“You want to put that face (Harriet Tubman) on the twenty-dollar bill?”
The Omarosa Effect
Omarosa Manigault Newman’s greatest public service is her damning revelations of Trump’s stunningly naked bigotry that comes from someone who sat by his side for years. The revelations come rapid fire in Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House. His contempt for the Congressional Black Caucus, his torpedo of Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill, his hatred of Obama, his shamelessly using black ministers and black college presidents, his disgusting political manipulation of the birther issue, the unabashed racism of his staff and Chief of Staff John Kelly, and much more. Her revelations harshly warn that Trump is more than just a narcissistic, politically self-serving race baiter. He is hell bent on dangerously injecting a hard-edged climate of racial polarization and racial violence into the daily life of the nation. Here is the proof of his menace:
*Trump’s visit to a black church during the 2016 presidential campaign:
“This is the longest I’ve been at a church in my life God how much longer do I have to sit here? After the minister placed a prayer shawl around him Donald thanked him but as soon as we got away he said, “take this thing off me!”
I was struck by two things about Omarosa when she discussed education issues with me on my weekly Los Angeles radio show, The Hutchinson Report, in 2014. Then she was one of several candidates for a vacant seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education. I had invited her and the other candidates to guest on the show to tell how they’d tackle the daunting educational problems facing minority students. I was impressed that she had done her homework and spelled out several concrete initiatives she would fight for if she was elected.
*Trump’s Obama Birther obsession
“At one point I asked him, “Why are you advancing this birther foolishness? He said, ‘It’s just politics. This is politics’.”
The other thing I noted about her was that she was far from the shallow, self-serving, all glitter and glamour, reality star that others put her down as. She seemed to really care about the educational welfare of minority students. With a little more digging, I found that she did have a grounding in politics and public service working in a spot in the Al Gore campaign and the Clinton administration. At times, she had actively engaged with community and civil rights groups.
*Trump on the Congressional Black Caucus
“Why do you keep trying to work with those people? They clearly hate me.”
*Trump’s attack on John Lewis
“Almost surprised and caught off guard by how upset I was about his attacks on Lewis, Donald simply said, ‘Well, he started it’.”
Omarosa’s shameless, aid and abet of one of the vilest, most corrupt, inept, and above all, stunningly racially provocative presidents and administrations in decades is something she’ll have to answer for. She’s already paid a steep price for it in the merciless barrage of name calling, trashing, and hectoring she gets from legions of African-Americans, civil rights and women’s groups.
*Trumps penchant for calling Blacks “you people”
“For this particular speech, I begged him not to refer to the participants (African-Americans) as ‘you people.’ He looked puzzled.”
In her book, she does acknowledge that her motive in endorsing Trump, taking a spot in his administration, and sticking with him for more than a year was in hindsight a horrible mistake.
*Trump on Haiti
“When I told DJT I’d be gone for a couple of days with a delegation to Haiti, He asked me, ‘Why did you choose that shitty country as your first foreign trip’.”
Her Saul on the Road to Damascus epiphany and mea culpa won’t cut it with many of the set-in stone Omarosa loathers. But that’s less important at this stage of the game than what she’s said and revealed about Trump.
*Trump on Charlottesville
“When we discussed Charlottesville, Trump was defensive and said, ‘Omarosa you know what was in the report. “This was his focus on the counter-protesters (not the white nationalists).”
Omarosa is the only African-American who was ever close to Trump personally and politically. Her punch back at him from the inside carries far more weight than that of Trump’s enemies’ routine name calling of him as a racist from the outside. Her willingness to name specifics about Trump’s racism garners attention and could make even more people take pause in how they see this guy. The tapes she made of her conversations in the White House could be a mini-Nixon moment in peeling back more inside layers of a demented and corrupt regime.
*Trump’s use of a racial slur “Pocahontas” in addressing a Native-American group
“I said Mr. President, you insulted those men. We were trying to honor them. He said, ‘I didn’t insult them. I insulted Elizabeth Warren’.”
Omarosa is articulate and politically savvy. If she launches herself as a Trump perpetual nemesis, this will continue to cause more nervous moments for Trump then attacks from any black leader or Democrats ever could cause him. Unhinged, and her public presence, stands as a living, breathing, walking refutation of Trump’s grotesque lie that he’ s really “for blacks.”
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming Why Black Lives Do Matter (Middle Passage Press) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.