Ian G. Haworth
Conservative Political Commentator

Trump and the Flawed Definition of Racism

After President Donald Trump pointed out that the rodent-infested streets of Baltimore were rodent-infested, and criticized Rep. Elijah Cummings for his failure to improve the standard of living in many impoverished and dilapidated areas of Baltimore, the Democrats fell back on their one “foolproof” strategy. They accused Donald Trump of racism.

Senator Elizabeth Warren — who continues to be lauded by the supposedly anti-racist Left despite her decades of false claims of Native American heritage for career gain — defined Trump’s Tweets as “ugly and racist”:

Bernie Sanders, who himself decried the conditions in Baltimore while comparing the city to that of a “Third World Country,” criticized Trump for his “racism, bigotry and xenophobia”:

Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Sanders also described Trump as a “racist president who attacks people because they are African Americans.” Unintentionally or otherwise, Bernie Sanders summed up the Democrat’s logic when it comes to racism, and by doing so, highlighted the fact that their race-based ideology is completely flawed.

The most important word in Sanders’ brief sentence is “because.” The word “because” describes purpose; intent; motivation. An accusation of racism cannot be leveled against someone without evidence of racist intent. When we remove this requirement, any comment or action made against someone of a racial minority can be viewed as racist.

It is logically obvious that there is a clear difference between criticism of someone who happens to be African American, and criticism of someone because they are African American. This key difference is being intentionally ignored by the Democrats, who prefer to use accusations of racism as some form of political “cheat code”. Their goal is to immediately invalidate the arguments of their opponents by labeling them as bigots, conveniently bypassing the need for substantive evidence, objective debate, or logical counter arguments.

There are two fundamental flaws with their logic. 

The first is that it forbids legitimate criticism of any individual who falls under any form of minority status. We see this on a frequent basis. Valid objections to the antisemitic rhetoric of Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib are immediately dismissed as sexist, racist, or Islamophobic. If anything, to assume bigoted intent without evidence simply because the targets of criticism are members of a minority group is itself a form of bigotry. The hypocrisy is also clear when we note that the same protection is never afforded to minorities on the Right.

The second is that two things can be true at once. There is no evidence to suggest that Trump is targeting people based on their identity group. After all, he has a demonstrated history of holding an “equal opportunity” policy when it comes to insulting people. However, for sake of argument, let us temporarily assume that Trump is indeed a brutal racist, and that his criticism of characters such as Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, or Elijah Cummings is motivated by their sex, religion, or race. The uncomfortable fact is that racist intent or motivation doesn’t necessarily invalidate each individual critique. This is certainly not an endorsement of racists or their underlying ideology. But it is important to understand that two people can be bigots at once, and one bigot can legitimately criticize another bigot. For example, whether or not Trump is a racist is irrelevant when it comes to judging the validity of his specific criticism of Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism.

If the Democrats believe that accusations of bigotry can immediately invalidate any legitimate criticism of people of “minority status”, then they should be forced to answer why their frequent attacks of Ben Carson, or Ted Cruz, or Sarah Palin weren’t also bigoted. If the Democrats believe that the opinions of bigots are invalid, they should be forced to answer why they continually defend the opinions of bigots like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib in their own party.

The truth is that the Democrats don’t care about fighting bigotry. For them, racism and bigotry are simply tools to be used to avoid their least favorite things – objectivity, facts, and logic.

About the Author
Ian is a political commentator, writer, and host of the daily podcast "The Ian Haworth Show." Originally from the United Kingdom, he now lives and works in the California Bay Area. He is a columnist for Townhall.com, a regular contributor for Ben Shapiro's website "The Daily Wire," as well as "The Federalist."
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