Orleans County hears from George: “Trump botches chance after Paladino outrage”

Orleans County hears from George:  “Trump botches chance after Paladino outrage”


Talker writers have been on a letter writing roll.  Nighan appeared in the Atlantic Magazine and the City Newspaper.  Kramer in the New York Times.  Payne in the Buffalo News and the Albany Times Union.

Now, on December 31st, 2016, in a Special to the Olean Times Herald, George argues persuasively that Trump once again missed an opportunity to show the nation he rejects racism in all forms.

“Trump botches chance after Paladino outrage”


12/31/16 Provided courtesy of Kelsey M. Boudin, City Editor, Olean Times Herald

In an article in Artvoice, Buffalo developer, school board member and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is quoted as saying in 2017 he would like to see President Barack Obama catch mad cow disease and die.

Responding to what he would like to see go away in 2017, Paladino responded: “Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

Given the chance to walk back these execrable remarks, Paladino said, “Yeah, I’m not politically correct … they asked what I want for Christmas and I told them.”

This is not the first time Paladino has made such repellent comments about President Obama. In April 2010, the millionaire acknowledged forwarding emails, including images of bestiality and derogatory characterizations of the president, including one offering a video clip of African tribesman dancing that characterized the video as “Barack Obama’s inauguration rehearsal.”

So what has been the reaction from the president-elect? After all, Paladino is a personal friend, longtime supporter, and former co-chair of Trump’s 2016 New York campaign. According to Trump team spokesperson Jessica Ditto, “Carl’s comments are absolutely reprehensible, and they serve no place in our public discourse.”

Strong words. But why did they not come emphatically from Trump himself?


12/31/16 Provided courtesy of Kelsey M. Boudin, City Editor, Olean Times Herald

Immediately after the election a more sober and contemplative Trump made a plea for national unity. “I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. … For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country,” he said.

What happened to a call for unity? Rather than make a declarative statement about why Paladino’s comments were so savage, spiteful and shuddersome, we get passivity and boilerplate statements from surrogates. Trump would rather maintain a political ally and major donor than show the nation that he is categorically opposed to racism, bigotry and hate speech. Simply put: Trump’s lack of response was hardly surprising but still pathetic.

Paladino may be boorish, erratic and out of touch with reality, but his words remain extremely hurtful and damaging. Why not disavow him? Why not take advantage of this opportunity to mend race relations rather than sever them more?

Does Trump really believe that what Paladino said is immoral? Does he even care?

see also

New York Times prints our response to “Time to End the Electoral College”

Nighan makes print edition of The Atlantic by nominating Kaiser Wilhelm II as the Worst Leader of All Time

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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