In today’s disastrous press conference, President Donald Trump made a blatantly racist comment immediately after insisting that he is “the least racist person” that anyone will ever meet.
Black journalist April Ryan asked Trump if he plans on discussing his plans for urban development and inner-city policies with the Congressional Black Caucus. It is a reasonable question since Trump likes to talk about issues faced by African Americans without actually talking to African Americans. Initially, Trump was baffled by her referral to the Congressional Black Caucus by its acronym, the CBC.
Once Ryan clarified, Trump shouted over her, refusing to even listen to her entire question. He angrily interrogated her with cries of, “Will you set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?”
Ryan retorted, “No, no, I’m just a reporter,” because, well, she is just a reporter. It might come as a surprise to Trump and his supporters, but not all black people know each other. Furthermore, even the president does not have the right to enlist random black women to be his personal assistants. Shocking.
It is not clear whether Trump will actually have his staff arrange the meeting (his staff, the people who are hired to organize his schedule and arrange meetings). We think it is highly unlikely because he kept insisting that Ryan should set up his meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus even after she reminded him that she is a journalist, not a secretary.
Trump is showing a disturbing lack of initiative and a tendency to lump all black people together as some sort of amorphous mass that he has to give lip service to in order to avoid being labeled a racist by his mostly white supporters. He is not willing to put in the smallest effort to recognize black people as individuals and listen to their voices.
Instead, Trump expects black Americans to spoon feed him everything they want him to hear. If he ignores them or they expect him to put in a little effort, then it’s their fault when he doesn’t understand what black America needs. Trump essentially told a black reporter, ‘If you want me to listen to what black people have to say, you go find the black people and bring them to me.’
We need a president who is willing to represent all Americans and who has a genuine desire to reach out to and listen to all Americans. Right now, Trump is embodying the worst aspects of structural racism in American politics by refusing to engage with black communities and harassing a black woman for daring to ask him whether he plans to even speak with black congresspeople. America deserves better.
Watch the video here:
Trump just asked a black journalist if she was “friends” with the Congressional Black Caucus and wanted to set up a mtg for him w/ the CBC. pic.twitter.com/whnDJLI8MI
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 16, 2017
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.