George Graham

Trump’s Deplorable Base


It’s quite clear to me that Trump’s base is essentially racist. And he knows it. His pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio  is the latest evidence of this.

Cecilia Wang, deputy director of the ACLU called  Arpaio’s pardon an “endorsement of racism.”

And Vanita Gupta, who led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President Obama, said the pardon was “not a dog whistle to the so-called alt-right and white supremacists but a bullhorn.”

Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court when he refused to stop racially profiling Hispanics. And Trump said at his Arizona rally the sheriff was just “doing his job.”

This kind of comment doubles down onTrump’s defense of the Charlottesville white-power marchers.

Obviously,  he has decided to drop any pretense. He’s a racist. And he doesn’t care who knows it.

He is proudly playing to his deplorable base. And it’s making the “deplorables” even more loyal to him.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I know there are racists in America. I know the militant white-power movement exists. And I know these ugly people support Trump.

What surprises me is the size of the racist element. I didn’t realize that more than a third of the American electorate shares the new president’s toxic prejudices. But that’s what the polls seem to indicate.

I suppose a lot of racists hid their ugliness before Trump’s rise to power. Now, they feel free to flaunt their true feelings.

I wonder how far they will go. These are not decent, civilized human beings. They’re rabble. And nothing is too despicable for them. Certainly not violence.

The history of the Ku Klux Klan and the “strange fruit” the white supremacists left hanging on Southern trees bear sad testimony to their barbarism.

Looking out the window at the rain, I wonder what’s next for America. And I fear it’s not going to be pleasant.

More on the Arpaio pardon

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for