List of supposed racist utterances in United States politics

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This article discusses topics and events in United States politics that deal with racism or are considered racist by some.



Jim Crow era[edit]

Racist Democratic Political Poster, 1869
"Of Course He Wants To Vote The Democratic Ticket" by A. B. Frost, 1876
"Niggers in the White House," Published in Sedalia Sentinel, October 25, 1901

Civil Rights era[edit]


  • Earl Butz (R) – In 1976 Earl Butz, former Secretary of Agriculture who served under President Nixon and Ford, was asked by Pat Boone in private why the Republican party is failing to attract African American voters. Butz replied with "The only thing the coloreds are looking for in life are tight pussy, loose shoes, and a warm place to shit."[10] After the comment, he was forced to resign.
  • David Duke (R) – In 1991, the Louisiana gubernatorial race gained national attention with former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke being the Republican candidate for governor. During a debate with the Democratic candidate Edwin Edwards, Duke was confronted with his past anti-Semitic and racist remarks by moderator Norman Robinson. Duke tried to reason saying "I don't think there's a human being on this earth or in this state who hasn't been at some time intolerant in their life"[11] and that he regretted his words.[11] Robinson said did he not think he was being honest.[12] Duke lost the election, but had a surprising turnout. Today, Duke is a white nationalist and regularly posts anti-Semitic conspiracy related articles on his website.
  • Hillary Clinton (D) – During a speech in 1996, Hillary attempted to garner support for President Bill Clinton's 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act by warning against the rise of "super predators"[13]. Bernie Sanders claimed this was a racist comment from the stage of the Democratic debate in Brooklyn.[14]
  • John McCain (R) – In February 2000, then-presidential candidate John McCain said "I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live."[15] He was using the term to describe the people who captured him in Vietnam. He refused to apologize for his comment and lost the Republican nomination to George W. Bush.
  • Robert Byrd (D) – In March 2001, in a Fox News interview, West Virginia senator and former KKK chapter founder Robert Byrd used the term "white niggers". His office later issued an apology.[16]
  • Joe Biden (D) – In early 2007, Biden faced criticism after giving the description about then-senator Barack Obama: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy".[17] He later apologized for his comments.
  • Chip Saltsman (R) – In 2008, Chip Saltsman, who was running to be the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent several CDs to RNC members containing the song "Barack the Magic Negro".[18] As a result of controversy he dropped out and lost the election to Michael Steele, who is black.
  • Donald Trump (R) – In June 2015, in Donald Trump's speech announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, Trump made a very controversial and widely publicized statement about Mexicans: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."[19]
  • On November 22, 2015 presidential candidate Donald Trump personally retweeted[20] an image with inaccurate racially charged crime data between blacks and whites. The first use of the image appeared to be from a neo-Nazi Twitter user.[21] When asked about the image in an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Trump claimed that the picture came from very credible sources.[20]
  • In August of 2017 after a Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA in which a white supremacist murdered a counter protester Donald Trump addressed the nation stating that there were "fine people on both sides" of the rally.[22] James S. Robbins argued in a USA Today opinion piece that the quote was taken out of context.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Taliaferro, John (1828). Supplemental account of some of the bloody deeds of General Jackson, being a supplement to the "Coffin handbill.". Northern Neck: Members of Congress.
  2. ^ McKenney, Thomas Loraine (1846). Memoirs, Official and Personal; with Sketches of Travels among the Northern and Southern Indians; Embracing a War Excursion and Descriptions of Scenes Along the Western Borders. Volume I. Second Edition. New York: Paine and Burgess.
  3. ^ Lamson, Peggy. The Glorious Failure: Black Congressman Robert Brown Elliott and Reconstruction in South Carolina. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. 1973. 134.
  4. ^ Hammond, James Henry (1857). Plantation Manual, 1857-58. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress.
  5. ^ Pritchard, Jeter Connelly (1900). On the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution of North Carolina. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  6. ^ White, George Henry (1901). Congressional Record, 56th Cong., 2d session, vol. 34, pt. 2. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office.
  7. ^ Tillman, Benjamin (1909). The Struggles of '76.
  8. ^ Bell, Debra (June 11, 2013). "George Wallace Stood in a Doorway at the University of Alabama 50 Years Ago Today". US News. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Windham, Ben (March 11, 2012). "SOUTHERN LIGHTS: Malcolm X, George Wallace shared similar qualities". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Noah, Timothy. "Earl Butz, History's Victim". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Applebome, Peter. "Duke: The Ex-Nazi Who Would Be Governor". Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  12. ^ "Louisiana Gubernatorial Debate". Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Gearan, Anne and Phillip, Abby (February 25, 2016). "Clinton regrets 1996 remark on 'super-predators' after encounter with activist". Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Flores, Reena (April 14, 2016). "Bernie Sanders slams Clinton's "racist" 1996 super predators comment". CBS News. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "McCain Criticized for Slur / He says he'll keep using term for ex-captors in Vietnam". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Sen. Byrd Apologizes for Racial Epithet". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  17. ^ Thai, Xuan & Barrett, Ted. "Biden's description of Obama draws scrutiny". Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  18. ^ Sinderbrand, Rebecca. "RNC chairman candidate defends 'Barack the Magic Negro' song". Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  19. ^ Ye Hee Lee, Michelle. "Donald Trump's false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime". Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Feldman, Josh. "O'Reilly Grills Trump on 'Totally Wrong' Tweet; Trump: 'Am I Gonna Check Every Statistic?'". Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  21. ^ Gettys, Travis. "That racist Trump tweet about blacks killing whites isn't just false, it's neo-Nazi propaganda". Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  22. ^ PolitiFact. "In Context: Donald Trump's 'very fine people on both sides' remarks". Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  23. ^ Robbins, James S. "Trump's Charlottesville comments twisted by Joe Biden and the media (Web Title: Joe Biden launched his campaign by lying about Donald Trump)". USA today. Retrieved Aug 21, 2019.