If that is not racism, the word has no meaning

Jessica Lussenhop at the BBC is another who points out that it’s unfortunate the Central Park 5 story got buried last week by the boasting of sexual assault story.

The heinous attack was committed while New York City was in the throes of a crack epidemic and the number of homicides were reaching all-time highs.

In this climate, and in response to the attack, Donald Trump – then known only as the flashy real estate developer who had just purchased the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers.

“Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” the ad read.

“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyse or understand them, I am looking to punish them,” he continued.

“Civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins!”

That’s Trump. He’s not looking to understand anything.

But in 2002 serial rapist and convicted murderer Matias Reyes confessed he’d done the crime on his own, and DNA evidence confirmed it.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump has never apologised for his ads or acknowledged the existence of the true perpetrator.

To this day, he insists the Central Park Five are guilty.

But very soon after he told CNN that, the rapey comments story broke, and grabbed all the attention.

In the ensuing uproar, the Central Park Five comments were lost.

With them went an opportunity to carefully examine why Mr Trump refuses to accept the exonerations of the five men, and what implications that has for a Trump presidency.

There were no questions about it at the Sunday debate.

However, many prominent observers want the moment marked.

“Apparently Mr Trump is unfamiliar with the concept of wrongful conviction,” tweeted documentarian Ken Burns, who made a critically acclaimed film about the bungled investigation and prosecution of the five boys.

“He should be apologising for calling for their death, not claiming they’re guilty,”tweeted California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is not ‘law and order’.”

Some, like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, called Mr Trump’s stance blatantly racist.

“For young African American and Latino men, Trump has a clear and ominous message: You must be guilty of something. Not even scientific proof can convince him otherwise,” Robinson wrote.

“If that is not racism, the word has no meaning.”

Or his ominous message is even: It doesn’t matter whether you’re guilty or not, you need to be punished anyway.

I’ll be so glad when this is over.

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