On Friday, President Donald Trump caused a storm by responding to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)’s accusation that Border Patrol engages in “child abuse.” Trump faulted Cummings for the poverty and rodents in his congressional district — an attack that liberals everywhere loudly condemned as racist.
Well, if that was racist, so was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He toured West Baltimore — Cummings’ district — in December 2015, to see the area where Freddie Gray was arrested. At that time, Sanders compared West Baltimore to a “Third World Country.”
“Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation,” Sanders said, according to The Baltimore Sun. “You would think that you were in a Third World country.”
Sanders got more specific. “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace,” he tweeted.
Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 5, 2016
Similarly, Trump called Cummings’ district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
Of course, Sanders attacked West Baltimore in order to advocate more of his openly socialist “Revolution,” while Trump attacked it in order to shoot down Cummings’s accusations. Even so, from the deafening outrage against Trump, it seems Sanders must also be a horrific racist.
Yet Sanders rushed to condemn the “racist president,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that by insinuating Trump’s tweets were racist, Sanders was also outing himself as a horrific racist.
Here's what's really going on: @RepCummings has been busy revealing the failures of the Trump administration and exposing the greed of Trump’s friends in the pharmaceutical industry, and our racist president doesn't like it. https://t.co/tlfy2M4mzL https://t.co/6s4ZU6gvlW
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 27, 2019
After all, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned Trump’s attack as racist.
.@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership. #ElijahCummingsIsAPatriot https://t.co/2LG8AuQrHh
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 27, 2019
As conservatives shared videos showing the sad state of West Baltimore, liberals tweeted with the hashtag “We Are Baltimore” to express solidarity with those attacked by Trump.
It is so sad to see @VictorBlackwell & @CNN turn the light currently shining on #WestBaltimore into a race issue. This could result in a positive change. @RepCummings could help get his district in order. Listen to one of his constituents explain the "rats & rodents" problem. pic.twitter.com/LTG8AnT27x
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) July 27, 2019
CNN anchor Victor Blackwell also attacked Trump’s tweets as racist, even suggesting that when Trump uses the word “infested,” it proves animus against black people. “Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people — many different types of people,” Blackwell said. “But when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people.”
Yet Trump’s tweets regarding infestation — like the Baltimore tweets — talk about infestations of rodents, Ebola, and crime — things that harm black people, not the black people themselves. CNN ignored this, running a chyron focused on the word “infested.”
In fact, by this standard, former President Barack Obama is a horrific racist, because he described parts of major American cities was “crime-infested areas,” in a 2015 speech.
Many Democrats running for president in 2020 retweeted the Blackwell video.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) retweeted the video, adding, “Silence is toxic complicity.” Was silence “toxic complicity” in 2015?
This is painful.
This is a moral, defining moment in America.
Other generations had to answer:
When the Know Nothings, McCarthy, Wallace and so many others sought to demean, degrade, demagogue and divide,
What did you do?
We must now answer.
Silence is toxic complicity. https://t.co/FkTw3u4c8g
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 27, 2019
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) cited the remarks as proof that “Trump has been the most openly racist president we’ve had in modern history.”
In his words and in his actions, Trump has been the most openly racist president we’ve had in modern history. He is trying to change the very character of America. But we won't let him. We are so much better than this intolerance and hatred—and together, we're going to prove it. https://t.co/aGNjzIZdFZ
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 27, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted, “I am proud our campaign headquarters is in Rep. Elijah Cummings’ district. Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city.” Was it disgraceful when Bernie Sanders disparaged Baltimore?
I am proud our campaign headquarters is in Rep. Elijah Cummings' district. Baltimore has become home to my team and it's disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 27, 2019
Trump’s tweets involved a level of invective unbefitting a president, but that does not make them racist. Responding to Cummings’s attacks on border patrol and attacking him over the sad state of his congressional district are not racist acts, just as Bernie Sanders comparing West Baltimore to a third world country was not racist and Barack Obama’s reference to crime-infested areas was not racist.
Is it just me, or is liberal posturing growing stupider by the day?
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.