Arlington Heights minister: Trump's words encourage tolerance of racism

Updated 1/12/2018 4:10 PM
  • Rev. Clyde Brooks

      Rev. Clyde Brooks Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2013

President Donald Trump's words about Haiti, Africa and immigrants from them demonstrate how far America is drifting from goals set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., according to an Arlington Heights minister who worked with the late civil rights leader.

"If Dr. King were alive, he would have something to say about this," the Rev. Clyde Brooks said. "We're living in one of the most racist times in American history and so many Americans are embracing this."

Brooks said nothing could be clearer from Trump's words than a preference for more immigrants from the predominantly white nation of Norway and fewer from those of majority black and Hispanic nations.

While Brooks doesn't blame Trump for the racism that's already in some Americans' hearts, he holds him responsible for encouraging it.

"All Trump did was give people above ground the courage to act out what they think," Brooks said. "They became more bold."

He said it's time for people opposed to racism and social injustice to show it, including telling legislators that such language as Trump is accused of won't be tolerated.

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