Throughout his campaign, there has been much discussion about whether Donald Trump is racist or not. Like so many conversations about race in America, this particular dialogue has been oversimplified.
Some may point out Trump’s past controversial comments about Muslims, Latinos and black people, while others may counter that by arguing that he’s hired black and brown people in his businesses. But it may be hard to ignore that former KKK leader David Duke has endorsed Trump, or that his daughter described him as “colorblind and gender neutral.”
The question of whether Trump is racist (if we’re really choose to debate that) obscures another important question: What about his supporters?
To be clear: being a Trump supporter doesn’t automatically make someone racist. But Trump’s rhetoric and his platform have emboldened a disturbing amount of Americans with racist ideology to proudly and publicly voice their prejudice.
On Monday, a clip of an angry Trump supporter in New York telling a black woman to get “back in the f**king fields” went viral. The video is shocking, but it’s not the first time a proclaimed Trump supporter has been caught on camera using blatantly racist language.
Below are just a few instances of Trump supporters being unapologetically racist, which leaves little to the imagination about what this says about Trump if these are the type of people who intend to vote for him.
This almost two-minute clip of an unnamed man going off on a black woman during a New York City subway ride is heinous, to say the least. It's the most recent video of a racist Trump supporter to go viral. In addition to suggesting that slavery should be reinstated, he calls the woman a "worthless stupid f**king c**t!" and bellows, "Donald Trump 2016!"
In March, Louisville student Shiya Nwanguma was pushed and shoved out of a Trump rally by the GOP candidate's supporters for her attempt to disrupt and protest his speech. According to Nwanguma, she was also met by a tirade of racial slurs
, as several supporters called her a ""N**ger c**t," as she was pushed out of the rally hall.
In June, during a Donald Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, 30-year-old Zack Thomas went on a racist tirade against an older Latino man, repeatedly doing the Nazi salute while screaming: "Go f**king make my tortilla, motherf**ker," "Build that f**king wall for me," and "I love Trump! F**k you, I love my country!" He later defended his rant
and did not express any remorse.
Two South Boston men were arrested for beating up and urinating on a homeless Latino man
in August 2015. During interrogation with police, they reportedly stated that "Donald Trump was right" and "All these illegals need to be deported." After the incident, Trump stated that he would never condone violence
. He added:
“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country, they want this country to be great, again.”
In this video, it's not just the words but the actions of Trump supporters that are shocking. In November, at a Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama, the presidential candidate's supporters were caught on camera punching and kicking a black protestor -- while shouting "All lives matter!"
In January, Omaha native Steve Bowman was confronted by NBC affiliate WOWT News
for a sign in the window of his home that read "N***ER OBAMA." When asked whether the use of the n-word was "a little strong," the proud Trump supporter's convoluted reply was:"Well, I grew up in the '60s. I remember racial riots, I know Martin Luther King... I'm 57, so I grew up in the late '50s early '60s. I know the water guns and the racial riots and Birmingham and, you know, the South. And being a historian, having a master's degree in History, uh... It might be a little racist."
In March, things turned ugly at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when 78-year-old Trump supporter John McGraw hit a 26-year-old protestor. Rakeem Jones was being escorted out of the event when McGraw hit him in the eye. He later revealed, in this WNCN report
, that white members of the crowd cheered, smiled, and slung racial slurs at him as he was detained by police.
Meanwhile, McGraw (who was not arrested after punching Jones) commented: "Yes, he deserved it. Next time we see him, we might have to kill him."
A group of Hispanic protestors raised signs at a Miami Trump rally in October that spelled out the words "DIGNITY" and "EQUALITY." What they were met with was anything but -- Trump supporters during the rally kicked and shoved them out of the venue, with one supporter going so far as to violently bodyslam one man to the ground.
Throughout the incident, Trump supporters chanted, "USA! USA!" The demonstrators were there to protest Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric.
At a Trump rally in Charleston, West Virginia, in May Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors clashed in a heated, tension-filled standoff. Trump supporters called black protestors the n-word throughout the video, as well as "communists." At one point in the video, a black man blows smoke in the face of a white Trump supporter repeatedly shouting, "N***er, n***er, n***er!" It's emblematic of exactly the country we don't want this to become.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.