racism

Sanders Says Trump Can’t Be Racist Because the Clintons Went to His Wedding

Would Bill Clinton shake the hand of a racist if the racist was being inaugurated as president? Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

In a bit of a ramble today while trying to deflect questions about the president’s possible use of the N-word, as alleged by former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, said aide’s former colleague Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a rather odd argument against this possibility:

So Donald Trump’s not a racist because surely Bill and Hill would not have attended the wedding of a racist, right?

Omarosa has not alleged that Donald Trump used the N-word at his wedding, in or outside the presence of the Clintons. And if the idea is that wedding attendance signifies a plenary approval of the groom’s character in every respect — not just up until then, but perpetually — then weddings would be very sparsely attended. Keep in mind the wedding in question occurred in 2005, at a time when nobody present could have quite imagined the course Trump’s career was going to take.

I would add that as a someone who grew up in the Jim Crow South, Bill Clinton (like Sanders, a native of Arkansas) has probably found it impossible over the years to avoid minimal social intercourse with racists. Had he offered Trump a fulsome wedding toast, it might be another thing, but showing up is hardly a validation.

Neither Clinton has explicitly called Trump a racist, though they may have had their suspicions. But maybe they’re just more polite than Trump. After all, they’ve never gone before a Democratic crowd and said: “Lock him up!”

Sanders: Trump Can’t Be Racist; Clintons Went to His Wedding