Donald Trump’s racially charged rhetoric is not an accident. It’s also blind to our history, as was revealed on Don Lemon’s CNN show on Thursday night.
In a panel conversation, former President George W. Bush adviser Peter Wehner opened by saying that Trump is animated by racism.
“The country has had presidents before that are polarizing. That happens. What we never had before is someone who is so intentionally divisive, and so intentionally malicious,” he said. “He goes out of his way—he does it all the time and he does it with the intention to divide along these fault lines of American society, so it’s not a surprise that America is fracturing.”
Republican Scott Jennings tried to spin things around and say that many of Trump’s ideas about border control and screening immigrants are things most Americans would agree with.
That’s when Charles Blow, a New York Times columnist stepped in and blew up the debate by squashing the rose-tinted view so many Americans have about their history.
“Maybe most Americans would agree with that, but it’s also blind to history,” Blow said. “We wouldn’t have a country if it wasn’t flooded with criminals in the very beginning. There’s a period in the 1700s—1718 to about 1775—when Britain was just sending their criminals. We always think about them sending their criminals to Australia—they only started to send their criminals to Australia when the American colonies started to revolt. And the people who were not criminals were not their best—Britain wasn’t sending its best to America. Only a few of the aristocracy came to America. These were peasants. So when you look at the founding of this country, the original citizens of this country, and the people who are coming across the border, they have the same profile. There are some criminals… and there are also peasants.”