Top 10 Most Racist Presidents

A better America means reckoning with our past.

Jeffrey Kass
ZORA

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Mt. Rushmore
Image: Shutterstock/Shu-Hung LIu

One of the more absurd things President Biden has ever said on race issues is that Trump was the first racist president.

“No sitting president has ever done this [referring to one of Trump’s antagonistic ‘China virus’ remarks] … Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

Sorry, Joe, you’re a bit delusional.

Maybe you forgot that through 1920, after the Democrats nominated a virulently racist candidate for president, James B. Cox, the party’s official platform was intentionally and overtly racist.

We’ve had lots of racist presidents. The tough task isn’t finding one. It’s ranking who among them was the worst.

We know that 10 of the first 12 presidents enslaved Black people, according to White House documents. All but John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. The last slave-owning president, Ulysses S. Grant, freed his slave before the Civil War, after which he went on to defeat the Confederacy.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, and Zachary Taylor all owned slaves.

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Jeffrey Kass
ZORA

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad