Donald Trump’s ugly exchange with CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang yesterday afternoon was not your garden-variety racism nor was it an isolated incident. Trump’s rush to suggest to Jiang that she pose her question to the Chinese government rather than her own government is a classic reflection of this caveman’s lifelong thinking about who qualifies as a real American.
According to Trump’s tribalistic lizard brain, real Americans are white and don’t look like their family came from anywhere other than Europe. All other people are second-class citizens in his view, and so it means to him that their loyalties must lie elsewhere. As an extreme narcissist, Trump demands 100% loyalty from everyone. He also equates himself with the state, erroneously insisting, “I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” Total loyalty to Trump thus requires total loyalty to the United States—and only real Americans (as he defines them) are capable of this.
Trump pulled off a similarly offensive stunt at a news conference just weeks after his inauguration. On February 16, 2017, longtime White House correspondent April Ryan asked Trump about his campaign promise to revitalize urban centers, including whether he would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Trump fired back at Ryan with a suggestion that she should set up the meeting, even though Ryan is a reporter and even though the CBC had already sent a letter to Trump about a meeting that he brazenly ignored.
At both press conferences, Trump attempted to shut down reporters for the crime of asking a question he was too scared to answer. To accomplish this, he raced to “expose” Jiang as a Chinese-American and Ryan as an African-American, and to suggest that their true loyalties required them to play a different role than to serve as members of the American free press. Jiang and Ryan are Americans. In any event, these two individuals owe no special loyalty to the xenophobic caveman who never fails to prove how little he understands the country Russia appointed him to run.