When deciding what grade Donald Trump deserves for his impact on race relations during his first and only term, it’s extremely important to consider his history regarding race. When he decided to run for president in 2016, many Americans were skeptical of his past patterns of racism. From his advertisement advocating for the execution of the exonerated Central Park Five (NY Daily News 1989), calling those individuals “super-predators”, to campaigning on immigration policies revolving around racist stereotypes of Mexicans being ‘rapists’, Donald J. Trump is infamously known for the clout he gets from his racist remarks. Therefore, it’s critical to acknowledge his past to assess his present. Donald Trump deserves an F in the category of race relations because of how he has carried the same racist viewpoints across decades and pushed America to the brink of an “uncivil war”.
The majority of Americans currently agree that the Trump administration has made race relations significantly worse over these last four years. These opinions aren’t purely based on policies but on how the President handles racial issues themselves. Though our nation’s racism didn’t start with Trump’s first term, his rhetoric has perpetuated separation between races and only caused more of a divide. By failing to denounce white supremacy and anti-Semitism several times, the president has made it clear what groups of people he values. Racially insensitive remarks and the active use of stereotypes drives people into two separate corners, and we’ve seen that time and time again under the Trump administration. Whether it’s his ‘ban on Muslims’ or wanting to only close off our southern border, Trump has demonstrated he’s a person that prefers division over solidarity.
By beginning his campaign on the platform of border control with an emphasis on Mexicans, he made it clear that he would single out certain groups and play into harmful stereotypes. The name-calling didn’t end at calling Mexicans “rapists”, calling African nations “shithole countries”, or referring to the COVID-19 virus as the “Chinese virus”. The impact of these words and the racist undertones come out in everyday interactions and harm other Americans. These words translate into violence when he calls Black Lives Matter protestors, “thugs”, but call groups who vouch for white supremacy, “patriots”. The favoritism is explicitly clear, and the anger continues to grow on the other side of the aisle, which only divides us more.
Donald Trump has had more than enough chances to prove himself to be a man of unity and a president for the people, but continued to fail at doing so until his last day in office by persisting with the theory that the 2020 election was fraudulent. In his failure to unite this country, statistics prove that he has only divided us more and more as each year progressed. The America that President Obama had left us in 2016 is now unimaginable because of the division Donald Trump’s words and actions have caused.
Race relations need to be a priority in today’s America because of the sinful past that this country has, and to make sure every citizen is treated equally and seen without bias. Any president that doesn’t do all that they can to improve those relations while continuously failing to unite each American doesn’t deserve a place in our highest ranking office.
The accumulation of his four years in office and his lifelong accusations are the reason for America’s current civil unrest. His failed leadership during the Charlottesville Riots, the months following Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor’s deaths, and the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th, are the reasons why this country is more divided today than it has been since the 20th century. Donald Trump deserves an F when it comes to race relations because of his inability to lead anyone but white supremacists. His incapability to lead and embrace all Americans during hard times is the reason why we aren’t any more unified than the day he was inaugurated.