Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) on Wednesday harshly criticized Donald Trump, writing a letter to express his “utter disgust” with how the president has handled race relations in the United States.
In an acerbic letter to Trump, Richmond—who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—slammed the president’s attack on NFL players, his “use of profane, sexually derogatory language in addressing American citizens” and his employment of “racist dog whistles” in everyday speech.
“I write today to express my utter disgust with your handling of race relations in America in general and, more specifically, your calculated, divisive response to nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice by professional football players, owners, coaches, and countless other patriots,” Richmond wrote.
“African Americans are just as patriotic as any other American,” he continued, noting they have “fought in every war from the American Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan, only to come home to a country that has yet to reconcile deep-seated issues of race, inequality, and injustice.”
Without mentioning Trump’s speech last week, where the president called protesting NFL players “sons of b*tches,” Richmond slammed the president for his “use of profane, sexually derogatory language in addressing American citizens,” arguing that speech “is unbecoming of the office you now hold.”
“Moreover, your complete lack of understanding of or empathy for the very painful history and substantive policy concerns that move people like Colin Kaepernick to take a stand, or a knee, in the first place is a reminder of all the African American community has to lose under
your Administration,” Richmond added.
The CBC chairman went on to list a multitude of problems facing the black community in the United States, including “criminal justice system, racial profiling, and police brutality, among many other issues.” Pointing specifically to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Richmond accused Trump’s Justice Department of “[initiating] a second failed war on drugs that will wreck the Black community, an over-policed population, and only exacerbate our nation’s shameful mass incarceration problem.”
“You personally add insult to injury with the racist dog whistles you employ, such as calling for ‘law and order’ in underserved, neglected communities across America while concurrently encouraging police brutality,” Richmond wrote. “The actions taken by you and your Administration in the short time you have been in office have already caused serious harm to our constituents and the vulnerable communities for whom we speak.”
“Almost everything you have done and said on the topic of race or on issues that implicate race demonstrate a shocking lack of knowledge for an adult public official in the 21st century,” he added.
Read the full letter here.