Impeach Trump / YouTube Trump s LaVar Ball Tweet Is...
Impeach Trump / YouTube

Over the weekend, Donald Trump posted a series of tweets attacking LaVar Ball, the father of one the three basketball players accused of shoplifting while on a visit in China. After first posting to tell the basketball players “you’re welcome,” it seems that Trump found Ball’s gratitude insufficient.

The tweet itself is exceedingly ugly. It’s petty. It’s juvenile. It’s a slime heap of self-conceited, egotistical snobbery that is not just dog whistling with racism, but playing a slide trombone to the tune of “these black people are insufficiently grateful for what America has done for them.”

But that’s not the worst part of the tweet. The worst part isn’t in the words at all—it’s down in the lower right hand corner, where this spitwad of preening racism has garnered a quarter of a million “likes” from Trump’s followers on Twitter. That’s far more than any other Trump tweet in over a week. More than his attacks on “fake news.” More than his shots at Al Franken. More even than his recent shots at Hillary Clinton. 

The worst part of Trump’s vile, sneering, insensitive, I-should-have-let-your-son-rot-in-a-foreign-prison tweet isn’t that Trump made it in the first place—it’s that this kind of statement is exactly what his followers want to hear.

And if they missed the message the first time, Trump made sure to come back and hit those notes even louder.

Trump’s opening statement on the whole affair was already laced with plenty of his own need for praise and his disdain for others. It’s also a showcase for his willingness to instantly convict—and harshly punish—without the need for anything resembling due process.

That’s another theme he returned to after convicting LeVar Ball of the crime of not tipping his hat to a white man.

Trump, it seems, believes that a minor shoplifting charge should carry with a decade in prison. That seems like justice to him. He’s certainly be disappointed to find that the legal maximum for misdemeanor shoplifting in the United States is one year—and most cases end with a fine and no jail time. 

After all, shoplifting is bad. Unlike stealing thousands, tens of thousands, or millions from contractors you simply refuse to pay. Unlike bilking thousands of people out of their last dime at a fake “university.” 

After all, shoplifting is a crime for poor people. When a crime gets big enough, it becomes classy.

Anyway, just see if Donald Trump does any more favors for black people. If it’s not clear that’s the reason for Trump’s series of rants, he tossed in one more on Monday morning to remind you those other people he thinks just don’t show enough gratitude.

I’m sure that some “Very Fine People” agree with him.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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