How Trump Agitated for the Railroad of the—Innocent!—Central Park 5

Donald Chump, the Lynch Mob Master

May 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Today, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president. Twenty-seven years ago, he was the chief agitator for a “legal” lynch mob.

On April 19, 1989, a white woman jogger was the victim of a vicious assault in Central Park. She was raped and brutalized so severely that she was in a coma for 12 days. It was a sickening crime in a country where a woman is raped every two minutes—about 80 percent of the time by someone the victim knows, often an intimate partner.

But the authorities’ response had nothing to do with stopping any of that. New York City police interrogated Black and Latino youths they had taken into custody that night for other incidents. They threatened them, lied to them, beat them, and deprived them of sleep, food, or contact with their parents or lawyers. Eventually several of the youths—as young as 14, traumatized, and just wanting to be able to go home to their parents —"confessed." These youths quickly renounced those coerced confessions. In spite of that, in spite of the lack of physical evidence of their involvement in this crime, and in spite of the fact that substantial physical evidence pointed to someone else, five of  them were quickly convicted, sentenced, and jailed. They became known as the Central Park 5.

In 2002, another man, a convicted serial rapist linked to the crime by substantial DNA evidence, confessed to being the sole attacker. After years of protest and struggle, and as the evidence used to convict them was exposed as lies concocted by the authorities, the New York District Attorney cleared the Central Park 5 of all charges. By that time, they had served their unjust sentences—40 years in all.

Two weeks after the attack, before any of the young men had even been tried, Donald Trump ran full-page ads in New York City newspapers headlined “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police.” (New York State did not and does not have a death penalty.) The ads set off an explosion of racist frenzy throughout society, with toxic lies portraying youths of color as “roving bands of wild criminals [who] roam our neighborhoods dispensing their own vicious brand of twisted hatred on whomever they encounter.” [emphasis in the original]

This ad was a modern-day version of those that appeared in newspapers in the days of the old Jim Crow. Ads that would portray a Black man who somehow offended white supremacy, or did nothing at all, as a demon, and announce the time and place where he was to be lynched.

Donald Trump was a lynch mob master then. And he still is. Only now he has been put on the biggest stage to incite real “twisted hatred” on a global and not a neighborhood scale: against viciously exploited and hunted Mexican immigrants; against demonized and terrorized Muslims; against women; and to threaten “worse than water boarding” against children of those whom this Nazi “suspects” might be “terrorists.” And, oh, yes, this is the fascist who brags about the way that Black protesters at his rallies are harassed and beaten by those he whips up... and who somehow takes nearly a week to “disavow” the endorsement of a leader of the KKK.

We know what that shit says about Donald Chump. But what does it say about a system that tells you that Donald Trump, a modern-day lynch mob-inciting, foaming-at-the-mouth white supremacist fiend, is a legitimate candidate for president? And what does it say about a system’s media that first builds him up and then, even when they “criticize” him, can’t quite bring themselves to say the main truth: that this ghoul is nothing but a white supremacist demagogue?

It says it’s a racist system and it needs to be gone.



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