Donald Trump's no racist, as past acts and presidential record prove

Donald Trump is no racist. I have known him since 1973 and have never seen any indication or any form of racism. In fact, quite the contrary.
 
When I was Manhattan Borough president and president of the New York City Council, I asked him numerous times to help black or Hispanic groups, and he always came through, many times without publicity. When a hurricane ravished Puerto Rico in the mid 1980s, I asked many big companies to give various forms of assistance — but the problem was how to get all of this aid down to Puerto Rico. I called Donald Trump, and he provided us with a 727 jet to take all of the donated material down to the island, and he didn’t ask for any publicity for that generous act.
 
My friend, Rev. Floyd Flake, the minister of the largest black church in Queens, asked for some help for his senior center. Again, I called Donald Trump and he wrote a big check.
 
One day I met an African American woman on the street with her two adorable young kids. She was homeless, and I gave her some money — and then asked Donald to get her into some low-income housing in Queens. He came through, and did so without any fanfare.
 
When President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE recently attacked Congressman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCan the Democrats unseat Trump? Democrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees MORE (D-Md.), he was not doing so because Rep. Cummings is black but because the president is a counter-puncher. And he is right that Cummings has been a congressman for 22 years and that Baltimore, part of which is in his congressional district, is a mess. The city has gotten worse during his tenure: more poverty, more drugs and more crime.
 
The president is honest and doesn’t parse his words, like most politicians, and that drives the media crazy. But his honesty is refreshing, and he is usually right, if not always diplomatic.
 
African American and Hispanic unemployment under his presidency is the lowest it has been in 60 years. The president pushed through criminal justice reform and has created empowerment zones that help economically distressed communities — and their poorer residents — through tax incentives and grants. In short, he has done more for minorities in three years than President Obama did in eight, and he deserves credit instead of rebuke.
 
 
Obama listened to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s vile sermons every Sunday for years; Rev. Wright frequently and viciously attacked whites, Jews and America itself.
 
Barack Obama had many meetings in Chicago with Rev. Louis Farrakhan and said many nice things about the Nation of Islam leader. He attended many of Farrakhan’s rallies, where Farrakhan set a new low for anti-Semitic attacks, calling Jews a “gutter religion” and white people “devils.”
 
In addition, President Obama had Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the country’s highest-profile race-baiters, as a guest in the White House dozens of times.
 
In order to protect President Obama, the media largely ignored these and many other questionable things — but these things happened, and they are far worse than anything President Trump has done.
 
The point is that President Obama was not a racist but he did things that could be construed as racially divisive — and yet, he was never widely criticized for it, nor was he publicly condemned as a racist. President Trump is not a racist, either — and yet, he is being condemned as one by his critics on the left, and by much of the mainstream media.
 
Race should not play a part in our politics. For too long, it has been a scar on our country. We should focus instead on the issues, and on what’s going to help make America strong for everyone.
 
Andrew J. Stein is a former president of the New York City Council and a former president of Manhattan Borough.