Shaun King: Conservatives OK with Trump’s Golfing Because Racism!

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a resentful, dishonest race baiter, everything looks like bigotry.

Writing in the New York Daily News on April 17, professional victim Shaun King noticed something about how conservatives respond to the golfing enthusiasms of presidents: when Obama golfed, we didn’t like it. When Trump golfs, they’re silent.

And you know what? King is correct. Plenty of conservatives (including yours truly) kvetched about the time Obama spend on the links. And many of those same conservatives haven’t made a peep about Mar-a-Lago. King rightly noted that Trump himself told campaign crowds “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.” Broken pledge? Yep. Partisan hypocrisy? More or less guilty as charged.

But that’s not enough for King, the Black Lives Matter activist who identifies as black. No, the real issue here is … wait for it! … racism!

“More than ever,” King wrote, “it's clear that conservatives never really had a problem with a golfing President, what they hated seeing was a black golfing President.” King then blacksplained:

The racist caricature of the "uppity negro" has deep roots in this country. Uppity negroes have irritated white folk for over a hundred years. In its most simple form, the uppity negro is a black man or woman who enjoys anything other than working from sunup to sundown. Particularly, an uppity negro is a black man or woman who enjoys creature comforts in life that some whites may not yet be able to afford to enjoy — say a musical, a play, fine dining, or, you guessed it, a round of golf.

Obama was, King said, “the quintessential uppity negro, with his Harvard Law degree, and his beach trips to his home state of Hawaii.”

This is a serious charge to lay at the feet conservatives. Kings evidence? Well, he “think[s] this was the subconscious message that Trump was pulling on throughout the campaign trail to his almost exclusively white audiences.” And he “sincerely, genuinely [doesn’t] think the problem is political. It's racial.” Or this damning paragraph:

It's why referencing Obama golfing got such a rise out of white, working-class crowds. It was a coded way to say, “How dare that uppity negro golf and enjoy leisure time while we work hard to make this country what it truly is?” Of course, they could never use those words, but I truly believe that is what they wanted to say every single time they expressed disgust and disdain seeing Obama golf.

So the evidence is all in King’s feelz. Trust him, there was coding and dog whistles, and guys with flags doing racist semaphore. Simple partisan hypocrisy isn’t enough. There must be something more nefarious at work because King says there is. Fair enough. He gets paid to scream racism, no matter how stupid it sounds.

Matt Philbin
Matt Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture