Following President Trump's packed-out rally of nearly 18,000 people in Ohio Thursday night, The Atlantic published a piece by Elaina Plott Friday addressing what the report suggests is an increasingly prominent sentiment among Trump supporters: "They are tired of being called racists."
After detailing Trump's recent criticisms of "The Squad" and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings — which Democrats and their allies in the left-leaning media quickly branded "racist" — Plott presents a notable quote from Donald Trump Jr., who revved up the crowd Thursday in part by addressing the concerted effort to villify his father, and implictly his father's supporters. Racism is still an issue, Trump Jr. stressed, but the Left's habit of resorting to cries of "racism" makes a "mockery" of the term and ultimately "hurt[s] those that are actually afflicted by it."
"It's sad that using 'racism' has become the easy button of left-wing politics," the president's eldest son told the crowd overspilling the nearly 18,000-capacity U.S. Bank Arena Thursday. "...Because guess what? It still is an issue ... But by making a mockery of it by saying every time you can’t win a fight — 'Oh! We’re just gonna push the button! It’s racist' —you hurt those that are actually afflicted by it. People hear it, they roll their eyes, and they walk on. And that’s a disgrace, and that's what you’ve been given in the identity politics of the Left."
Noting that the crowd erupted in agreement with Trump Jr.'s remarks, Plott goes on to highlight comments from Trump supporters echoing his complaint about the Left's "easy button" "racist" label. Gay Trump supporter Brandon Straka, who also spoke at the rally, likewise condemned the Left's "insinuations of bigotry and racism," which he slammed as "divisive tactis" intended to control minorities.
Rally-goers who spoke with Plott made clear that they felt that when the politicans and media call Trump racist, they are actually calling his supporters racist, "by virtue of association." The response from the president's supporters, Plott found, is not distancing themselves from him but, instead, a strengthening of their solidarity with him.
"We're all tired of being called racists," one 74-year-old white Trump supporter told Plott. "You open your mouth, you're a racist. My daughter is a liberal, and she's [using the word] all the time. We don't talk politics; we can't — all the time she always accuses me of hate."
Plott notes that the supporter had just returned from Thailand after doing "missionary work for 15 years with impoverished children."
"I'm sick to death of it," said another supporter about Trump and his fans being branded racist. "I have 13 grandchildren—13. Four of them are biracial, black and white; another two of them are black and white; and another two of them are Singapore and white. You think I'm a racist? I go and I give them kids kisses like nobody's business." (Read the full report here.)
Over the last few weeks, Trump has come under heavy fire from both Democratic politicians and Democratic-sympathizing media outlets for his criticisms directed at "The Squad" — far-left freshmen Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA) — particularly his suggestion that if they dislike America so much, they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run," Trump tweeted (only Omar immigrated to the U.S.). "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can't leave fast enough. I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"
While the controversy surrounding those comments was still swirling, Trump unloaded on Cummings last weekend. "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," Trump said Saturday in a series of tweets. "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. ... Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!"