In an interview with conservative news site The Daily Caller, Donald Trump Jr. put on a new spin on the myopic “I have black friends” defense when disputing accusations of racism. While being tossed softball questions by Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas, the junior Trump went to bat for his father, President Trump, amid claims that one of the chief proponents of birtherism is indeed racist.
According to Don Jr, his father — who was sued by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division in the ’70s for allegedly discriminating against black tenants — can’t be racist because he hung out with “all the rappers” prior to running for president.
“The real problem is those things exist, certainly racism exists, but if it’s your response to any argument you can’t win, you actually do a real disservice to those people actually afflicted by it,” Don Jr. told Thomas, “by those people who are actually oppressed and hurt by real racism and real sexism.”
That statement raises the question as to what Don Jr considers “real racism.” The Central Park Five, a group of of black and Latino youths wrongly convicted of an assault and rape they didn’t commit, were certainly affected by “real racism” when Don Jr.’s dad spent $85,000 on full-page newspaper ads calling for their executions. “Real racism” arguably plays a role into why Trump refuses to apologize even after their convictions were vacated after DNA evidence exonerated them. “Real racism” certainly plays a role in why his dad accused unauthorized Mexican immigrants of being “rapists” while announcing his candidacy and why he picks fights with NFL players who take a knee during the anthem.
Don Jr. laments all the photo ops his dad enjoyed with prominent black celebrities before he entered the political arena.
“It’s been terrible to watch, because I know him, I’ve seen him my whole life, I’ve seen the things he’s done. It’s amazing, all the rappers, all the this, all his African-American friends, from Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton, I have pictures with them,” Don Jr. said, “it was only when he got into politics that all of a sudden, ‘Oh, he’s the most terrible human being ever.'”
Well, yeah, it’s easy to see why a boisterous real estate mogul/cartoonish reality star might be a fun person to pose for party photos with. It’s decidedly less fun when that boorish Apprentice host actually attains a position of power and can green light legislation that actually affects other people. That being said, critical thinking doesn’t seem to be Don Jr.’s strength. Even his dad allegedly admitted as much in Michael Wolff’s Trump administration tell-all Fire And Fury.
This article originally appeared on Spin.