Trump says he doesn’t feel the need to understand Black pain ‘at all’
When Bob Woodward asked him a question noting how they both led privileged lives, Trump's response was, 'No. You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you?'
Bob Woodward’s latest book, Rage, which was reportedly culled from hours of audio interviews the legendary former journalist conducted with President Donald Trump, has revealed a lot about the state of the Trump White House.
Revelations about Trump’s knowledge of the coronavirus has been one of the most egregious revelations. However, the book also revealed more of Trump’s feelings about race.
In one interview audio clip that was released to The Washington Post, Woodward asked Trump about the existence of white privilege. He explained to the president that they were both white men, with privileged upbringings. Woodward’s father was an attorney, and, later, a judge in Illinois, while Fred Trump was a New York real estate magnate.
“Do you have any sense that that privilege has isolated and put you in a cave, to a certain extent, me and lots of white privileged people in a cave?” Woodward asks, “We have to understand and work our way out of it.”
“No,” Trump says, his voice incredulous, “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.”
The interview took place on June 18, the day before Juneteenth, less than a month after the police slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which prompted national protests that even expanded across the globe.
Woodward continued to press the president to understand the history of struggle among African Americans after generations of discrimination and inequality.
The president refused to acquiesce. Instead, he continued to point to the pre-pandemic unemployment rate for Blacks.
The unemployment rate for Blacks was still twice that of whites before the pandemic. The COVID-19 shutdown also had a more devastating effect economically on Blacks.
Trump continued to assert that he has “done more for Blacks than any president except perhaps Abraham Lincoln.”
In another interview on July 8, Trump complained about his lack of support among Black voters. “I’ve done a tremendous amount for the Black community,” he told Woodward. “And, honestly, I’m not feeling any love.”
In another interview, Woodward asked the president whether racism “is here” in the United States in a way that affects people’s lives. Trump finally replied, “I think it is. And it’s unfortunate. But, I think it is.”
Rage, the 20th book Woodward has authored or co-authored, is set for release Sept. 15.
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