New Commentary Shows Trump Has a History of Disregarding Disabled People
People with disabilities have spoken out regarding Donald Trump’s treatment of disabled people as well as his use of insults like the R-word since Trump announced his intention to run for president. While some of these incidents may have seemed isolated, new commentary shows the President has a history of making ableist remarks that spans beyond his presidency.
In the ’80s, Trump reportedly told a Trump Tower architect to do away with the braille inside the building’s elevators, which were under construction.
Barbara Res, former vice president of construction for the Trump Organization, shared this anecdote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. She said the architect told Trump removing the braille is against the law, to which Trump allegedly replied:
“Get rid of the (expletive) braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it.”
This retelling, which opens Res’ piece, adds to numerous other accounts that show a history of ignorant and discriminatory behavior from Trump.
On Tuesday, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward released a new book revealing the inner works of Trump’s White House with interviews from firsthand sources.
In an excerpt published by CNN, Woodward reported that Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded.” Trump responded to this on Twitter, accusing Woodward of making it up.
The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and “a dumb southerner.” I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
A video editor at The Washington Post tweeted videos of Trump using the R-word in the past after Trump said he’s “never used those terms on anyone.”
TRUMP to HOWARD STERN in April 2004:
“I was criticized in one magazine, where the writer was retarded and said, ‘Donald Trump put up seven million dollars, they put up 193 million dollars and they’re 50/50 partners. Why isn’t Donald Trump putting up more money?’” pic.twitter.com/Oyd0xOxUxT
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) September 5, 2018
During his presidential campaign, Trump mocked disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. Trump imitated his physical disability during a South Carolina rally, which was recorded. Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a joint condition that limits arm mobility.
Trump has also used the phrase “low IQ individual” multiple times in tweets. He used it to describe actor Robert De Niro after De Niro said “F— Trump” at the Tony Awards. Before that, he used it to insult California Representative Maxine Waters and reporters at The Washington Post.
During Trump’s candidacy, he was accused of calling Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin the R-word, according to the Daily Beast. Matlin, who is Deaf, responded to the claims on Twitter, calling the R-word “abhorrent” and that she’d make her voice heard by voting.
My response to recent media reports – Marlee. pic.twitter.com/Mkrbh47dUO
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) October 14, 2016
In April, Trump was criticized for ableist comments after he said the Paralympics were “tough to watch” while welcoming both Paralympians and Olympians to the White House.
“And what happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me,” Trump said. “And I watched — it’s a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could. It was really fantastic, and I want to thank you.”
Photo via Twitter