Gaslighters-In-Chief Are a Proud American Tradition

The racism, bigotry, and White supremacy of this administration is nothing new

Mona Eltahawy


Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

AAfter two White men shot dead more than 31 mostly people of color in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the space of 14 hours last weekend, President Donald Trump corralled the White House press corps on Monday so that he could deliver a prepared statement. The United States, he said, must condemn racism, bigotry, and White supremacy.

I literally laughed out loud.

To hear a president who has incited racism, bigotry, and White supremacy condemn the very things he has come to be associated with, was as if the satirical newspaper the Onion had written the prepared statement that Trump read — and fumbled. He slurred some words and now infamously called Dayton by the name of another Ohio town, Toledo. It was gaslighting on a national scale.

And still, the American media duly delivered. Having exhausted the thesaurus of every euphemism for racism — racially charged, racially infused, etc. — to describe Trump since Election 2016, media timidity when it comes to calling Trump what he is — a racist — remained as high as the bar they set for him was low.

“Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism,” a New York Times front-page headline gushed…