Donald Trump is a clown.
I don’t mean that primarily as an insult here, although it certainly is one. What I mean is that the former president is known for putting on cheap performances with a payoff in mind. He may not honk a red nose, or make balloon animals, or dance a jig during his rallies (he has tried that last one, unfortunately), but he excites his followers all the same by drawing from a bag of old tricks — and racism is the most reliable of them all.
That was certainly the case in Conroe, Texas, the largely white city where Trump appeared for a rally on Saturday.
His claims of experiencing anti-white racism from investigators, ridiculous as they are, are just his latest trick to stir up a frenzy.
In his remarks, Trump attacked investigators probing allegations of business- and election-related misconduct. All of the leading prosecutors investigating him — whom Trump labeled “racists” — are Black, including New York Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of Georgia, and the House Jan. 6 committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
James and Bragg are investigating Trump for alleged misconduct related to his businesses, including potential fraud. Willis and Thompson are investigating Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump effectively threatened to sic his followers on the officials if they continue their probes, which have been heating up over the past few weeks.
“These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people," Trump complained Saturday. "They’re racists and they’re very sick."
"They’re not after me, they’re after you,” he added at one point, encouraging “protests” in New York and Washington, D.C., if the investigations don’t go in his favor.
“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal," Trump said, "I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington, D.C, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere. Because our country and our elections are corrupt."
Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, was recently granted a special grand jury with the power to subpoena witnesses in her Trump probe. According to CNN, she sent a letter to the FBI Monday requesting additional security to help protect official buildings and grand jury members, saying “security concerns were escalated” by Trump’s rhetoric over the weekend.
“We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Willis wrote.
She makes a keen comparison.
Trump’s strategy of stoking racist, white fear for personal gain is well documented, and that includes the mass of white rioters he directed at the U.S. Capitol last year. Even before he declared himself a presidential candidate back in 2015, Trump gained prominence in the GOP for claiming America’s first Black president was in power illegally. His presidential campaign kicked off with a speech decrying Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug pushers. He frequently demonized pro-Black social justice protesters while president, and after he lost in 2020, he claimed majority-Black districts had fraudulently stole the election from him.
Now, he's claiming Black prosecutors are coming after him — and his followers, too.
His claims of experiencing anti-white racism from investigators, ridiculous as they are, are just his latest trick to stir up a frenzy. They're the most effective tools this clown can use to get a rise out of his audience.
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