“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said President Barack Obama’s (D) chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in a 2008 post-election interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Those words have never been more true than they were over the weekend as Democrats, liberal commentators, and the mainstream media were quick to pounce and seize on criticisms President Trump made about Rep. Elijah Cummings’s Congressional District in Maryland over the weeekend.
Here’s just some of what Trump tweeted about MD-7:
“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA. As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming[s’] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
Cummings has represented the district since 1996.
The most heavily promoted pushback against Trump’s comments came from CNN “New Day” anchor Victor Blackwell, who – like many straight-news reporters at CNN and beyond – has dropped all pretense of being an objective journalist because Orange Man Bad. Baltimore is Blackwell’s hometown.
Here’s what Blackwell said:
“Infested.” That’s usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we’ve seen the president invoke ‘infestation’ to criticize lawmakers before. You see a pattern here?
Just two weeks ago, President Trump attacked four minority congresswomen: “Why don’t they go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Reminder, three of them were born here, all of them are American.
Infested, he says.
A week before his inauguration, January 2017: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested.”
Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people, many different types of people. But when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people.
Other “journalists” were quick to amplify his words and/or expressed a similar sentimient:
— alex peterson (@alexpABC27) July 28, 2019
— Anna-Lysa Gayle (@AnnaLysaGayle) July 29, 2019
Trump is not hiding that his campaign will be about white grievance. Putting black and brown people against his white supporters. To channel Chris Wallace: this isn’t reading between the lines, it’s literally written in plain English. https://t.co/EodCMiKQcV
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) July 29, 2019
“Trump is getting a distorted view of the country from what he sees on a right-wing talk show. This content then fuels his racist tendencies and his never-ending campaign continues.”@brianstelter breaks down how the President's attack on Baltimore came after a Fox News segment. pic.twitter.com/4mFcK9pCzC
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) July 28, 2019
The problem with suggesting the only time Trump uses the word “infested” is when it relates to minority politicians and/or majority black or brown communities/countries is that it simply isn’t true:
From NYT 8/3/17: 'Trump Called New Hampshire a ‘Drug-Infested Den,’ Drawing the Ire of Its Politicians.' https://t.co/2DOeB98rN3
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 28, 2019
From CNBC 2/16/17: 'Trump claims US is becoming a ‘drug-infested nation.'' https://t.co/XIqclqEQJD
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 28, 2019
The CNBC article from February 2017 on Trump saying the U.S. was becoming a “drug-infested nation” speaks for itself. No racial inferences whatsoever.
White: 93.9% (92.3% non-Hispanic)
Black or African American: 1.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.2%
The state’s governor since 2017 has been Chris Sununu. He’s a white Republican.
Here’s what Trump said about the state in August 2017:
New Hampshire politicians criticized President Trump after a transcript of a phone call with the president of Mexico published on Thursday showed he called the state “a drug-infested den.”
The remark came during his comments on the drug trade, criminal gangs and how he said they affected the state, according to a transcript of the Jan. 27 call published by The Washington Post.
“The drug lords in Mexico are knocking the hell out of our country,” Mr. Trump told President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.
“They are sending drugs to Chicago, Los Angeles and to New York,” Mr. Trump continued. “Up in New Hampshire — I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den — is coming from the southern border.”
He said that about an overwhelmingly white state that is run by a white Republican. Where’s the racism?
The fact is that Trump’s comments about Cummings weren’t about racism. Cummings has been a vocal critic of Trump’s administration and as we’ve seen over and over again, Trump will clap back against anyone who criticizes him or his team in kind. He’s an equal opportunity critic.
No matter their race, no matter if they are a man or woman. And no matter the party. It doesn’t matter.
The mainstream media and Democrats are deliberately stoking the race and culture wars to paint Trump and Republicans in a damaging light, and the closer we get to election-time, the worse it’s going to get. That’s what the real outrage should be about.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –