Pick your side

We don’t debate whether anyone who says the things Trump says is a racist. It’s obvious. I mean, if your neighbor told a black person to “go back to Africa” or a any other non-white, native-born person “go back to where you came from,” the message would be loud and clear: a non-white person is less-than-American and unwelcome to them. It would be racism in its most naked form. 

Yet, suddenly, when the guy who does it has some sort of political constituency, it’s a matter of fine nuance, with the media choosing its mildly-at-best condemning language carefully and Republicans breaking out Webster’s dictionary to parse the meaning of “racism” in a way that makes it OK for them to give Trump a pass. 

It’s patently ridiculous, of course. Trump is a racist. It’s not even a close call and it’s far, far from being a matter for debate. If you support him, you support a racist. It’s pretty simple.

Now, to be clear, you can like some things presidents do and not like others and hedge support most of the time. But not when racism is involved. You don’t get to pick and choose when the evil is so dire.

Racism — via slavery, Jim Crow and everything that has flowed from it — is our nation’s original and lasting sin. It is that, above everything else, our nation has to answer for, then, now and forever. As such, all else should fall away when it re-emerges,  re-ascendant. You don’t get to pick and choose to say “sure, he’s ushered in an age of white ethnonationalism, but the economy is good, so . . .”

People can have one view or another on any manner of issues and take the good with the bad in what will, inevitably, be imperfect leadership. But not when it comes to racism. When it comes to that, anything other than total rejection and opposition is morally and ethically unacceptable. Your tax cuts and deregulation and whatever the hell else you want from this administration can wait while you either oppose it fully or admit you stand complicit with racists, legitimizing them. Our nation’s history has mandated that you make that choice. 

Pick your side.

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the national baseball writer for NBCSports.com. He writes about things other than sports at Craigcalcaterra.com. He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.