It takes a real man to stand up and admit when he is wrong, so I’d like to take this opportunity and apologize for every time I’ve called Donald Trump a racist idiot. I was wrong.
Now I understand that when he talks about Mexicans streaming over the border, either he is invoking white supremacist ideology or he doesn’t actually know that net immigration to the U.S. from Mexico has been negative for a decade, but probably not both.
When he rails agains Muslims, I now know that either he believes every person from the Middle East is a terrorist or he doesn’t understand that white men in the U.S. are more likely to commit a terrorist act.
When he says that black neighborhoods are crime-infested dens of jobless welfare jackals, he is either being ... OK, maybe that is just racist, but you get my point.
So today, when the Washington Post reported that the Homer Simpson of presidents told the crowd at a Florida event that “human trafficking is worse than it’s ever been in the history of the world,” I finally figured it out.
Trump is either the dumbest person I’ve ever seen or he’s the most racist person in the world.
That’s not hyperbole. Let’s examine this with logic:
While no one knows the exact number, UNICEF estimates that there are about 45 million slaves around the world, which is higher than most estimates, but let’s roll with that one. There are about 7.6 billion people on earth, which means that at most, less than 1 percent of the people on the planet are enslaved.
In 1860, at the height of American slavery, 3.9 million of the U.S. population of 31 million people were enslaved, meaning that 12.6 percent of the U.S. population was enslaved. The population in 1860 was 1.29 billion worldwide, 25 million of those people enslaved, meaning that 1.9 percent of the people in the world were enslaved. I’m not great at math, but I’m pretty sure that .06 is less than 1.9 or 12.6. I checked my work.
The Post also notes:
In 1974, Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman wrote a groundbreaking book on the economics of slavery, titled “Time on the Cross,” that in part sought to characterize the scope of the slavery over time. While there aren’t any graphs or firm numbers, they do note that some estimates indicate that during the early Roman Empire, as many as 3 out of every 4 people on the Italian peninsula were enslaved — a total of 21 million people.
A more recent estimate of Roman slavery by Stanford University’s Walter Scheidel in 2007 hypothesized that slaves accounted for “between 7 and 13% of the imperial population,” with between 5 million and 8.5 million people enslaved at any given point in Italy, Egypt and elsewhere. That would be at least 12 times more pervasive than today.
Now we know that Trump is wrong, there can only be two explanations for his comment:
- He doesn’t know slavery was once a thing. I think most people learn about the triangular slave trade in the sixth grade at the latest, which might make him one of the stupidest people on earth (without a doubt the stupidest college graduate ever).
- He doesn’t believe black people are human. If he actually knows about the existence of chattel slavery, then he should know that you don’t sign up to be a slave at the unemployment office. Unless he thinks Africans consented to some sort of teleportation, then he should know that they were trafficked to the United States unwillingly. And if he knows how they got here, then the only logical conclusion one could reach is that he doesn’t consider black people to be human beings.
So Donald Trump is either incredibly stupid or amazingly racist. I do not say this to disparage him in any way. I only bring up this fact to explain why I was wrong about him. I take back all the names I’ve ever called him except for the jokes about him being orange ...
And the vagina-grabbing stuff.
And the times I’ve called him a liar.
And that one time I said he was shaped like a Teletubbie with a hormone problem.
But aside from those 293,403 times, I offer my sincerest, heartfelt apology for calling him an illiterate white supremacist asshole.
Two out of 3 ain’t bad.