followers in the mainstream media are attacking President Trump for his comments about conditions in Rep. Elijah Cummings’s congressional district. Trump described the district as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” that “ranks last in almost every major category.” Democrats are saying — what else? — that these remarks are racist.
I don’t think the U.S. President should bad mouth portions of America the way Trump did — not even when provoked by the likes of Elijah Cummings. But Trump’s attack wasn’t racist.
The president criticized conditions in Cummings’s district because he wanted to lash out at the congressman. He wanted to lash out because Cummings has been a constant thorn in Trump’s side and had recently offended Trump by unfairly describing conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border. This is clear from Trump’s tweets, which compare border conditions with conditions in West Baltimore.
Trump’s motivation had nothing to do with race. Neither did the remarks themselves, which say nothing racial. Unfortunately, moreover, his comments about conditions in Cummings’s district are not wide of the mark.
In fact, as Tyler O’Neil points out, Trump’s comments are similar to those of Bernie Sanders. That would be the same Bernie Sanders who, in attacking Trump’s statements about West Baltimore, called Trump a “racist.”
The Vermont socialist toured West Baltimore — Cummings’s district — in December 2015, to see the area where Freddie Gray was arrested. Based on his observation of the area, Sanders said this:
Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation. You would think that you were in a Third World country.
Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.
If anything, Sanders’s remarks come closer to racism than Trump’s. The president said nothing, implied or express, about race. He simply described conditions in West Baltimore. Sanders, though, compared West Baltimore to the “third world.”
The third world consists mainly of non-whites, as does West Baltimore. Was Sanders making a racial connection? Was his comparison to the third world influenced in part by the race of the people he saw on his visit?
I don’t think so. Sanders’s remarks about West Baltimore weren’t racist. Neither were President Trump’s.
O’Neil concludes his article by asking, “Is it just me, or is liberal posturing growing stupider by the day?” If not stupider, then certainly more vicious and less self-aware.