At a Sunday night rally in Las Vegas, Nevada — which he held as if the Coronavirus simply does not exist anymore — President Donald Trump looked on with some kind of sick pride as the rallygoers chanted “Lock him up!” in reference to Barack Obama. The chant came after Trump claimed that Obama had gotten caught spying on the Trump campaign, which did not happen. The Obama administration conducted judically supervised surveillance of an ex-Trump aide once that individual — Carter Page — was no longer associated with the Trump campaign. The Obama team did not spy on Trump.
Before the chant, Trump said the following:
‘[Obama] got caught spying on my campaign. He got caught — we caught him cold, we have him cold. Now let’s see what happens.’
Trump is lying. Obama was not caught spying on the Trump campaign. His administration did not conduct any “spying” targeting the 2016 Trump operation — this is not a contestable fact. It is basic reality. After his above diatribe, the crowd broke into their “Lock him up!” chant, and Trump stepped back from the podium and basked in the racist glow. It’s not “normal” for a U.S. president and his supporters to openly fantasize about locking up their political opponents. Check out the troubling video below:
The President says President Obama got caught spying on his campaign and the crowd chants lock him up? pic.twitter.com/mDYAWBO0n2
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) September 14, 2020
In the case of Trump’s unhinged Sunday night rally performance, there’s an added subtext of racism, since Obama is, of course, black. Trump has spent literal years winding himself up into a racist rage against Obama, who Trump famously spent awhile claiming may not have been born in the United States. There was never any evidence for Trump’s claim. It was just racism — which he ran with for quite awhile. In office, Trump has kept up the pace of his anti-Obama frenzy with his sometimes frantic rush to undo Obama era accomplishments.
Trump’s racism has emerged elsewhere. For instance, he has recently been running with the idea that he will save “suburbs” from an “invasion” of low income housing — the racial subtexts are only barely veiled. It’s marginalized communities including many black Americans who are most often associated with low income housing. Trump has claimed that Democrats want to “abolish” suburbs entirely, but this claim is totally and entirely untrue.