On December 4, 2019, Donald Trump’s Roy Cohn, Attorney General William Barr threatened African-Americans who would protest racist police brutality, as follows: “… if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
With that statement, the Trump administration gave a license to white racist police officers to engage in unrestrained acts of violence against African-Americans. Yesterday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we saw the results.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old security guard was suspected by a local grocer of using a forged check to make purchases. White police officers arrested Floyd and wrestled him to the ground. One white police officer placed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck, choking him to death. Floyd was murdered. You can see it all here:
Four white police officers were fired because of the murder of George Floyd. None were arrested. All four should be arrested and charged with murder.
Joe Biden issued the following Tweet:
“George Floyd deserved better and his family deserves justice. His life mattered.”
“I’m grateful for the swift action in Minneapolis to fire the officers involved — they must be held responsible for their egregious actions. The FBI should conduct a thorough investigation.”
I have searched for any comment whatsoever on the part of Donald Trump regarding the murder of George Floyd. I have found no such statement in either his infamous Tweets or the news coverage.
Trump did find the time during the past week to mock Joe and Jill Biden for following the advice of Trump’s Pandemic advisors by wearing a mask when they visited the memorial in Wilmington of its fallen American soldiers. He also had time to send sexist Retweets viciously defaming Joe Scarborough as a potential murderer of one of his former staff members and racist and misogynist smears regarding the physical appearances of Stacey Abrams, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, and a vile description of Hillary Clinton as a “skank.”
I was not surprised that Donald Trump condoned by his silence the murder of George Floyd. White racism is the core motivator of the “Trump base.” And the New Jersey Republican Party, by its ongoing silence regarding the Trump administration policy on police brutality and the continuing racist and sexist tweets of the President has implicitly adopted a policy of condonation of Trump racism and misogyny.
With very few exceptions, you will not see any current New Jersey Republican governmental or political leader or media figure repudiate Trump racism. When Joe Biden committed his recent “you ain’t black” gaffe, you could read statements of New Jersey Republican notables referring to the Biden misstatement with words like “shame.” These same Republicans will deny or refrain from comment on the racism of America’s current Gerald L.K. Smith in the White House, Donald J. Trump.
When Donald Trump says that “I don’t want THEM to be able to vote by mail,” he is talking about Black Americans. Donald Trump is the most racist president America has had since Woodrow Wilson. And by the failure of its governmental and political officials and media figures to repudiate Trump, the GOP is now a racist party both nationally and inside New Jersey.
Is it any wonder that 75 percent of Black Americans and 60 percent of Hispanic Americans believe that racism has worsened since Donald Trump took office? https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/02/19/black-history-month-trump-racism-education
Let us not mince words. The leaders of the Trump reelection campaign in New Jersey and Republican State Committee, by their silence, are implicit aiders and abettors of Trump racism. The Republican Party in New Jersey is no longer Tom Kean’s Republican Party of the Politics of Inclusion.
As I have previously written, Trump and the Republican Party are certain to be defeated in a landslide this November. Recent battleground state polls now show massive defections from Trump of senior citizen voters.(https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/499451-seniors-will-make-donald-trump-a-one-term-president?amp ) But until Trump leaves office in January, the stench of racism will permeate the White House.
I am now 70 years old. My entire adult life was dedicated to service to the Republican Party, both inside government and in political campaigns. Dwight David Eisenhower and Ronald Wilson Reagan will remain my favorite presidents of the 20th Century. I will always be most proud of my connection to the Bush family and my service in the administration of George W. Bush.
But the Republican Party of Donald Trump is repulsive to all values I hold dear, and even after he leaves, Trump racism will continue to be a cancer carried within the Trump base. I pray for the emergence of a new center-right party nationally and in New Jersey within the next decade.
Alan Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.