Editor’s Note: This post contains explicit language.
The killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests over police violence against Black Americans have sparked a racial reckoning in America.
They have also drawn renewed attention to how President Donald Trump talks about race.
The president has a long and sometimes conflicting record. He has faced federal charges of racial discrimination at his businesses, but used his Mar-a-Lago resort to smash white-only membership policies in Palm Beach, Florida.
He was among the loudest voices behind a baseless attack on the legitimacy of the nation’s first Black president, and his own cabinet is among the least diverse in modern history. At the same time, Trump has hired White House advisors focused on outreach to African Americans.
Trump has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, yet left Jews out of a Holocaust remembrance statement and referred to one Jewish group as “negotiators.”
He said an Indiana judge could not rule on a border case because of his Mexican heritage. He funded ads that associated Native Americans with drug use and crime. And he told four Congresswomen of color, to “go back” to the countries they came from “originally.” All are American citizens and three were born in the United States.
At the same time, he has insisted that he wants to unite the country.
We combed the archives (and internet) to understand Trump’s words and actions on race. Here are nearly 100 critical moments.
|1973||Discrimination charge. Donald and Fred Trump are accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against potential minority renters. They insist they are innocent and fight the sweeping charges.|
The Trumps settle with the Department of Justice over housing discrimination charges, agreeing to meet certain standards while not admitting any wrongdoing.
|1978||Renewed discrimination charge. The Department of Justice accuses the Trumps of continuing to discriminate in spite of their settlement.|
|1983||Report: disproportionately white tenants. The New York Times reports that two Trump properties have populations that are 95 percent white.|
|1989||Central Park Five Ads. After five young men of color — known as The Central Park Five — are arrested for a brutal attack on a jogger, Donald Trump buys full-page newspaper ads stressing law and order and urging return of the death penalty. He writes that white, Black, Hispanic and Asian families have lost a sense of security in their neighborhoods. (The five men, who Trump called “crazed misfits,” were exonerated 13 years later.)|
|1990||Criticizes a white-only club. Trump tells Vanity Fair he did not want to join a Palm Beach, Florida, club because it does not allow Black or Jewish members.|
|1992||Trump hotel penalized for discrimination.
A judge rules against the Trump Plaza Hotel in New Jersey, concluding the hotel discriminated in removing a Black dealer from a table at the request of a wealthy player.
|1993||“They don’t look like Indians to me,”
Trump says during a Congressional hearing when talking about Native American casino officials, accusing them of working with organized crime. He adds that political correctness has given Native American status to some people who don’t “look like Indians.”
|1995||Opens racially inclusive club. Trump turns his Mar-a-Lago resort into a private club open to Jews, African Americans and all races, breaking with many other local elite clubs in Palm Beach, Florida.|
|1996||Sued by 20 Black Americans. Twenty people from Indiana sue Trump, alleging he did not make good on promises to hire a large number of local minorities for his new casino.|
|Dec. 23, 1998||Doesn’t hire minority contractors.
The chairwoman of the Palm Beach County Commission chastises Trump for apparently failing to meet his pledge to make “reasonable efforts” to give 30 percent of contracts for building a Trump golf course to minorities.
|Feb. 14, 2000||Calls David Duke a racist. In a “Today Show” interview, Trump calls former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke a “bigot, a racist, a problem” and separately sends a statement to the New York Times, saying the Reform Party’s inclusion of Duke makes it a party he does not want to join.|
|Oct. 6, 2000||Secretly funds anti-Native American ads.
Trump agrees to apologize and pay a fine for secretly financing sharp ads opposing a Native American gambling proposal. The ads included pictures of syringes and cocaine and asked, “Are these the new neighbors we want?”
|April 2005||Suggests pitting white people against Black people for ratings.
On the Howard Stern radio show, Trump raises an idea for his reality show, “The Apprentice” — an all-white team vying against an all-Black team. After show co-host Robin Quivers jokes that will cause a riot, Trump responds, “It would be the highest-rated show on television.”
|Feb. 10, 2011||First publicly doubts Obama.
Trump tells conservative CPAC that President Barack Obama’s classmates never saw him at school. Politifact rated this statement “pants on fire.”
|March 23, 2011||Birtherism begins.
Trump goes on “The View,” says that President Obama must show his birth certificate.
|April 21, 2011||Questions Obama’s place at Harvard.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump questions how President Obama got into Columbia and Harvard. Later he tells reporters Obama should “get off the basketball court.”
|May 9, 2011||“I am the least racist person there is,” Trump says to FOX News, pointing to the fact that an African American won “The Apprentice.”|
|April 14, 2011||“I have a great relationship with the Blacks,” Trump tells an Albany, New York, radio show.|
|Nov. 1, 2011||Claims there are double standards when it comes to racism.In a YouTube video(now marked private), Trump accuses Jon Stewart of racism and says there is a double standard (Stewart seemed to use a voice imitating Herman Cain).|
|April 24, 2013||Disputes innocence of The Central Park Five.
Trump tweets that a documentary about the full exoneration of the five men of color in the Central Park jogger case is “one-sided” and didn’t explain their “horrific crimes.”
|April 24, 2013||Calls Jon Stewart by his Jewish birth name.
Trump tweets that he’s smarter than “Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart…”
|June 5, 2013||Repeats falsehoods on minorities and crime. During the ramp-up to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial, Trump tweets that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by Blacks and Hispanics.” This seems to come from a New York City report showing Black and Hispanic people were also the majority of crime victims. An FBI report disputes Trump’s claim nationally.|
|Aug. 5, 2013||Claims double-standard on “n—–.”
On FOX News, Trump responds to Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel’s use of the word “cracker” for white people by saying there is unfair and greater backlash against Republicans who use “n—–” to describe Black people.
|June 21, 2014||The Central Park Five settlement is a “disgrace.”
Trump writes an Op-Ed for the New York Daily News. He says that the five men falsely jailed were no “angels” and the city’s $40 million settlement with them is a “heist.”
|Feb. 25, 2015||Mexico “sending criminals.”
Trump tweets that Mexico is corrupt and sends criminals over the U.S. border.
|April 28, 2015||“Thugs.” In midst of violent reaction to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore,
Trump tweets that “thugs” are happily and openly destroying the city.
|June 16, 2015||Mexico sending “rapists.” In the speech announcing his candidacy for president, Trump charges that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S.|
|June 23, 2015||African American youth “have no spirit,” Trump told a Republican luncheon in Baltimore, adding “they’ve just about never done more poorly.”|
|June 30, 2015||“I love the Mexican people,” Trump tweets, but adds “Mexico is not our friend.”|
|July 1, 2015||Stands by Mexican “rapists” remark.
In an interview with CNN, Trump insists Mexico is sending rapists to America. He does not seem to accept research showing that rapes of women crossing the border are largely done by traffickers.
|July 5, 2015||Swipe at Jeb Bush’s Mexican-American wife.
In a tweet he later deleted, Trump writes that Bush “has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” Columba Bush was born in Mexico and legally immigrated to the United States.
|Aug. 2, 2015||Trump campaign fires aide for use of racial epithet. After saying it found use of a racial epithet to describe African Americans on his Facebook page, the Trump campaign fires longtime Trump aide Sam Nunberg. Nunberg denies he wrote such posts.|
|Aug. 19, 2015||“Passionate” Trump supporters beat Hispanic man.
After two white men indicated Donald Trump inspired them to beat and urinate on a homeless Hispanic man, Trump initially calls it a“shame” but says his supporters are “passionate.” He later tweets that the incident was terrible and he does not condone violence.
|Aug. 25, 2015||Mimicking Asians? Talking about Japanese and Chinese negotiators, Trump, seeming to use an accent, says their approach is “we want deal.”|
|Aug. 26, 2015||Would not want David Duke’s support.
Trump tells Bloomberg he doesn’t want David Duke’s endorsement and doesn’t need any endorsement. Asked if he would repudiate Duke, Trump said, “sure…if it made you feel better.”
|Nov. 2015||False statistics about African Americans. After a Black protester chanting “Black Lives Matter” at his Alabama rally was pushed and punched, Trump tweets (and later deletes) false statistics about the percentage of white people killed by Black people. Politifact rated one claim as “pants on fire.”|
|Dec. 3, 2015||Jews as “negotiators.”
Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump discussed Israeli-Palestinian talks and then said “I’m a negotiator, like you folks” and “this room negotiates perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to, maybe more.” (In February, Trump would tell CNN the “Persians are great negotiators.”)
|Dec. 8, 2015||Compares his Muslim ban to Japanese internment, World War II
policies. In an interview with ABC, Trump says his Muslim ban proposal is no different than President Franklin Roosevelt’s orders regarding Japanese, German and Italian Americans during WWII.
|Feb. 25, 2016||David Duke supports Trump.
On Facebook, the former Klansman urges his followers to vote for Trump, saying it is “treason to your heritage” to vote for others.
|Feb. 26, 2016||Trump disavows David Duke.
At a news conference, Trump says he didn’t know about Duke’s announcement and responds “I disavow. OK?”
|Feb. 28 – 29, 2016||Trump non-answer on David Duke.
On CNN, Trump is asked in multiple ways if he condemns David Duke and does not directly answer. The following day,
Trump says this was because he had a bad earpiece.
|May 5, 2016||Taco salad.
Trump tweets photo of him eating a taco salad, with the message “I love Hispanics” and “Happy #CincoDeMayo.”
|May 26, 2016||First criticizes Mexican-American judge. In a San Diego speech, Trump criticizes Judge Gonzalo Curiel hours before Curiel’s court announces he has cleared the public release of some controversial Trump University documents. Trump said Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” He also states “Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.”|
|June 2-3, 2016||More on judge’s Mexican heritage. Speaking with the WSJ and CNN, Trump says Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage is an absolute conflict in his oversight of the Trump University case and he cannot be fair. On CBS, Trump calls his inference that Curiel is biased because of his race “common sense.”|
|June 3, 2016||“My African American”; Chinese American support.
In Redding, California, Trump stresses support from African Americans and points to a Black man in the crowd, saying, “Oh, look at my African American over here!” In the speech, he also spoke of support from a group of Chinese Americans.
|June 11, 2016||Misleading claim on Black unemployment. In Richmond, Virginia, Trump says he will expand his campaign theme to include “everyone.” Then, around the 25-minute mark, he argues America is in decline, saying “African American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent.”
Politifact rated the claim “mostly false.”
|June 25, 2016||Muslim ban, but not for certain Muslims.
Trump tells reporters with him in Scotland that it wouldn’t bother him for a Scottish Muslim to enter the United States. This, after he had pledged in December to ban all Muslims from arriving in the U.S. Advisers try to walk back the comments and say the ban would focus on countries associated with terrorist groups.
|July 11, 2016||The law and order president. Days after a racially motivated Black gunman killed five Dallas police officers at a protest march, Trump gives a Virginia Beach speech supporting law enforcement, declaring, “I am the law and order candidate” and “the candidate of compassion.”|
|July 12, 2016||Black people not necessarily wrong about police. In wake of police shootings of Black men in Louisiana and Alabama, Trump tells FOX News that Black people are not necessarily wrong about police mistreatment and that police shootings “could be” part of systemic racism. In the same interview, he criticizes the Black Lives Matters movement.|
|July 15, 2016||“…the South overplayed its hand,” Trump says of the Civil War in an interview with Time. Trump indicates he thinks the South could have settled without war.|
|July 30, 2016||Ghazala Khan.
Trump questions why Gold Star mother and Pakistani-American Ghazala Khan was silent when her husband spoke at the Democratic convention. “Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” Trump suggested. Mrs. Khan later said she did not speak because she was overcome by emotion.
|Aug. 16, 2016||Direct appeal to African Americans.
Trump directly asks for African American votes in a speech about law and order. He vows to protect minorities from immigrants who could take their jobs and accuses Hillary Clinton of bigotry.
|Aug. 18, 2016||Appeal to African Americans, Hispanic Americans.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump promises “jobs, safety” and “fair, equal representation” to “African Americans, Hispanic Americans and all Americans.” (Note: he also expresses regret for some of his recent words, though does not specify which words.)
|Aug. 19, 2016||“What do you have to lose?” Trump asks African Americans as he argues that Democrats have failed them and they should give him their vote. “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.” These less-scripted remarks were in Dimondale, Michigan, which critics pointed out is 93 percent white. He also repeated incorrect statistics about Black youth unemployment.|
|Aug. 20, 2016||Trump says GOP should be home for African Americans.
At a Fredericksburg, Virginia, rally, Trump says he wants the Republican Party to “be the home of the African American vote once again.”
|Sept. 2, 2016||Philadelphia Black roundtable.
Trump participates in a roundtable discussion with Black leaders and community members affected by crime in Philadelphia.
|Sept. 3, 2016||Detroit Black church visit. Trump attends event at Black church in Detroit. He did not originally plan on speaking, but says in an address that “I’m here to learn.” The NYT obtained a proposed campaign script for an interview with the church’s pastor. Trump also visits Ben Carson’s boyhood home.|
|Sept. 15, 2016||Continues birtherism. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump refuses to answer whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States.|
|Sept. 16, 2016||Ends birtherism. In a 10-word statement at his D.C. hotel, Trump tells a room of supporters and media that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”|
|Sept. 20, 2016||African American communities are in “the worst shape ever,” Trump says at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina. Politifact gives that a “pants on fire” rating.|
|Sept. 21, 2016||Stop and frisk.
In a town hall with FOX News’ Sean Hannity, Trump says that he supports “stop and frisk,” which allows police to question and temporarily detain anyone. Studies have shown minorities are disproportionately detained in “stop and frisk.”
|Sept. 24, 2016||Praises African American museum but gets name wrong. While speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Trump praises the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington as “beautiful” but mistakenly calls it the “Smithsonian National Museum of American History, African American Art.”|
|Sept. 26, 2016||“Living in Hell.” At the first presidential debate, Trump states that “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell. You walk down the street and you get shot.” He again calls for “law and order.”|
|Oct. 6, 2016||Still believes Central Park Five are guilty.
Trump gives CNN a statement about the five men falsely imprisoned for a 1989 rape, saying “they admitted they were guilty.” Experts point to the men’s confessions as an example of police coercion. DNA evidence concluded another man committed the crime.
|Oct. 9, 2016||Wrong on Black poverty and narrow idea of where Black people live.
During the second presidential debate, Trump equates inner cities with African Americans and falsely states the urban Black poverty rate (inflating it by nearly 20 percentage points).
|Oct. 11, 2016||“The Apprentice” contestant claims racist comment. Randal Pinkett, the first Black champion of the show, tells the Hollywood Reporter that Trump asked him if he would share his title with the runner-up — a white woman.|
|Oct. 26, 2016||A new deal for Black America, “uneven justice.” In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump unveils his “new deal for Black America,” pledging to push for tax holidays in U.S. cities and incentives to move foreign jobs to urban centers. He also declared there is “uneven justice.”|
|Oct. 27, 2016||“Ghettos.”
At a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Trump refers to problem urban areas initially as “ghettos” then as the “inner city.”
|Nov. 11, 2016||Specific plan for black America. A list of 10 specifics for Trump’s “new deal for black America”
appears on the celebrity website Media Take Out. The site says the list came from the Trump transition team.
|Dec. 5, 2016||Ben Carson nominated to a mostly white cabinet. Trump announces Ben Carson as his choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson was the only Black person on the president’s initial 22-person cabinet slate and one of three minorities, along with Elaine Chao (Transportation) and Nikki Haley (United Nations). Alexander Acosta, of Hispanic descent, was later nominated to be Labor secretary.|
|Dec. 9, 2016||Thanks African Americans who did and didn’t vote. At a “thank you” rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump says African American voters came through for him, arguing that those who stayed home did it in order to help him.|
|Dec. 13, 2016||Meetings with Jim Brown, other Black celebrities.
Trump meets with former NFL star Jim Brown to talk about a program serving Black Americans. The same day he meets with two other high-profile Black Americans: former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis and hip hop artist Kanye West.
|Dec. 15, 2016||Trump again thanks Black people who did not vote, this time at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.|
|Jan. 15, 2017||Changes African American museum visit.
ABC and others report the president would not visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16) as previously discussed.
|Jan. 27, 2017||Doesn’t mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Trump’s written
statement calls for remembering “victims, survivors, heroes” but omits mention of Jews, who were the largest ethnic group affected. Politico later reports the State Department had drafted a version which did mention Jews, but the White House blocked its release.
|Feb. 1, 2017||Black History Month kickoff and Frederick Douglass. Trump begins Black History Month
with a White House breakfast. He praises Martin Luther King Jr. and Black Americans in general. He also seems to speak as if 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass were a living person.
|Feb. 16, 2017||“Are they friends of yours?”
Trump asks American Urban Radio reporter April Ryan, who is Black, in response to her question about whether he would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. He says he would love to meet with the CBC and asks Ryan to set up a meeting. (She later tweets that’s not her job).
|Feb. 16, 2017||“I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen,”
Trump says in the same news conference. He has a tense exchange with a young Jewish reporter asking about an increase in anti-Semitic acts.
|Feb. 21, 2017||Visits African American museum, denounces anti-Semitism. Trump tours and speaks at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, pledging to unite a divided country. He also denounces racism and anti-Semitism (following a rise in vandalism and threats nationwide).|
|Feb. 25, 2017||Black History Month ends. Trump uses his last weekly address of the month to praise the African American community. He again pledges to improve education, jobs and safety.|
|Feb. 27, 2017||Meets Black college presidents.
Trump speaks with and takes an Oval Office photo with a large group of Historically Black College and University presidents.
|Feb. 28, 2017||HBCU executive order.
Trump signs an executive order moving the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the White House and calling for greater efforts to find funding.
|Feb. 28, 2017||Speech to Congress. In his first address to Congress, Trump begins by speaking about African American history month and recent anti-Semitic crimes. He calls for unity. Black female lawmakers wear black flowers to represent concern for his stance toward minorities.|
|March 8, 2017||Trump language has been “hurtful” to African Americans. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.,
tells the president in a White House meeting that his words have been “hurtful,” “offensive,” and not helpful to the black community.
|March 22, 2017||Trump meets with the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House. Leaders of the group present him with a 130-page document outlining issues and ideas for the black community.|
|April 17, 2017||White nationalist says he acted because of the president. A white nationalist leader facing charges he assaulted a Black protester in 2016 defends himself in a court filing by claiming he was acting based on the words of then-candidate Trump.|
|April 27, 2016||Aide: The president is trying harder than Black activists. Trump’s liaison to the Black community tells the Associated Press the White House “is waiting, willing to work with [the Black] community” but “it’s not a one-way street.”|
|May 1, 2017||“Why was there a Civil War?” Trump asks in an interview on Sirius/XM, questioning why the Civil War couldn’t have been avoided.|
|May 5, 2017||Questions HBCU funding.
In a signing statement for $1.1 trillion funding bill, the president points to $20 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as potentially being unconstitutionally based on race.
|May 8, 2017||Supports HBCU funding. The president seemed to walk back an earlier signing message with a new statement stressing “unwavering” support for Black colleges and universities.|
|May, 2016||Low number of minorities among Trump executives.
The Associated Press reports the Trump Organization has little evidence of hiring minorities for executive positions. Trump responds: “I am the least discriminatory person in the world,” and says he has hired minorities for those roles. Neither he nor his staff provide the AP with evidence to confirm those hires.
|July 6, 2017||“The West.” In a sweeping foreign policy speech in Poland, Trump stresses the need to protect “the West,” “civilization” against forces from “the South and East” that threaten Western values.|
|June 9, 2017||Invitation to black leaders.
The White House invites the entire Congressional Black Caucus for a meeting with the president.
|June 21, 2017||Invitation declined. The Congressional Black Caucus declines Trump’s invitation. CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., writes Trump a letter charging that his administration responded to neither their policy ideas nor seven other letters or documents from the group.|
|July 25, 2017||Flip on minority jobless rate. In a speech in Toledo, Ohio, Trump says that unemployment for African American and Hispanic youth is at its lowest since “just after the turn of the millennium.” The Washington Post calls this a flip-flop from Trump’s remarks in June 2016 calling the same rate a sign of American decline.|
|Aug. 12, 2017||Condemns “many sides” for Charlottesville racial violence. After a white nationalist attending a rally drove a car into a crowd, killing one protester and injuring many more, Trump condemns “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.” He did not mention white supremacists or nationalists specifically.|
|Aug. 13, 2017||White House tries to clarify Trump’s words.
A White House statement says “of course” the president included white supremacists in his condemnation.
|Aug. 14, 2017||Trump condemns KKK, Neo-Nazis.
Speaking from the White House, the president says, “racism is evil” and goes on to specifically name the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
|Aug. 15, 2017||Trump again blames “both sides.” During an impromptu news conference, Trump again condemns Neo-Nazis but also insists “both sides” deserve blame for violence in Charlottesville and that counter-protesters had acted “very, very violently.” He incorrectly says protesters were “quietly” supporting the Robert E. Lee statue.|
|Aug. 22, 2017||“I love all the people” and Confederate statues are “our heritage.”
Speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Trump lashes out at coverage of his remarks about Charlottesville, Virginia, saying he loves “all the people of our country” and repeating that “racism is evil.” He calls the white nationalist driver who killed a protester in Charlottesville “a murderer.” Minutes later, Trump defends Confederate statues, charging that those who want to remove them “are trying to take our history and our heritage away.”
|Sept. 22, 2017||“Fire” players protesting over minority treatment.
Trump says NFL owners should fire “son of a bitch” players who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against people of color.
|Sept. 24, 2017||Athletes “disrespecting our Flag.” As protests increase, Trump tweets that NFL players who refuse to stand during the national anthem are disrespectful.|
|Sept. 30, 2017||Trump criticizes Puerto Ricans. In the aftermath of two hurricanes, Trump characterizes Puerto Ricans as “wanting everything done for them,” adding that their leaders are “not able to get their workers to help.”|
|Nov. 27, 2017||Trump uses name “Pocahontas” to belittle senator. At an event honoring Navajo World War II veterans, the president mocks Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American heritage, saying “they call her Pocahontas.”|
|Nov. 29, 2017||Far-right nationalist retweet. Trump retweets three anti-Muslim tweets from British far-right leader Jayda Fransen, drawing widespread criticism. The White House says Trump was “elevat[ing] the conversation to talk about a real threat.”|
|Dec. 23, 2017||Haitian immigrants and Nigerians. The New York Times reports that in an Oval Office meeting in June, Trump said Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and Nigerians would never “go back to their huts.”|
|Jan. 11, 2018||“S***hole countries.” At a White House meeting on immigration, Trump reportedly wonders why the U.S. was admitting people from Haiti and Africa, referring to “s***hole countries” and suggesting more immigration from places like Norway.|
|Jan. 14, 2018||“I am the least racist person you ever interviewed.”
Trump tells reporters when asked about reports that he called Haiti and African nations “s***hole countries.” He denies saying the words, disputing the account of Democratic senators in the room.
|Jan. 30, 2018||Minority unemployment.
In his State of the Union address, the president highlights historic low rates of African American and Hispanic unemployment. The LA Times found him to be correct about black unemployment and nearly correct on the Hispanic rate. Critics point out the president did not address the wide racial gap in employment rates overall.
|May 16, 2018||“Animals.”
Speaking at a White House roundtable on illegal immigration, Trump says: “We’re taking people out of the country…These aren’t people. These are animals.” The following day he insists he was referring only to members of the MS-13 gang.
|May 24, 2018||Jack Johnson Pardon. Trump posthumously pardons Black boxing great Jack Johnson, who was convicted in 1913 of breaking a sexual morality law for driving with his white girlfriend across state lines. The president praises Johnson as the first black heavyweight champion and says he was convicted during a time of “tremendous racial tension.”|
|May 24, 2018||Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. Speaking on FOX News, Trump insists any football player who doesn’t stand for the national anthem shouldn’t be playing and maybe “shouldn’t be in the country.”|
|May 30, 2018||Roseanne Barr tweet. Trump mocks ABC and parent company Disney after CEO Bob Iger apologizes for a tweet by Roseanne Barr. The actress posted a tweet comparing former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is Black, to an ape, prompting ABC to drop the revival of her hit sitcom. Trump writes on Twitter that Iger never apologized to him for unspecified anti-Trump remarks made on ABC.|
|June 4, 2018||The Philadelphia Eagles.
The president disinvites the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to a White House event after a number of players decided not to attend. He then criticizes protests over the rights of Black Americans, writing that any players staying in the locker room during the national anthem are as “disrespectful to our country” as those kneeling during the song.
|Aug. 11, 2018||“I condemn all kinds of racism.” On the anniversary of the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump tweets that “we must come together as a country” and that he condemns “all kinds of racism and acts of violence.” But while he says what happened in Charlottesville resulted in “senseless deaths and divisions,” he does not specifically lay blame for the violence on any group or viewpoint nor mention white nationalists.|
|Aug. 22, 2018|| South Africa and white farmers.
The president tweets that he has directed the secretary of state to look into reports that the South African government “is now seizing land from white farmers.” There is no evidence of such widespread seizures, but the African National Congress is proposing allowing the uncompensated land takings. A spokesman for South Africa responds that the president is misinformed.
|Oct. 22, 2018||“Unknown Middle Easterners” as a threat. As a caravan of migrants approaches the southern border, Trump tweets that “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in.”|
|Nov. 7, 2018||“That’s such a racist question.” After PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor asks Trump about his use of the term “nationalist” and his response to people who say that rhetoric supports white nationalists, he says “that’s a racist question.” Trump goes on to say he has high poll numbers among African Americans and that he loves the country.|
|Dec. 21, 2018||Signs criminal justice reform.
The president signs the FIRST STEP and Juvenile Justice Reform Acts, bills aimed at reducing racial disparities, especially for Black Americans, in the criminal justice system. Trump does not mention race during his remarks at the bill ceremony.
|Feb. 9, 2019||Refers to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.” In a tweet, Trump mocks Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has claimed Native American ancestry, as “Pocahontas” and “our first Native American presidential candidate,” repeating an attack that Native Americans consider an offensive slur.|
|Feb. 25, 2019||Accuses Spike Lee of a “racist hit” on him. Following director Spike Lee’s Oscar acceptance speech, Trump accuses Lee of launching a “racist hit” on him. Lee’s speech did not mention Trump but he spoke of African American history, including slavery, and called for people to mobilize for the 2020 election.|
|April 1, 2019||Notes disproportionate incarceration of Black Americans.
At an event celebrating criminal justice reform, Trump says the new law rolls back a 1994 law that “disproportionately affected the African American community.” He also touts economic gains by African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
|April 6, 2019||Charges Democrats with anti-semitism and refers to Central American migrants as “some of the roughest people.”
Speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump accuses Democrats of allowing anti-Semitism to take hold in their party as some of their members criticized Israel and referred to Jewish groups using financial terms. The president also referred to migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as “some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen.”
|April 12, 2019||Video about Rep. Omar and Sept. 11. After Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who is Muslim, says “some people did something” to describe September 11th, Trump tweets out a controversial video showing her alongside 9/11 footage. Some criticized that video as Islamaphobic and racist.|
|May 9, 2019||Calling his characterization of Mexicans as rapists “mild.” At a Florida rally, Trump
defends his 2015 description of Mexican migrants as rapists and criminals. “That speech was so mild compared to what’s happening,” he said.
|June 15, 2019||Retweets sentiments from controversial UK nationalist. Trump retweets a British media personality, whose past tweets some people interpreted as advocating for ethnic cleansing.|
|July 14-18, 2019||Lashes out at four women of color in Congress. The president tweets that four freshman congresswomen who are non-white were “originally” from somewhere else, even though only one was born outside of the United States and all four are U.S. citizens. Trump later doubles down on his premise, insisting that the four lawmakers do not love the country, and should consider leaving. His supporters chant “send her back” about one of the congresswomen at a rally later that week.|
|July 27-29, 2019||“Rodent infested mess.” Trump writes more than a dozen tweets sharply criticizing House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and his majority Black congressional district. In one of his tweets, the president calls the district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Trump responds to criticism by pointing out that unemployment for African Americans is at a historic low and suggesting that Democrats are playing the “race card.”|
|July 30, 2019||“Least racist person.”
Trump tells reporters he is the “least racist person anywhere in the world” and that “African Americans love the job I’m doing.”
|July 30, 2019||Remembering slavery.
Speaking at the 400th anniversary of the 1619 meeting of the colonial legislature in Virginia, Trump also recognizes the arrival of African slaves that same year. “We remember every sacred soul who suffered the horrors of slavery and the anguish of bondage,” and “African Americans have built, strengthened, inspired, uplifted, protected, defended, and sustained our nation from its very earliest days,” he says. Trump later tells reporters that no president has done as much as he has for African Americans.
|Aug. 5, 2019||Condemns white supremacy.
Following the mass killing of 23 people in El Paso, Texas, by a man with a history of white nationalist and anti-immigrant writing, some of which mirrored the president’s past words, Trump says in a White House speech, “in one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
|Aug. 7, 2019||Concerned about any kind of hate.
While departing to meet with survivors of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Trump is asked about the rise of white supremacy. He responds that he is “very concerned” about “any group of hate … whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any other kind of supremacy, whether it’s Antifa, whether it’s any group of hate.” He also says his rhetoric had no impact on the violence.
|Sept. 16, 2019||Hispanic adviser looks “like a WASP.”
Speaking at a rally in New Mexico, Trump says an advisor “happens to be Hispanic” but “looks more like a WASP [white Anglo-Saxon Protestant] than I do.” He then says he has asked the advisor: “Who do you like more, the country, or the Hispanics?”
|Oct. 4, 2019||African Americans “built this nation.”
Trump hosts the conservative “Young Black Leadership summit” at the White House, and says “African Americans built this nation,” and that no one has been hurt more by Democrats’ policies than them.
|Oct. 10, 2019||Criticizes Somali refugees.
At a rally in Minneapolis, Trump calls Rep. Ilhan Omar, a U.S. citizen born in Somalia, an “America-hating socialist” and criticizes the large numbers of Somali refugees in the state, saying he wants to give the community more of a say on who arrives in the state, and pledging to make it harder for such refugees to enter.
|Oct. 22, 2019||Compares impeachment with “a lynching.”
The president tweets that Democrats are impeaching him without due process and, “Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching!”
|Nov. 8, 2019||“Black Voices for Trump.”
The president launches a new campaign effort, “Black Voices for Trump.” He tells a crowd that he will “campaign for every last African American vote in 2020” and touts economic gains for Black Americans in his presidency.
|Jan. 20, 2020||Compares MLK Jr. Day and his inauguration.
Trump tweets that it is fitting that MLK Jr. Day is on the third anniversary of his inauguration, pointing to economic gains for African Americans during his presidency.
|Feb. 2, 2020||Super Bowl ad about criminal justice.
The Trump campaign plays a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl focusing on criminal justice reform and his commutation of a Black woman’s sentence.
|Feb. 4, 2020||Recognizes Tuskegee airman.
In his annual State of the Union address to Congress, Trump recognizes a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a historic Black World War II pilot group. He also stresses the historic low unemployment rates among African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
|Feb. 11, 2020||Calls Bloomberg a racist.
After former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologizes for his past use of stop-and-frisk policing, Trump tweets that “Bloomberg is a Total Racist.” He later deletes the tweet, telling reporters he does not want to divide the country.
|Feb. 27, 2020||Meets with Black supporters at the White House.
Trump tells the group that what he’s achieved for Black Americans is unprecedented.
|March 16-24, 2020||“Chinese virus.”
On Twitter, Trump writes the U.S. must protect its industries from “the Chinese virus.” He and others in the administration repeatedly use the phrase after this, in at least one case changing his prepared remarks to include it.
|March 18, 2020||Defends “Chinese virus.”
Trump tells reporters his use of the phrase “Chinese virus” is justified because the virus comes from China. “It’s not racist at all,” he says.
|March 23, 2020||The virus is not Asian Americans’ fault.
As acts of hostility toward Asian Americans continue to rise, Trump tweets, “it is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community” and that the virus spread is “NOT their fault.”
|March 24, 2020||Says he will stop using the phrase “Chinese virus.”
Trump tells FOX News he does not regret it, but will no longer use the term.
|April 20, 2020||Blocks new green cards.
Trump posts a statement on Twitter saying he will temporarily suspend all immigration, due to the “Invisible Enemy,” a phrase he has used to indicate the coronavirus. The order is issued two days later, and applies to those outside the U.S. who are seeking green cards.
|May 8, 2020||Ahmaud Arbery death “very disturbing.”
In a television interview, Trump calls the shooting of Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery “very disturbing.” He also says he believes “something we didn’t see on tape” could have happened.
|May 27, 2020||Asks for investigation into George Floyd’s death.
Trump tweets he has requested an investigation into Floyd’s May 25 death, describing it as “very sad and tragic,” and saying that he appreciates the work of local law enforcement and his heart goes out to George’s friends and family.
|May 29, 2020||“These THUGS.”
Amid protests across the country, some of which turned violent, the president tweets that “thugs” are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd. He also writes, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” invoking a phrase used in 1967 by a police chief who openly condoned police brutality. Twitter initially hides the tweet, then makes it visible again, with a warning. Trump later says he did not know the history of the phrase.
|May 30, 2020||George Floyd and protests.
In his first spoken remarks on Floyd’s death, Trump recognizes “the pain people are feeling” and says he wants a “more just society.” He does not mention race or racism.
|May 30, 2020||“Vicious dogs.”
Trump tweets that any protesters climbing or breaching the White House fence will be met with “the most vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” he’s ever seen.
|June 1, 2020||Orders military, others to combat “lawlessness.”
In remarks at the White House, Trump announces he is mobilizing federal resources to stop what he sees as lawlessness spreading across the country. He says Americans are rightly “revolted and sickened” by Floyd’s death and that he is an ally of peaceful protesters, but cannot allow them to be drowned out by an “angry mob.”
|June 3, 2020||Says Biden should have done more on racism.
In a television interview, Trump says of his likely presidential opponent Joe Biden, “Now he’s talking about systemic racism and the police department. Why wouldn’t he have done something about it [when a senator or vice president]?” Trump accuses Biden of being bad for African Americans. Trump does not otherwise address racism.
|June 5, 2020||The economy and race relations.
When asked by the NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor what his plan is for systemic racism, Trump says his plan is to have the strongest economy in the world. He says the economy is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations.
|June 8, 2020||Policing problems are with “bad apples.”
Speaking at a roundtable with law enforcement officers, Trump defends them as 99.9 percent “great people.” He points to “bad apples” and indicates he does not see a systemic problem. Trump does not mention race.
|June 10, 2020||Will not replace Confederate base names.
The president breaks with some military leaders and tweets that his administration will not consider renaming military installations honoring Confederate figures, writing that they are part of America’s heritage and “our history … will not be tampered with!”
|June 11, 2020||Confront bigotry but don’t mislabel people as “racist.”
At a roundtable in Texas, Trump says, ”We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear, but we’ll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots.”
|June 12, 2020||Reschedules Juneteenth rally.
Trump tweets that he is delaying a rally planned for Tulsa, Oklahoma, by one day, upon the advice of “African American friends and supporters” who say it would not respect the Juneteenth holiday, which observes the day that the news of slavery’s end had reached the entire country. Tulsa is the site of one of the nation’s bloodiest race riots, in which up to 300 Black people were killed by white residents.
|June 18, 2020||Nobody ever heard of Juneteenth before.
Trump tells the Wall Street Journal, in an interview published this day, that he personally made Juneteenth famous and nobody had ever heard of it before. Politifact rated this a “Pants on Fire” untrue statement. He also expresses surprise when the reporter tells him his White House has issued statements about Juneteenth in each year of his presidency.
|June 18, 2020||Nobody ever heard of Juneteenth before.
Trump tells the Wall Street Journal, in an interview published this day, that he personally made Juneteenth famous and nobody had ever heard of it before. Politifact rated this a “Pants on Fire” untrue statement. He also expresses surprise when the reporter tells him his White House has issued statements about Juneteenth in each year of his presidency.
|June 19, 2020||Statement celebrating Juneteenth.
The president and first lady issue a statement to those celebrating Juneteenth in which they say it reminds them of the “unimaginable injustice of slavery and the incomparable joy that must have attended emancipation.”
|June 20, 2020||Tulsa rally statements on race.
At a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump makes several statements related to race and nationality.
|June 22, 2020||Extends and expands immigration ban.
The president issues an executive order extending his April freeze on green cards and also freezing several categories of immigrant work permits.
|June 22, 2020||Videos of Black people committing acts of violence.
As protests over police violence against Black Americans continue, the President retweets two videos depicting Black men attacking white people, asking why there was no protest over one incident, and calling the other “so terrible!”
|June 25, 2020||Accuses Black activist of treason.
On Twitter, Trump accuses an activist previously affiliated with Black Lives Matter of treason for saying protesters will “burn down this system and replace it” if their demands aren’t met. The Black Lives Matter Global Network disavows any direct connection with the man.
|June 25, 2020||Compares living in some cities to “living in hell,” says it’s not racist and Black people are thankful.
The president tells FOX News that people in four majority non-white cities — Detroit, Oakland, Chicago and Baltimore — are “living in hell.” He defends his criticism as objective, “not racist,” and says Black people are grateful for his concern.
|June 28, 2020||Retweets video that includes Trump supporter yelling “white power.”
Lashing out at the “Radical Left,” Trump retweets a two-minute video of a verbal clash in a Florida retirement community. A protester asks a Trump supporter, “where’s your [Ku Klux Klan] hood?” The Trump supporter responds by yelling “white power!” The retweet was later deleted and the White House said the president did not hear the phrase when he watched the video, but it did not comment on the use of the phrase otherwise.
|June 30, 2020||Concerned about fair housing law.
Trump writes on Twitter that he is “studying” an affirmative action law aimed at reducing racial disparities in housing, which he believes has a “devastating” effect on suburban areas.
|June 30, 2020||Veto threat over Confederate names, “Pocahontas.”
On Twitter, Trump pledges to veto a key defense bill if it includes a provision replacing the names of military bases honoring Confederate soldiers. He jabs at the provision’s author, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., again calling her “Pocahontas” to mock her past claims of Native American ancestry.
|July 1, 2020||BLM sign.
The president tweets that a proposed Black Lives Matter street sign in New York City would antagonize police and denigrate the “luxury Avenue.”
|July 3, 2020||Defends some monuments, warns of “cultural revolution.”
In front of Mt. Rushmore, Trump blames unspecified activists for a “cultural revolution” that he says is aimed at overthrowing the American Revolution. He rails against damage and destruction of some statues in the U.S., including those of Chrisopher Columbus, Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and African American soldiers in the Civil War. He claims groups are trying to divide and “end” America.
|July 4, 2020||Put America first.
In his Fourth of July speech, the president says, “no matter our race, color, religion or creed, we put America first” and the country should not be divided “by race or background.” He says there are some people who are “lying about our history.”
|July 6, 2020||Pushes back at NASCAR Confederate flag ban, Bubba Wallace.
On Twitter, Trump asks if Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has apologized for what the president claims was a “hoax.” This follows an incident in which a noose was found in Wallace’s garage, initially thought to be a hate crime against Wallace but ultimately determined to have been there since last year. Trump said the incident and NASCAR’s ban on the Confederate flag were bad for ratings.
The PBS NewsHour’s Courtney Norris reported for this story.