Steve Bannon — former presidential advisor, noted white supremacist, failed GOP strategist, conspiracy peddler, and now friendless, haggard gadfly of a private citizen — is speaking in public again. He appeared on television Sunday to make some egregiously false claims in support of President Donald Trump.
On ABC’s This Week, Bannon told host Jon Karl that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be “proud” of what Trump has done for black and Hispanic Americans.
Steve Bannon says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for black and Hispanic working class."@jonkarl: "I think there are a lot of civil rights leaders that would adamantly disagree with you on that." pic.twitter.com/M6tb4Dy012
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 17, 2018
Karl says civil rights leaders would “adamantly disagree” with Bannon, but that’s a tepid response: the claim is plainly an insult, because Donald Trump has been an unapologetic racist for as long as we’ve known him.
Yes, Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers, then specifically ran on a rabidly anti-immigrant platform. And at nearly every opportunity since taking office, he has derided and marginalized immigrants and Latino-Americans. Using his office, Trump has also offered a rousing defense of violent white supremacists and neo-nazis.
At no point in his career as politician or president has Trump done anything to disabuse us of the notion that he’s a racist — except for maybe that one time he assured us he has “a great relationship with the blacks.” But did anyone really take that seriously? He’s always been a racist, and we’ve always known it.
If you really need a sense of how entrenched Trump’s racism is, how deeply rooted it is in the way he operates, you can do no better than look back to his first appearance on the national stage, when he made the front page of the New York Times at just 27.
For a man so plainly obsessed with media coverage, good and bad, it’s a telling origin story.