The president’s inability to control his apparent disdain for Black women — especially those who are journalists — was on display (again) for the whole country to witness when he attacked Yamiche Alcindor during a press briefing about the coronavirus crisis.
No, this is not a reference to last week when Donald Trump said the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour asked a “nasty” question for seeing if he had any words of reassurance for the American public that was facing a pandemic unlike any ever seen in this lifetime. (As you’ll see, the word “nasty” is part of a familiar refrain uttered by Trump when discussing Black women.)
Trump was at it again Sunday afternoon when Alcindor asked him yet another question that Americans deserved to have answered before he unleashed his fury on her and ignoring the question amid the country’s death growing toll from the coronavirus that he did not respond to adequately. The entire episode promoted the hashtag #WeLoveYamiche to become one of the top trending topics on Twitter on Sunday and into Monday.
For those who have been paying attention, Trump’s unprovoked attacks on Black women is nothing new. But as the pressure on Trump builds up after it becomes increasingly apparent how badly he fumbled protecting the United States against the coronavirus, it was hard not to reflect on how his renewed attacks on Alcindor were nothing but the president following his script for how he treats any Black woman in his presence who questions his actions as president. The fact is that Black women have emerged as a formidable force against the president and have had no problem returning his fire and further exposing his contempt for them.
On Sunday, Trump had the audacity to tell Alcindor to “be nice” immediately after he scolded her for asking him about his open doubts that New York City — the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. — needed as many ventilators to treat patients as it had requested.
“You’ve said repeatedly that some of the equipment that governors are requesting, they don’t actually need,” Alcindor began during a press conference in the Rose Garden. “You said New York might not need 30,000…”
Trump then cut her off and lied that he “never said that” before resorting to a racist trope.
“You know, why don’t you people,” he began before continuing, “why don’t you act in a little more positive? It’s always trying to getcha.”
Alcindor, undeterred, continued with the question while Trump mocked her place of employment, didn’t offer an answer and ironically advised her to “be nice. Don’t be threatening.”
Watch the unfortunate episode below.
Nevermind the fact that Trump did in fact cast doubt on the number of ventilators states were requesting as hospitals begin to reach full capacity treating coronavirus patients.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump told Sean Hannity during an interview on Fox News on Thursday night. “You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”
The unfortunate episode that played out on live TV on Sunday offered the American public its latest chance to see Trump attack a Black woman out of apparent frustration that he was being called out for what has come across as incompetence during a public health crisis. Scroll down to see 12 other times Trump attacked Black women under similar circumstances.
1. Yamiche Alcindor
Alcindor asked Trump about referring to himself as a “nationalist” and questioned if he was worried that type of language might embolden the white nationalist movement that during the summer of 2017 said favorable things about after Charlottesville. Trump cut off Alcindor mid-sentence and snapped at her: “That’s such a racist question.”
Trump then deflected and said that he had his highest poll numbers with Black people before repeating that it was “a racist question.” He continued while pointing his finger at her, “that’s a very terrible thing that you said.”
2. Jemele HillSource:Getty
On Sept. 11, 2017, the former ESPN anchor used her social media platform to reach her hundreds of thousands of followers to tell them that she thought Trump was “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime” whose election she said was “a direct result of white supremacy.” Where is the lie?
Still, Trump, as someone who hasn’t been a fan of the truth, lashed out over Hill’s freedom of speech and tweeted, “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked.'”
Trump’s comment suggested that Hill was untalented, an assertion decidedly proven wrong after she left ESPN, joined the Atlantic and went on to start her ultra-successful “Unbothered” podcast.
3. Mia Love
The former congresswoman from Utah was a Trump loyalist until he mocked her for losing her bid for re-election during the 2018 mid-term elections. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia,” Trump said on Nov. 7 of that year. He was referring to how Love distanced herself from the president when he made controversial statements in support of white supremacists’ violence in Charlottesville. And Love, a Haitian-American, also had issues with the president when he identified Haiti as one of the “shithole countries” Black countries.
So, naturally, he suggested her failed bid for re-election was some type of karmic force at play for her lack of support for him and his racism.
4. Omarosa ManigaultSource:Getty
A couple of years after it was reported that Omarosa Manigault was forcibly removed from the White House when he was fired, Trump apparently couldn’t stand the thought of her exposing his incompetence in her tell-all book. So what did he do? He logged on to Twitter, of course, to spew some of his venom at her for telling her truth when he tweeted about all the people he was suing.
“Disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa is one,” Trump tweeted on Aug. 31, 2019. “I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone, and she went for some cheap money from a book.”
5. Michelle Obama
After it was reported that Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir that he would “never forgive” Trump for endangering her family with his false birtherism claims about President Barack Obama, Trump couldn’t help but to go on the attack despite the former first lady’s truthful claims.
“Oh, Michelle Obama said that? I haven’t seen it,” he said on Nov. 9, 2018, before unleashing his venom and accusing her of trying to profit off of his name. “I guess she wrote a book, she got paid a lot of money to write a book, and they always insist that you come up with controversial—well, I’ll give you some controversy back.”
6. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Ayanna PressleySource:Getty
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim woman elected to congress, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, as part of a four-woman group of freshmen congresswoman of color collectively known as “The Squad,” were the victims of Trump’s misguided xenophobic and racist Twitter hatred back in July 2019 when he all but told them to “go back” where they came from. The loaded language is a familiar racist trope.
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all),” Trump tweeted in part even though three of the four congresswomen were born in the United States. He later added in his Twitter thread about them: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
7. Abby Philip
When CNN’s Abby Philip asked Trump about reports that he wanted then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to “rein in” special counsel Robert Mueller during his probe into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, the president lost it.
“What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question,” he said to Philips on Nov. 9, 2018. “But I watch you a lot—you ask a lot of stupid questions.”
8. April Ryan
“The same thing with April Ryan. I watch her get up, I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser,” Trump said outside of the White House on Nov. 9, 2018. “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise, or she gets a contract with, I think, CNN. But she’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be, she shouldn’t be.”
9. Brenda Snipes
The former supervisor of elections in Broward County, Florida, came under fire for her alleged “incompetence” in the 2018 midterm elections that delayed the announcement that Andrew Gillum had lost the gubernatorial contest to Trump loyalist Ron DeSantis. When Trump was asked about it on Nov. 9, 2018, he didn’t hold back.
“If you look at the person, in this case, a woman involved, she’s had a horrible history,” Trump said of Snipes without mentioning her by name. Trump went on to add that “she’s been to court, she’s had a lot of problems, she’s lost.”
10. Sen. Maxine WatersSource:Getty
After California Sen. Maxine Waters on June 22, 2018, admonished the Trump administration for tearing parents away from children at the border, she encouraged people to protest “wherever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”
That prompted Trump to call her “an extraordinarily low IQ person” and, in what many perceived to be a threat, he wrote on Twitter, “Be careful what you wish for Max!”
Five days later, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Maxine Waters, whose crazy rants have made her, together with Nancy Pelosi, the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party. Together, they will Make America Weak Again! But have no fear, America is now stronger than ever before, and I’m not going anywhere!”
11. Rep. Frederica WilsonSource:Getty
During the controversy over U.S. soldiers dying in an ambush in Africa in October 2017, Trump said Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson was lying about her accusation that the president lacked any compassion when he told a widow her husband had been killed. Instead of recognizing what a sensitive topic it was, Trump lashed out at Wilson during a press conference.
“I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. I didn’t say it at all. She knows it,” he said before tweeting later: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”
However, there was no proof and the widow ultimately came out and confirmed the brusque treatment she got when Trump told her that her husband “knew what he was signed up for.”
12. Joy ReidSource:Getty
While most of the other instances of Trump’s blind hatred toward Black women can be traced to a particular instance, it remained unclear why he attacked MSNBC anchor Joy Reid in September of last year. The president just erupted on Twitter and had (surprise) hateful things to say about her.
“Who the hell is Joy-Ann Reid? Never met her, she knows ZERO about me, has NO talent, and truly doesn’t have the ‘it’ factor needed for success in showbiz,” he tweeted. But then in hius very next sentence he acted like he was familiar with her even though he was wrong.
“Had a bad reputation, and now works for the Comcast/NBC losers making up phony stories about me. Low Ratings,” he incorrectly added in his tweet. “Fake News!”