Newsroom editors are careful about slapping labels on people—such as “racists.” But there comes a time when the evidence outweighs caution.
Since President Donald Trump stepped onto the political stage, news outlets began documenting the racist things he has said and done—a history that began long before he descended the escalator of Trump Tower to announce his presidential run.
PBS News Hour published an extensive list of nearly 100 “critical moments” of Trump’s racist history that begins in 1973 with the federal government accusing Trump and his father of discriminating against minority renters.
The influential Columbia Journalism Review said, with such overwhelming evidence, journalists should stop “dancing around the word racist” when reporting on Trump.
CJR’s Pete Vernon writes: “A president who launched his campaign with racist comments about Mexican immigrants, who built his political profile on the racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in America, and who saw ‘fine people on both sides’ in Charlottesville last month has provided the evidence necessary to move beyond circumlocution.”
Many people who know Trump personally insist that he’s not a racist. Sure, it’s impossible to know his heart, but one can certainly judge his words and actions–which are clearly racist.
The evidence makes it clear that euphemistic phrases, such as “racially charged” and “racially loaded,” are no longer the most accurate words describe this president, as Vernon points out.
Editors at The New York Times took a giant step when they said Trump “lied” when he repeatedly raised questions about President Obama’s birthplace.
It’s time for newsrooms to take another step and use the R-word about President Trump.
SOURCE: Columbia Journalism Review