Charles Blow writes in The New York Times:
’It seems maddeningly repetitive to have to return time and again to the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, but it must be done. It must be done because it is a foundational character issue, one that supersedes and informs many others, in much the same way that his sexism and xenophobia do.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Representative Elijah Cummings’s district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a “very dangerous & filthy place” and “No human being would want to live there.” Cummings is black, as are most people in his district.
This talk of infestation is telling, because he only seems to apply it to issues concerning black and brown people. He has sniped about the “Ebola infested areas of Africa.” He has called Congressman John Lewis’s Atlanta district “crime infested” as well as telling him to focus on “the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S.” He has called sanctuary cities a “crime infested & breeding concept.” He has talked about how “illegal immigrants” will “pour into and infest our Country.” He has called the presence of the MS–13 gang members “in certain parts of our country” an “infestation.”
None of this is about crime as a discrete phenomenon, but rather about inextricably linking criminality to blackness. White supremacy isn’t necessarily about rendering white people as superhuman; it is just as often about rendering nonwhite people as subhuman. Either way the hierarchy is established, with whiteness assuming the superior position.
A survey of Trump’s tweets reveals that his attachment of criminality to populations is almost exclusively to black and brown people and to “inner cities,” an urban euphemism for black and brown neighborhoods.…’