Sunday morning's Mike Myer column, “Let’s Find A Solution To Bigotry,” made a number of points about racism. After giving a personal example and acknowledging that racism exists in the Ohio Valley, he said that he wished that we could find a solution:
Racism is too serious to drop at that. We shouldn’t just be patting ourselves on the back for admitting there’s a problem. We need to find a way to deal with it.
I assume Myer is sincere and yet the Wheeling papers for which Myer serves as editor have totally ignored the elephant in the room -- a president who utters racist comments on a regular basis. For the past four years, I have closely read the local editorial pages and I have yet to see a single criticism of any of Donald Trump’s racist statements.
Documentation for Trump's racist comments, tweets, and speeches is not hard to find. For example, earlier this year the New York Times compiled a list of some of his more blatant statements. A sample:
He began his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech disparaging Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
Trump said a federal judge hearing a case about Trump University was biased because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
In June 2017, Trump said 15,000 recent immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS” and that 40,000 Nigerians, once seeing the United States, would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
He often casts heavily black American cities as dystopian war zones. In a 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump said, “Our inner cities, African Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.” Trump also said to black voters: “You’re living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs.”
And that’s just a sample. (See also these lists from the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek.)
President Donald Trump's comments have given the green light to racists; it’s now okay to be openly prejudiced. And while Myer claims to care about the continuing presence of bigotry and racism, his complete lack of any criticism of the president’s racist rants only serves as a reaffirmation of the president’s prejudiced words. So when Myer concludes that we need “to find a way to deal with it,” the words ring hollow. Most of us do what we can on an individual basis but few of us have the audience that a newspaper editor has. By criticizing Trump’s racist statements, this editor, who is known for his support of the president might get at least some readers to think about and question their own beliefs. Myer could do something, but he won’t. Despite what he writes, he clearly wants credit for patting himself "on the back for admitting there’s a problem."