- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio argued Monday that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has used racism “as a strategic tool” to gain widespread support in the Republican primary.

“He separates us. He divides us very openly and for his own purposes, politically, for his own purposes, strategically,” the mayor told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “It’s a clear pattern of division and using race as a wedge and using it as a strategic tool. That’s racism, and by the way, this is the worst kind of racism. It’s cynical racism for his own political gain.

“His words are his actions in this case,” Mr. de Blasio continued. “He is literally encouraging people to feel negative things about people other than them. In fact, he’s taking advantage of it politically. He’s trying to encourage people who have negative feelings towards other kinds of people to see him as their standard-bearer and then he’s encouraging violence towards people who are different. Whether it’s that they have different political beliefs, or let’s face it, if you look at these rallies, the division in the rallies is clearly a lot of the times demographic as well.

“And he’s openly stoking that violence. He’s encouraging it, he’s supporting it, he’s lauding it when it happens. We’ve seen these different historical parallels before,” he said. “The xenophobia, the racism, the call to violence — this is when democracies start to break down a little bit, when someone like this emerges and they’re not stopped and they’re not countered. This is the moment where people need to stand up and say Donald Trump does not represent democracy.”

Mr. de Blasio said he welcomes anti-Trump protesters as long as they are committed to nonviolence, CNN reported.

“Trying to disrupt someone who is dividing America is fine … peacefully,” the mayor said. “To have a guy in 2016 saying, ‘I’d like to punch him,’ that’s suggesting that it’s OK to have violence in our society toward people who act different or who look different.”

Just a few days earlier, Mr. de Blasio took to Twitter to blast Mr. Trump as a “racist” who supports failed policies.

“I didn’t realize this was in question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist…of course @RealDonaldTrump is a racist,” the mayor tweeted.

“The solution isn’t complicated, either. Tax the super rich, reform Wall Street, create good jobs with good wages,” he wrote. “The answer to proto-fascism is better democracy. The answer to economic fear and insecurity is actual re-distribution of wealth.”

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