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The 10 Most Toxic People For Minority Communities In The United States


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- Grace Virtue | HuffPost
Toxic people elicit extreme negative responses from the public generally or select communities, because of who they are, what they are doing or have done, and what they represent overall. In the current political climate ― laced with anxiety over the direction of the country since Donald Trump won the election in 2016, and increasing racial hostilities ― the mere presence of some individuals in public life exacerbates tensions even if, like Ivanka Trump, they largely remain silent and try to fly below the radar.

For those of us feeling the brunt of this toxicity, the collapse of the Donald Trump maladministration and the beginning of the mass American soul rinse cannot come too soon. While Trump continues to occupy the position that an actual human being and a real president should, there will remain over the United States and the entire world this crippling specter of impending doom ― like we are all watching ourselves walk toward our own painful death. While we wait, agitate, and do whatever we can to hasten the day, it’s important to remember that Trump has been and continues to be supported by numerous individuals. If the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election does not take care of them, one hopes they will have the grace to retreat on their own from public life. I certainly hope never to see any of the following ten people on CNN promoting their books and trying to make money off the pain they have caused too many people.

Donald Trump

Beyond his astonishing lack of a single redeeming human quality, the current president of the United States, stoked the flames of bigotry long before he was elected and continues to do so seven months into his erratic presidency. He reinforced this recently with his pardoning of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt for defying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants. Arpaio racially profiled Latinos, refused to investigate sex crimes against young Latina girls and forced a woman to give birth in shackles. Trump continued his attack on minority communities with his decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Obama era legislation that granted protection for more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents as minors.

Trump laid the groundwork for his political ascendancy with his campaign to delegitimize Barack Obama, insisting that the nation’s first non-white president was not an American ― even though he was born in Hawaii. His attacks on Obama continued a well-documented history of anti-black racism. In the 1970s, Trump was sued twice by the Department of Justice for refusing to rent apartments to blacks, and there are numerous incidents of him making insulting, misogynist and racist remarks against women, Muslims, Mexicans and other non-white people.

In early August, Trump refused to condemn Neo-Nazis protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a white supremacist drove a car into a group of counter protesters.

Since Trump’s election, the United States of America ― the land of the free and the home of the brave ― has been effectively rendered a hostile environment for minority communities.

Mitch McConnell

After more than three decades in the United States Senate, no amount of deep diving can yield any meaningful legislative accomplishment on the part of current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Rather than being a positive influence or being successful at anything as we intuitively expect our leaders to be, his brand is that of a bitter obstructionist perpetually engaging brinkmanship to serve the GOP’s far right agenda, which is nearly always hurtful to women and racial or ethnic minorities.

McConnell led the right-wing opposition to Barack Obama from 2008 to 2016, pledging from the onset to ensure that he would be a one term president. He failed at that too, but he obstructed Obama at every step, even to the extent of doing great harm to the American polity. For example, McConnell refused, in 2016, to schedule Senate hearings for Merrick Garland, Obama’s supreme court nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February. The nomination set a record for remaining before the Senate for 294 days—from March 16, 2016, until it expired on January 3, 2017. McConnell then disregarded years of tradition and used the so-called “nuclear option” to push through senate confirmation of Trump’s supreme court pick, Neil Gorsuch.

Mitch McConnell effectively nurtured the culture that paved the way for Donald Trump whose disregard for the rule of law and longstanding political norms is seriously threatening the American way of life and the security of the world.

Mike Pence

Chauncey Devega, in a December 2016 article in Salon, describes Vice President Mike Pence’s persona as that of “the gentleman serial killer” compared to Trump’s ― the “maniac armed with a chainsaw” ― when it comes to attitudes toward racism. With his look of practiced inscrutability, Pence is an effortless liar with a history of bigoted policies targeted at black people.

Not only has Pence downplayed systemic racism, but he continues to support Trump as noted racists like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions wield their influence over the administration. Pence also “stands by the president” on statements he made at a press conference, during which he referred to white nationalists at the Charlottesville rally “very fine people.”

Paul Ryan

As a Catholic, if not just a decent human being, the Speaker of the House has the framework within his church’s social teaching to understand and address matters of social (in)justice but he has not demonstrated that he possesses the moral conviction to stand up for a principle or rattle the status quo in any way. Instead, in 2014, he was reprimanded by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif), for casually slurring African-Americans in a discussion about poverty which he attributed to “generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

Ryan endorsed Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and failed to renounce it even after it became clear that Trump lacked the character, moral authority, or basic competence to serve as president of the United States. By election day, Ryan knew that by supporting Trump he was reinforcing if not tacitly encouraging normalized racism, misogyny and bigotry in the Republican party and dramatically lowering the expectations of what being the president of the United States should mean. His continuing failure to denounce Trump means that he is party to the clear and present danger from civil war, fascism or potential nuclear war, all of which suddenly seem possible under Trump’s leadership.

Without moral courage at a time when it is desperately needed, Ryan is nothing more than an empty suit in the wind, fully deserving of the contempt of well-thinking people.

Jeff Sessions

The current attorney general is the face of Trump’s Jim Crow, appointed by the administration to terrorize minority communities.

Thirty-five years before his appointment to lead the Department of Justice (DOJ), the agency responsible for enforcing civil rights, Jeff Sessions reportedly told a white civil rights lawyer that he was a traitor to his race for defending black people. This came out in congressional testimony in 1986 when Sessions, then a 39-year old U.S. attorney for Alabama, was nominated by Ronald Reagan’s administration to serve as a federal judge, a position which requires senate approval.

Then Justice Department lawyer, J. Gerald Hebert, in his testimony, said Sessions once referred to the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as “un-American” for “trying to force civil rights down the throats of people.”

Thomas Figures, an African American and Sessions former deputy, wrote a letter to the senate in which he said Sessions called him “boy” on multiple occasions and often spoke in derogatory terms about blacks. Sessions also said he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan, were “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana,” Figures wrote.

Sessions was deemed too racist and his nomination was rejected by the senate. Since his appointment to head the DOJ, he has been busy rolling back Obama era legislation on policing, hate crimes and voting rights, and now DACA.

Donald Trump Jr.

It seems appropriate that one of the most distinct impressions of the younger Trump is derived from an image of him holding the tail of an elephant he had just cut off. The image is nausea-inducing and conveys the Trumps obliviousness to how millions of people perceive them—as soulless, predatory, and completely disgusting human beings.

It is not surprising that Trump Jr. is currently under investigation for his involvement in a plot with Russian operatives to discredit Hillary Clinton—the Democratic candidate in the 2016 election—and swing the outcome in his father’s favor. He is also known for his support for the confederate flag, one of the most racially divisive symbols in America.

Ivanka Trump

She was a handbag designer before her father appointed her special adviser. To every woman, particularly women of color, who has ever worked hard to be taken seriously in their careers and get the breaks they are qualified for, Ivanka Trump embodies a toxic mix of nepotism and white privilege ― the woman who gets ahead because of who she is, who she knows, and just about everything else other than being qualified for the job.

Ivanka attended the G20 summit with her father in Germany in July, took her father’s place at the table in one instance, and appeared in photographs with world leaders. With no qualification or experience in government, public, or foreign policy, she nonetheless believes she belongs in the same leagues as Chancellor Angela Merkel, the British Prime Minister, and the Chinese, Russian and Turkish presidents.

Ms. Trump’s worst crime by far is not having the good sense to keep her father out of public life to the extent that she could, and continuing to prop him up when his trajectory will mean certain destruction for countless numbers of people ― unless someone or something stops soon.

Jared Kushner

Like his wife, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the President of the United States, is the beneficiary of nepotism and white privilege. Kushner reportedly matriculated at Harvard after his father made a $2.5 million gift to the university. It isn’t hard to imagine that the space he occupied at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities likely could have been occupied by someone more deserving, including hardworking students of color who qualified and were denied on whatever absurd ground the institution chose.

The story is well told by teachers and colleagues: Jared Kushner, on merit alone, would not and should not be where he is ― an adviser to the President of the United States. One real estate acquaintance, quoted in a December 2016 Vanity Fair article, describes him this way: “My impression of him wasn’t that he was a moron, but he thought he was so much smarter than he was. He is really confident that he is doing the right thing, but he has no idea what he is doing.”

Kushner is currently under investigation for possible roles in the Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Top democrats have called for revocation of his security clearance.

John McCain

The longtime Arizona Senator has been one of the most destructive figures in the last decade or so. His pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate against Barack Obama in 2004 significantly lowered the bar for what it takes to run for political office at the executive level, and he gave her a platform to attack Obama and further an agenda from the conservative lunatic stoking racism, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry.

McCain served heroically during the Vietnam War. Any idealization of him should stop there. He is a hypocritical, warmongering conservative whose duplicity on multiple issues ― like George W. Bush’s NSA wiretap program, the estate tax, torture, social security, and McConnell’s use of the nuclear option have contributed enormously to public cynicism toward politicians and the political process. The outcome is the confusion he leaves in the public’s mind about what heroism or honor truly means beyond being a prisoner of war.

Lindsey Graham

Like his friend, John McCain, Graham (R-SC.) can be counted out to take whatever position will get him in front of the media. Where it matters, he sides with his party and exhibits the same kind of moral confusion and normalized racism that is common in the GOP. From calling the shooting of nine African Americans at a historic black church in North Carolina an attack on Christians and declaring that Iranians are liars, Graham is one of those who not only pollute public discourse but misleads the public on who or what he truly is.

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