WASHINGTON, KOMPAS.com - As the presidential campaign heats up, President Donald Trump downplayed the historical legacy of slavery in the US to appeal to his core base of white voters on Thursday.
He additionally blasted efforts undertaken to address systemic racism calling it divisive.
The US President’s comments amounted to a defense of white culture and a denunciation of Democrats and the media during the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
He also took aim at those accused of trying to indoctrinate schoolchildren and shame their parents’ “whiteness”.
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He also argued that America's founding “set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism and built the most fair, equal and prosperous nation in human history.”
But he did not mention the 246 years of slavery in the US, including the 89 years it was allowed to continue after the colonies declared independence from England.
Nor did the president acknowledge the ongoing fight against racial injustice and police brutality, which has prompted months of protests this year.
Trump has long fanned the nation's culture wars, including defending the display of the Confederate battle flag and monuments of Civil War rebels from protesters seeking their removal.
His speech Thursday suggested his rhetoric could become even more pointed in the final weeks before the election, given that his path to a second term relies largely on energizing culturally conservative white voters.