Trump’s racism isn’t incidental to his political appeal. It’s the core of it.

The president of the United States just interrupted an immigration meeting in the White House to tell a group of presumably surprised lawmakers that the United States was “having all these people from shithole countries come here.”

He suggested, per the Washington Post, that the US should stop admitting immigrants from Haiti and El Salvador and instead bring in more people from Norway, whose prime minister met with Trump on Wednesday.

The sheer racism of the comments would be shocking coming from any other president. The heartbreaking, and terrifying, thing is that it’s not the least bit surprising coming from Donald Trump.

This is a man who launched his political career by pushing a conspiracy theory that the first black president was not actually born in America. This is a candidate who rocketed to the top of the GOP primary polls by calling Mexicans rapists. This is a president who has repeatedly attempted to act on his campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering the United States, who has said that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians live in “huts.”

It’s not just that Trump has consistently and unambiguously expressed beliefs like this — though he has. It’s that his willingness to say these things, out loud, is the core of his political appeal to his vaunted base. Trump won the GOP primary and the presidency not in spite of his xenophobia and racism, but because of them.

Put even more bluntly, his talk about “shithole countries” is a perfect distillation of Trumpism.

“Trumpism” is just the politics of white grievance

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