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An Open Letter To Congressman Tom Reed: Condemn Trump's Racism

Submitted by Robin Messing on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 4:54am

The following is an open letter to Congresman Tom Reed in response to Donald Trump's racist tweets attacking Congresswomen  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.








Congressman Reed, you were probably too busy to see it, but the hashtags #SilenceEqualsComplicity and #SilenceEqualsCompliance were trending on Twitter a couple of days ago. Where are all the Republican voices speaking out against Trump's racism? If Trump's recent tweets against the four freshmen Congresswomen didn't convince you that Trump is a racist, then may I provide you with a short overview? This is from “Is Donald Trump a Racist” by Nicholas Kristof


In 1991, a book by John O’Donnell, who had been president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump as criticizing a black accountant and saying: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” O’Donnell wrote that for months afterward, Trump pressed him to fire the black accountant, until the man resigned of his own accord.

Trump eventually denied making those comments. But in 1997 in a Playboy interview, he conceded “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”

Donald Trump spent $85,000 to take out full page ads in four New York newspapers calling for their execution of the Central Park Five. Though the ad didn't explicitly name the Central Park Five as the target of Trump's ire, the timing of the ad left no doubt as to who he was targeting.

It’s a good thing they weren’t executed, because they didn’t do it. Even after Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer, confessed to carrying out the attack, and even though DNA evidence matched Reyes and did not match any of the Central Park Five, Trump continued to insist that the Five were guilty of SOMETHING.

If that isn't evidence of racism, I don't know what is.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times  provided an excellent summary of events in January 2018 (with links to those events) that showed that Donald Trump has a long history of racism. And David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick of the Washington Post compiled a definitive list documenting Trump’s racism around that time as well.

I ask you to read George Conway's latest column proclaiming that Trump is a racist president. Conway started his column by telling the story of how a racist bigot yelled at his Mother in a parking lot to go back to the country she came from. Please pay very close attention to thow he ended his column


What’s just as bad, though, is the virtual silence from Republican leaders and officeholders. They’re silent not because they agree with Trump. Surely they know better. They’re silent because, knowing that he’s incorrigible, they have inured themselves to his wild statements; because, knowing that he’s a fool, they don’t really take his words seriously and pretend that others shouldn’t, either; because, knowing how damaging Trump’s words are, the Republicans don’t want to give succor to their political enemies; because, knowing how vindictive, stubborn and obtusely self-destructive Trump is, they fear his wrath.

But none of that is good enough. Trump is not some random, embittered person in a parking lot — he’s the president of the United States. By virtue of his office, he speaks for the country. What’s at stake now is more important than judges or tax cuts or regulations or any policy issue of the day. What’s at stake are the nation’s ideals, its very soul.


And finally, I ask you to think about what Matthew Miller said so eloquintly in a single tweet.



Congressman Reed, your silence and refusal to denounce Donald Trump's racism is deafening. You have a responsibility as a leader, and especially as one of Trump's biggest supporters, to condemn his racism--and condemn it without qualifiers. If you fail to condemn Trump's racism for the ugly stain upon the country that it is, then I can only conclude that you have no problem with it.


Update 7/16/19: Anthony Scaramucci showed us how it's done when he condemned Trump's racist tweets.





Unfortunately, only four Republicans voted to support Nancy Pelosi's resolution condemning Trump's racist tweets. I do not know yet if Tom Reed voted against the resolution or abstained from voting. What I do know is that he was not among the four who voted for it. Reed does deserve a LITTLE credit for calling Trump's remarks as "offensive" and "inappropriate", but he insisted that Trump was not a racist. His "condemnation" of Trump's tweet was weak sauce. As for as his criticism of Trump, Reed is a man of few words and no action.