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Trump Defends Confederate Flag in Latest Race-Based Appeal to White Voters

  • July 06, 2020

Later in the day, Mr. Trump added another inflammatory tweet, weighing in on recent announcements by the Washington Redskins of the N.F.L. and the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball that the teams would review their names. While many Native Americans and other advocates for change consider the names deeply offensive, Mr. Trump baselessly claimed that Native Americans would be “very angry” about the potential changes.

“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct,” Mr. Trump tweeted. He added a jab at a favorite target, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has apologized for her past claims of Native ancestry. “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now,” the president wrote.

Eleven minutes later, Mr. Trump again referred to the coronavirus as the “China Virus,” a phrase that critics say is racist, xenophobic and harmful to Asian-Americans.

The noose incident last month at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama came after Mr. Wallace, nicknamed “Bubba,” called for the Confederate flag to be banned from the sport, and NASCAR agreed to banish it from its races and properties. At the start of the race week, a member of Mr. Wallace’s racing team found the noose hanging in his garage stall and reported it to NASCAR.

The organization’s president then informed Mr. Wallace himself, and F.B.I. officials later found that the knot had been tied into the rope as early as October 2019, well before anyone would have known that Mr. Wallace would be assigned that stall for the race.

Mr. Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, told Don Lemon of CNN at the time that people were using the issue to damage him.

“I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” Mr. Wallace said.

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