“He’s been going after African-Americans in many, many ways and minorities generally,” Garamendi said on CNN’s The Situation Room, according to The Hill.
Trump called LaVar Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and suspended UCLA Bruins player LiAngelo Ball, an “ungrateful fool” and “poor man’s version of Don King but without the hair” on Twitter in response to what he perceived as Ball’s ungratefulness for the President’s role in LiAngelo returning from China after being detained on shoplifting charges.
Garamendi said Trump’s latest remarks follow a trend of belittling minorities that “goes on and on, one minority after another.”
“In fact, he started his campaign for President going after minorities,” Garamendi said. “In that case, Mexican nationals here in the United States, as well as Mexican people of Mexican origin that have been here forever.”
Trump also has tweeted heavily about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to peacefully protest against racial inequality and social injustice, although he has continually said it has “nothing to do with race” and that his frustration is about “respect for our country and respect for our flag.” Hundreds of players, most of them African-American, have protested since Trump said at a September rally in Alabama that players who kneel should be fired.
“Right now he’s focusing on the African-Americans, obviously the football players,” Garamendi said. “Protest is a tradition in America but the President seems to be focused basically now on African-Americans, previously on others.”
The NAACP has publicly condemned Trump and the White House’s stancetoward national anthem protests.
Follow Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson