Trump Scolds Reporters in the Rose Garden
My father was born in 1913 and if alive today he would be 107 years old. Growing up on a farm, my father dealt with a lot of hard work after his father died when Dad was 15 years of age. He was the youngest of 13 children and acquired most of his beliefs, prejudices and viewpoints during a depression and two wars. I didn’t blame him for his Archie Bunker-type comments, even though I knew why they were wrong.
My father used the term “polack” to describe Polish people, and although he never used the “N” word, he was most comfortable with calling African Americans “colored.” All the schools I attended were not integrated. My schooling took place before controversial busing laws, so I grew up in a white bubble. This was well before there was even the notion of “political correctness,” and many of the things we said then would not be received well today. If my father was around now, he would probably agree with the main guy in the White House.
Maybe because I was schooled as a journalist, my viewpoint on Donald J. Trump has been damaged by his constant disdain of media and disparagement of our free press. Along with my Presbyterian upbringing and the moral core of my being, I take umbrage with any verbal attack of a group of people, especially the downtrodden and persecuted minorities. I guess you can call me a bleeding heart, tree hugging liberal, although I would prefer to be known as a person with an altruistic grounding and who cares about people.
One of the burning questions that many have raised about Trump is whether he has some embedded racist viewpoints. We do know that his father Fred was probably a Nazi sympathizer. Records show that his father was arrested during a Nazi parade in New York in 1927, but let’s not judge a son’s values based on his father’s closed-mindedness.
The 45th President is a cloudy picture that can turn ugly in an instant. He uses the terms, “good people” to describe individuals who carry Nazi symbols of hate. He needs an enemy or combatant on every issue, which forces him to create a demon when none exists. He was quick to desire a ban of all Muslims from entering the US before he knew the details of one shooting.
When Trump runs out of Democrats, people of color, people from other countries or anyone who disagrees with him to bully, he aims his verbal attacks at the press. That is probably one of his easiest targets. When engaging with the press, his uncharted and disjointed verbosity gives us a great portal into his soul. His words are telling.
During a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday May 11, 2020, President Donald Trump abruptly ended the briefing after he was challenged by one CNN reporter for withdrawing her turn to ask a question, but the damage was already done on mic with a previous reporter. CBS News Asian American reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he emphasized that the US was doing better than any other country with respect to coronavirus testing. Ms. Jiang pressed Trump, “Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we are still seeing more cases every day?” As all the viewers could plainly see, Trump was miffed by the question and loudly retorted, “Well, they are losing their lives everywhere in the world. Maybe that is a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me! Ask China that question!”
Weijia has gotten under Trump’s skin in earlier press conferences, so even with her mask on Trump knew the Asian American reporter from CBS. He has rebuked and disparaged her in the past. The president then called on CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who was walking to the microphone as Jiang leaned over with half her mask off to ask, “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” The whole world witnessed Donald Trump facing an Asian woman who was confronting the President of the United States.
Donald Trump’s comeback was lame, “I am not saying it specifically to anybody. I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.” The only thing that we could hear clearly after that was Jiang objection, “That is not a nasty question.”
Trump has no idea that what he did was purely racist, but then he doesn’t use logic, science or facts to determine any of his positions. Trump’s outburst was racist because she’s Asian, and he was insinuating that she should ask China because she’s Chinese. His move hearkened back to the time he asked April Ryan, an African American reporter, to talk to the Black Caucus for him. I guess he did so because of the color of April’s skin. He would not have asked a white reporter to be a middle-man or negotiator with African American groups. He assumed she was in cahoots with the Black Caucus.
Donald Trump had a strange comment when asked about the senseless killing of a black man in Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery. Few in the media picked up on this issue because of the intensity Trump created with his Chinese blunder during this week’s truncated press conference.
In response to a black reporter asking how he felt about the delayed justice in Georgia, Trump said, “I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people – I’m speaking to many people about it.” Then, the President pointed out that he talked with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, and relayed that Senator Scott said that he too was disturbed by the fatal shooting. Tim Scott is a good guy but he’s not from Georgia. Donald Trump seemed to want people to know that he “has a black friend.” He was attempting to exploit that friendship to demonstrate he understands African American challenges in this country and, in a sense, was researching how he should react. Was he getting permission?
Our current House of Representatives has 56 African Americans while the Senate has only ten. Trump leans on Tim Scott so much in his commentary because of Scott’s special status of being African American and Republican. It’s doubtful that Trump called any Democratic African American members of Congress for their viewpoints on this tragedy.
When the President of the United States yells at a reporter, who was born in China but grew up in West Virginia, “ASK CHINA THAT QUESTION!” he is saying he doesn’t have an answer. He doesn’t know why everything is a competition. He told us we would be tired of winning. He was right; we are fatigued with his games. He has proven many times that he doesn’t like direct questions from women and especially women of color. So, he’s not only racist, but a male chauvinist pig. Okay, paste another star on his forehead. What a guy.
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