IF DONALD TRUMP HAD HAD HIS WAY, five innocent men alive today would have been put to death as children 30 years ago. And that doesn’t seem to bother him. They are black and HIspanic, after …
IF DONALD TRUMP HAD HAD HIS WAY, five innocent men alive today would have been put to death as children 30 years ago. And that doesn’t seem to bother him. They are black and HIspanic, after all.
It’s been 30 years, so a great many of today’s viewers of the passing scene don’t remember this epitomizing example of rampant and arrogant racism. But for many of us, it is typical of Donald’s self-assumed privilege and superiority, his self-anointment as some sort of exemplary champion of the human race by virtue of his wealth and whiteness.
This is not the only example of Donald’s past and present racism, yet he managed to weasel his way into the presidency of the United States without the popular vote of the American public. And now he expects us to conveniently dismiss his 73-year-old past as “fake news” and elect him to lead us through some off-hand imaginary paradisiacal future like a mighty white leopard with all its spots erased. And he has the gall to attempt wooing black voters to carry him on their shoulders.
Look again at the illustration above, part of which is from just four years ago, a year before he was elected to office.
The Central Park jogger case was based on the violent assault, rape and sodomy of Trisha Meili, a jogger in New York City’s Central Park on April 19, 1989, as well as what were thought to be related attacks on eight other persons in the park that night. Meili, badly beaten, was in a coma for 12 days. She was found stripped, covered with mud and having lost three-quarters of her blood, her body turning cold.
It’s a bit sketchy why five schoolboys, only one as old as 16, were the ones charged. Confessions were coerced but recanted prior to trial. Trump painted the media image of roving “wild” gangs in Central Park after dark as the result of a “reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman then laugh at her family’s anguish.” In calling for enhanced police powers, the death penalty, etc. he scoffed at compassion for urban youth. “I no longer want to understand their anger,” said his ad; “I want them to understand our anger. I want them to be afraid.”
But he was unable to quite whip up the modern equivalent of an old-time lynch mob.
Although none of the suspects’ DNA matched that at the crime scene, the youths were duly found guilty, sentenced to prison and finally absolved 13 years later by confession of the true culprit, whose guilt was confirmed by DNA evidence. The charges against them were vacated.
And Donald still does not understand the anger of urban black youth—and yes, he is President of the United States and they still have reason to be afraid. As do Latinos, such as the undocumented Mexicans he publicly described as “rapists.”
Apparently the world will never see the day that Donald apologizes or admits a mistake. He has never apologized to the Central Park Five. After these wrongly-convicted men were absolved of guilt 13 years later, New York City reached a $41-million settlement with them in 2014, Trump—would you believe?—authored an op-ed article full of disgust in the Daily News. He said the settlement was “ridiculous” and “settling doesn’t mean innocence.”
But thank heavens most of us, I hope, still believe in the presumption of innocence in the first place—let alone acceptance once it even has been officially proven. Donald, of course, got off scot-free, as apparently his role in the trial outcome was considered peripheral.
As one writer concluded just before the 2016 election, Donald’s published words and “his unrepentant stance toward those innocent men, show that Trump’s supposed commitment to law and order is based on engendering panic, not imposing safety. That’s the position an oligarch takes, not a public servant. The same ‘a—hole’ who wrote the Central Park ad is who Republicans nominated for president.”
And the GOP likely will nominate him again four years later—and my disgust will be that some blacks, some Latinos and many whites will again vote for him.
The Central Park Five were Antron McCray 15, Kevin Richardson 15. Yusef Salaam 15, Raymond Santana 14 and Korey Wise 16. They served sentences from 6 to 13 years.
An award-winning documentary, “The Central Park Five,” was released at the Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2012, and in the U.S. on Nov. 23, 2012.
See also: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/a27586174/when-they-see-us-central-park-5-donald-trump/