Donald Trump: the ‘least racist person’ you could meet?

‘Shithole’ remarks are not the first alleged examples of racism by the US leader

White House policy stance shows growing rift between Tillerson and Trump
(Image credit: UPI)

Donald Trump has denied being a racist following an outcry over a comment he allegedly made about people from “shithole” countries including Haiti, El Salvador and several African nations.

Some Republicans deny that the president made any such comment, The Hill reports, and Trump told journalists: “No. I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview.”

Despite the president’s protestations, many commentators remain unconvinced.

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“Trump opened his candidacy with racism, calling Mexicans criminals and rapists. Since taking office, he has looked away from the disaster zone in Puerto Rico, he has called some violent white supremacists ‘very fine people’, and he has described Nigerians as living in ‘huts’,” writes Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations at Washington DC’s American University, in The New York Times.

Here are a few other examples of the racism allegations and controversies that have dogged Trump over the years:

1973 - Trump management corporation

Back in 1973, when Trump was president of his family’s Trump Management Corporation, the Justice Department sued the company, alleging racial discrimination against black people looking to rent apartments in New York. Trump denied the allegations and the company settled the lawsuit, promising not to discriminate against black people, Puerto Ricans or other minorities, HuffPost reports.

2008 - birther controversy

Trump has suggested that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was born not in the United States but in Kenya, “a lie that Trump still has not acknowledged as such”, says The New York Times. Trump blamed Hillary Clinton and her officials for starting the birther controversy, an allegation that prize-winning fact-checking site PolitFact investigated and found to be false.

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2017 - Mexican judge comments

In May 2017, Trump implied that Gonzalo Curiel, the US federal judge presiding over a class action against the for-profit Trump University, could not fairly hear the case because of his Mexican heritage.

“He’s a Mexican,” Trump said to CNN in comments about Curiel, an American citizen who was born in Indiana, reports Reuters. “We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings - rulings that people can’t even believe.”

2017 - Haitian and Nigerians

In June 2017, Trump said 15,000 immigrants from Haiti “all have Aids” and that 40,000 Nigerians, once seeing the US, would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, reports Business Insider.

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