File under “Better Late Than Never”: Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera has stated publicly that Donald Trump’s “go back” attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color known as “The Squad,” have forced him to acknowledge that his buddy is a racist.
In an excellent article over the weekend, The New York Times traced how Trump has exploited racial and other divides in this country for decades as a vehicle for his own gain, long before he told Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, all women of color, to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came.” All four are American citizens; three were born in the U.S.; Omar became a citizen as a teenager.
Over decades in business, entertainment and now politics, Mr. Trump has approached America’s racial, ethnic and religious divisions opportunistically, not as the nation’s wounds to be healed but as openings to achieve his goals, whether they be ratings, fame, money or power, without regard for adverse consequences.
The Times lists many, many examples including, of course, Trump’s birtherism, his attacks on the Central Park Five and an attempt to have an all-white team pitted against an all-black team on The Apprentice.
The Times also notes that while some of Trump’s black friends have stuck by him, other former allies, such as Michael D. Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman and Anthony Scaramucci, are now acknowledging that he is more racist than previously willing to admit.
Rivera has now joined the club, according to The Times:
For some who defended Mr. Trump against charges of racism in the past, this was a turning point. “As much as I have denied it and averted my eyes from it, this latest incident made it impossible,” Geraldo Rivera, a roaming correspondent at large for Fox News and longtime friend, said in an interview.
“My friendship with the president has cost me friendships, it has cost me schisms in the family, my wife and I are constantly at odds about the president,” he added. “I do insist that he’s been treated unfairly. But the unmistakable words, the literal words he said, is an indication that the critics were much more right than I.”
Previously on Fox News, Rivera has defended Trump’s lies about the death toll from Hurricane Maria and blamed Trayvon Martin’s attire for his murder. On Facebook, he offered a deep, heartfelt apology for doubting Roger Ailes’ accusers.
Will Rivera condemn Trump on the Fox News airwaves? Stay tuned.
(Rivera image via screen grab)