The Deplorables – II Kayleigh McEnamy and Racism
Kayleigh may be a deplorable in her use of language and illogic, but she is a very accomplished individual. She is perhaps the most intense defender of Trump and is equipped with a rapid-fire delivery and singularity of purpose. She is most easily pointed out as the slender attractive blond on many CNN panels. She has also been a co-host on CNN’s “The Point”.
Kayleigh has a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. This does not mean, in Canadian terms, that she has a Doctor of Law degree (an LLD), for a J.D. is most frequently used to designate a professional doctorate required for admissions to post-graduate studies in law. Nevertheless, as Barack Obama demonstrated, it is a significant achievement to win entry into and then graduate from Harvard Law School. Kayleigh also attended Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and obtained a BSFS (a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service) in International Politics, which is an accelerated Master’s degree program. She also studied politics and international relations at Oxford University, not, as one might expect of someone so interested in international affairs, at St. Anthony’s, but at St. Edmund Hall, the oldest hall left from the mediaeval days of Oxford going back to the university’s founding in the thirteenth century.
More importantly than being young and attractive, she is gutsy. Like Angelina Jolie and my cousin’s daughter, she had a preventive mastectomy having been found to be BRCA1 positive. This gene causes those who carry it to have a greatly increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. After she has her first child or two, she plans to have her ovaries removed as well. Even though her hero, Donald Trump, can refer to a media host as “bleeding from her wherever,” that does not entitle a chattering class combatant to refer to Kayleigh as flat-chested. Being a surrogate of Trump Two-Two does not mean you should be treated rudely, insensitively and just plain mean by radio host, Dana Loesch from Glenn Beck’s, “The Blaze.”
Unlike Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh’s laugh is bright rather than whimsical. She is more intense that Jeffrey. She is also, perhaps, the smartest but also touchiest and most irrepressible of the Trump surrogates who follow the GMDR dicta: generalize, mock, distract and repeat. Kayleigh on CNN insisted that the accusations that Trump Two-Two is a racist are “gutter politics at its absolute worst.” Tim Kaine, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, had accused Donald Trump of pushing “Ku Klux Klan values.” Using Trump’s preference for exorbitant hyperbole, Kayleigh offered her withering description of this as gutter politics at its absolute worst seen in a presidential election. In contrast, she described a number of instances of Trump’s initiatives in treating Blacks, or African Americans, fairly.
Trump opened his building to the Rainbow Push Coalition. He opened his exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida to Jews and African Americans. For these actions, he has been praised by Jessie Jackson (at the Rainbow Push 1998 and 1999 annual fund raiser where Trump can be seen next to Jackson) and by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) according to Kayleigh. But the ADL only three weeks after Trump Two-Two announced his candidacy for the presidency, condemned Trump Two-Two’s recent remarks about immigrants as hate speech. “Donald Trump’s hate speech against immigrants is highly inappropriate and we join with the voices of many others around the country who have condemned his offensive remarks.” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL’s National Director, added, “It is time for Trump to stop spreading misinformation and hatred against immigrants, legal and undocumented.”
Kayleigh accused critics of Trump’s racist policies of taking statements out of context and then comparing Trump to Hitler and Stalin. There has been no equivalent abusive language used by the Trump campaign, she argued. Yet in the history of the Trump organization when first accused of racism in their rental practices, Trump spokespeople responded by calling the investigation a ¬“gestapo-like interrogation” using “stormtroopers” (there were five government officers) to enter Trump offices. Yet Kayleigh went on to refer to Hillary Clinton being endorsed by a KKK dragon. (In March, Will Quigg, a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan’s California chapter, switched his previous September announcement of support from Donald Trump to Clinton.) Unlike Trump, who initially insisted he did not know who David Duke was and initially refused to reject his endorsement, it was not even necessary for Hillary to question the nefarious intentions of Quigg’s endorsement. It was taken for granted.
Bill Clinton, as Governor of Arkansas, was criticized by Kayleigh for retaining the confederate flag on the front lawn of the state legislature when he was governor. Arkansas observes a Confederate Flag Day along with Arkansas Confederate History and Confederate Memorial Day. Bill Clinton approved a state flag design that carried a star above the word Arkansas as a onetime reference to the Confederacy in a law passed unanimously – including all Republicans – 29-0 in the state Senate, 93-0 in the House. The NAACP representative official in Arkansas, Sharon Pruitt, announced that she viewed the star as an unobjectionable part of the state’s heritage.
While Hillary Clinton praised South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley simply for calling for the Confederate flag to be taken down from the capitol grounds – “It shouldn’t fly there…It shouldn’t fly anywhere,” when it was finally taken down in early February, South Carolina Trump Supporters insisted that they would never forgive Nikki for removing the flag. However, like Clinton, Trump, soon after declaring his run for president, also endorsed taking down the flag, So Kayleigh’s statement was both misleading and wrong.
There is one more point. One way to refer to something is by saying you are not referring to it and then referring to it as you deny you say anything. This enables you to introduce evidence through the back door, especially misleading and erroneous evidence, in a category denied entry at the front door. The back door fallacy is as misleading as ad hominem and red herring arguments.
But the central point is the differentiation between calling someone a racist and saying that Trump engages in racist and discriminatory practices. Kayleigh insists that Donald Trump does not engage in racist practices. But that does not mean he is not a racist. Before we go there, is it accurate that Trump Two-Two does not engage in any racist actions?
With respect to membership in the Mar-a-Logo Club in Palm Beach, Trump Two-Two himself boasted that, in contrast with the exclusive WASP “other” private club in Palm Beach, “There’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have. You take a look at Palm Beach, Florida. I built the Mar-a-Lago Club, totally open to everybody. A club that frankly set a new standard in clubs and a new standard in Palm Beach. And I’ve gotten great credit for it. That is totally open to everybody.” Ignoring the bad grammar, you only have to pay $100,000 to join and $14,000 a year membership fees, quite aside from the costs of food or accommodation ($750 to 3,000 per night). But there is no one who has done so much for equality as Trump Two-Two has. Not Martin Luther King. Not Barack Obama. Trump is on the top of the pile for ensuring equality.
Of course, Trump Two-Two did not mean equality. He rarely means what he says and his boasts are patently false. He meant equality of access in terms of race, religion and ethnicity. In fact, to get his permits and what he wanted, he sued the Palm Beach municipality and accused the municipal authorities of racism and anti-Semitism as the grounds for denying his requested exemption from zoning by-laws with respect to his flag pole, which greatly exceeded height limits permitted. As an aside, Palm Beach now happens to be 40% Jewish.
But does the Mar-a-Lago Club now advertise itself as one open to all races, religions and ethnicities? “Membership at the club provides the highest privileges and an elite lifestyle reserved for a select few.” Those select few include Blacks, such as Michael Jackson who has stayed there, Diana Ross who has entertained there, and the rapper, Sean Combs “Puff Daddy,” who has been Trump’s guest and cavorted with his models there.
Trump Two-Two boasts, “I took this ultimate place and made it incredible and opened it, essentially, to the people of Palm Beach…You have everybody there. You have people from the Middle East. You have Jewish people. I mean, you have Jewish people having dinner with people from the Middle East. You have Christians. You have old-line WASPs.” So Trump Two-Two only discriminates in favour of the elite and wealthy. That suggests that he is not a racist, but just a plutocrat. But the American government sued his and his father’s company for not renting apartments to Blacks.
In July 1972, a black woman applied to rent an apartment in a Trump-managed apartment complex. She was told that there were no one-bedroom apartments available. Very shortly afterwards, a white woman applied for the same type of apartment and was shown two available suites. They were both government agents there to enforce the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The Feds had accumulated evidence that employees coded applications by race – “C” for coloured – and rented the latter apartments in “minority” buildings of the Trump 14,000 apartment collection. The Trump organization was practicing a form of “equal but separate”. Trump rental agents informed the FBI that only 1% of tenants at Ocean Terrace Apartments (a Black judge) and 0% of tenants at Lincoln Shore Apartments on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn were Black. Minorities were steered to Patio Gardens on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, which was 40% Black.
How did he deal with the accusations? In the usual Trump unapologetic style of going on the offence. He sued the government for $100 million for falsely accusing the Trump organization of discrimination. He launched a media blitz. Of course, he settled the case quietly, agreeing to comply and advertising so, but “without any finding of liability or admission of wrongdoing,” which was his real goal. In his 1987 autobiography, Trump Two-Two wrote. “I’d rather fight than fold, because as soon as you fold once, you get the reputation of being a folder.” But he does fold, but only in a way where he can say that the accusations against him have never been proven in a court of law, a rebuttal that Kayleigh repeats ad nauseum, but another red herring argument of digression, for the facts were established in the agreement of settlement. As she knows, over 99% of such cases are settled out of court.
As proof of Trump’s racism, one commentator sparring with Kayleigh referred to Donald Trump leading a lynch mob in the quest for the death penalty to be imposed on the Central Park Five to get these four Black and one Hispanic teenager executed. The five turned out to have been wrongfully convicted in the Central Park rape case, an event that took place in 1989. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise ranged in age from 14-16 and had been coerced to sign confessions. After serving eleven years, in a chance meeting in prison, the real rapist, Matíias Reyes, confessed his responsibility to Kharey Wise, who had been the oldest of the five. The confession was subsequently corroborated by a DNA test, a test not introduced at the original trial that would have exonerated any of the boys. (See Amy Davidson, the 23 June 2104 edition of The New Yorker, “Donald Trump and the Central Park Five.”)
Trump Two-Two had a history with the case. When his first marriage was breaking up and the tabloids were full of stories about his sexual philandering and his mistress who became his second wife, as well as with multiple bankruptcies and business failures, Trump took out a full page ad that asked, “How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told, as the headline read, “Civil Liberties End When an Attack on our Safety Begins.” Trump called for bringing back the death penalty. Innocent teenagers were crazed misfits who should be executed, according to Trump Two-Two. He might defend his leadership by saying that it was not motivated by racism, but the history of the lynch mob and 4,000 Blacks hanging from trees and other structures suggests a very different narrative.
Trump never apologized for his leadership of the lynch mob in 1989. And when the government finally gave each of the men a million dollars for each year spent in prison (40 years in total), Trump called the settlement a disgrace. After all, there would have been no need for a settlement if Trump Two-Two’s campaign had been successful, for the boys might have been executed. For Trump, in his grand distracting hyperbole, “it was the heist of the century.”
Donald Trump, in promoting the death penalty for the teenagers and denouncing the settlement for their wrong conviction over a decade later, perhaps expressed more his propensity to use violence in contravention of the law more than racism. And his language, whether about himself (I am the best, I know the most, no one is better) or others (they are the worst, they are dumb, they are decrepit, they are beasts, they are crazed misfits), not only tends, but openly tries to be excessive. So why does Kayleigh support him? She certainly recognizes this characteristic in him.
“Like many others, I fully expected Trump to back down from his controversial statements as any good, scripted Washington politician would. After all, such brazenness was not permissible in mainstream political discourse. But rather than backing down, Trump pushed forward and the media was incensed. His audacious, unflinching boldness in the face of an onslaught of criticism is a virtue that I would not just come to accept, but also to appreciate and admire, leading me to endorse him before voting ever began.” “Audacious.” “Unflinching.” “Bold.” Trump is actually all of those. He is resolute, determined, single-minded and dogged. But he is also a verbal arsonist and a liar whose language reflects an underlying extremism.
The problem is that Kayleigh plays with the equivocation in language, always implying the positive and ignoring the negative connotations. These adjectives carry multiple meanings. Audacious not only means a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks, suggesting a daring, fearless and intrepid warrior, but also depicts impudence and impertinence, insolence and presumptuousness. “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” The statement is so audacious that it ceases to become bold and becomes outrageous. So when he calls Mexicans who cross the border robbers and rapists – though some are undoubtedly good – when he wants to ban all Muslims from immigrating to the US until the security clearances are cleared up, he both feeds and serves as a cover for racism. And when surrogates like Bruce LeVell see no racism in Trump’s Birtherism, is it surprising that most other listeners to his rhetoric see a supporter of structural racism who may have deep propensities for supporting racist practices, as in the efforts to restrict voting in some states under the pretext of fraudulent voting (10 cases in a decade) as well as reinforcing structural racism?