‘Ungrateful Fool!’: Trump’s Attacks on LaVar Ball Just Turned Full On Racist

Before you woke up Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump had already fired off two furious tweets attacking LaVar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball players who was arrested for shoplifting in China.

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME,” Trump raged, in one of the most petty statements ever made by a president.

“Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair,” he wrote.

“Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!” he concluded.

Trump made the comments in response to an interview Ball had with CNN, in which he characteristically played down Trump’s role in freeing his son while pushing his brand and image.

“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” Ball said. “Somebody told me about the tweet a couple days ago … why is that on your mind? All this stuff going on, and that’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say thank you? And you’re the head of the U.S.? Come on.”

“Did (Trump) help the boys get out? I don’t know. If I was going to thank somebody, I probably would thank President Xi. He’s in China. He’s the president of China,” Ball added.

There was no reason for the president of the United States to respond to these comments but Trump is incapable of letting go even the slightest slight by anyone who is not a white man.

“Given Trump’s demonstrated willingness — as a candidate and as president — to play on racial stereotypes and racial animus to benefit his own political interests, it’s impossible to ignore the underlying messaging here,” writes CNN’s Chris Cillizza. “By comparing Ball to King, Trump is hoping to minimize him, turn him into a sort of cartoon character in the eyes of the president’s political base.”

Then there is the “ungrateful fool” part, which goes right to what this was always about – Trump wanting to start a feud with more black athletes that played on racial stereotypes.

Let’s remember that this didn’t begin with Ball downplaying Trump’s role in freeing his son and teammates. It began before anyone said anything.

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” Trump wrote a week ago.

He was clearly itching for a fight but his urge to start a new feud was temporarily foiled when all three UCLA players thanked him personally at a press conference.

When Ball downplayed Trump’s role several days later, it fueled both Trump’s petty ego to lash out while also giving him what he wanted in the first place: a chance to rage about the “ungrateful” black dad whose kid committed a “serious” crime.

“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “I should have left them in jail!”

“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead,” Trump added hours later. “China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

Cillizza writes in his column that “Trump knows what he is playing at here. And he doesn’t care — or at least he doesn’t care enough not to do it.”

But somewhere, Steve Bannon is smiling as the president’s Twitter account pushes more racial animosity than Breitbart could ever hope to do on a good day.



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