Donald Trump: The Real Racism Is People Being Racist Against MAGA Fans, or Something

Count on the president to always tell his fans that they are the real victims.

Donald Trump has weighed in on the Jussie Smollett story. Unsurprisingly, he has taken on his usual aggrieved tone of victimhood.

Trump has yet to say anything publicly about the Coast Guard member arrested on Wednesday with an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, a hit list of prominent leftists, Democrats and media figures, and proudly white nationalist beliefs. But one actor turns out to have lied about two white people perpetrating a racist and homophobic attack, and suddenly Trump supporters are the real victims.

We shouldn’t have to explain to the President of the United States that “racism against people who wear hats” is not a real thing. Even if his implication that all MAGA fans are white, it still would not be a real thing.

Among the many negatives of Smollett’s unravelling story is the chance for Trump to wallow in his base’s white grievance politics while downplaying actual hate crimes committed against minorities. Since the media likes shiny objects, we’re in for a couple of news cycles about a hoax racist attack instead of a barely-avoided real one.

A better president would take a unifying tone, or consider why his supporters have such a reputation for racism that Smollett’s story was immediately believable to so many people. But we’re stuck with this one.


Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.