After a "Unite the Right" Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last week with neo-Nazis and white nationalists in attendance — leaving one counter-protestor dead — all eyes turned to President Donald Trump to bring the country together in time of despair. Instead, the POTUS avoided denouncing the racist people in attendance of the rally and said some rather questionable things about race himself. This led to people questioning Trump's views and thoughts about race, which have been in the spotlight even before he came into the White House. And looking to these Trump quotes about race add to context to the confusion and show exactly what he thinks of the subject.
Romper reached out to the White House for comment and is awaiting a response.
Trump's many comments about what happened in Charlottesville weren't exactly his best — especially the ones about slavery and racism. But, as previously stated, the president's thoughts and views of race have been long documented since and well before he became president.
While Trump isn't exactly known for thinking before speaking, he should be upheld to a certain standard as the president. His words matter. When people hear these things come out of his mouth, they need to pay attention. And the following quotes Trump has made about other races say a lot.
On President Obama
Long after President Barack Obama was elected, Trump questioned the legitimacy of his birth certificate and where he was born. At the time, many people thought that this was an issue of race and religion. Trump said of Obama during a 2011 appearance on The Laura Ingraham Show, according to International Business Times:
He doesn't have a birth certificate, or if he does, there's something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me — and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be — that where it says "religion" it might say "Muslim." And if you're a Muslim, you don't change your religion by the way.
On Riots & Protestors
In 2015, after riots broke out in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died in police custody. According to CBS News, Trump took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the rioters and the president, presumably implying something about the race of the president and his "influence" on the rioters.
"Our great African-American President hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore," Trump said in a 2015 tweet.
While announcing his presidency back in 2015, Trump had some choice words about Mexican immigrants that were unfair to them and a little judgmental. Trump said, according to CBS News:
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the 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, and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting.
On His Relationship With Other Races
During an April 2011 radio talk show in Albany, New York, Trump made one statement that pretty much speaks for itself and doesn't need any other commentary.
"I have a great relationship with the blacks," Trump said, according to CBS News. "I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."
On Cultural Differences
During the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of a fallen soldier killed in Iraq took to the stage with his wife, Ghazala, to call out Trump on the lack of sacrifices he made for the country. In response, Trump wondered if Ghazala could not speak because of her religion, therefore making a statement about her race and culture. Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an interview after:
If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.
In 1989, during a NBC News broadcast about a test called the "Racial Attitudes and Consciousness Exam," Trump reportedly told program host Bryant Gumble, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a black may think they don't have an advantage or this or that...I've said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I do believe they have an actual advantage.
On Being "The Least Racist Person"
Trump loves to call himself "the least racist person" and has done so, multiple times, most recently this past February. But in 2011, after one interviewer approached the subject of Trump and race, Trump quickly came to his own defense, saying, according to TODAY:
Well, you know, when it comes to racism and racists, I am the least racist person there is. And I think most people that know me would tell you that. I am the least racist. I've had great relationships. Randal Pinkett won on The Apprentice a little while ago, a couple of years ago, and Randal's been outstanding in every way. So I am the least racist person.
With racial tension in the United States at an all-time high right now, Trump's words — past and present — speak volumes to the issue at hand. As the POTUS, his comments carry weight and significance, and it's important that Americans know where he has stood and currently stands on these crucial matters.