Among the great works of literature of our time, we will not – I repeat, not – list the latest offering from Omarosa Manigault Newman called “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House” (Gallery Books).
Ms. Newman is known mainly to the general public by her nom de celeb, Omarosa. But to President Donald Trump, she is known mainly — or at least lately — as a “worthless low-life” and a “dog.”
But her book has become a daily obsession of the cable news channels, owing to her allegation that the president is a racist who uses what is referred to in modern polite discourse as “the N-word.”
Does he use it or doesn’t he? That is the question leaving TV analysts breathless these days — as though the use of a single offensive word defines the man. Are we kidding? Trump has already defined himself through endless racial offenses across years and years.
Some pre-date his presidency: his early, illegal efforts to keep blacks out of his apartment buildings, his fraudulent outcries against the “Central Park Five,” the jump-start he gave his political career with the phony “birtherism” crusade against former President Barack Obama.
Is there someone out there who doesn’t see the racial politics behind this president’s proposed border wall? Or his claim that a judge couldn’t be trusted because the judge’s family roots went back to Mexico? Or Trump’s consistent language linking low intelligence to prominent African-Americans?
Do we really need a tape recording of Trump using the ugliest of racial epithets to confirm his views on race?
But let’s get back to the business of Omarosa, who was fired from her White House position as special assistant to the president. When she got the job, eyebrows were raised. She was famous mainly for being famous – for appearing on Trump’s previous gig, “The Apprentice” reality TV show.
That she got the White House job with such a flimsy background raised almost as many eyebrows as the news that surfaced after her firing – with Omarosa’s departure, nobody can name another black person employed in the White House’s West wing.
Do we need evidence of a specific racial epithet in the face of this kind of racial exclusionism?
When Trump ran for the presidency, he promised he’d bring to Washington the “very best” people. For a while, his campaign was led by a fellow named Paul Manafort. As this is written, closing arguments are being held in a federal courtroom where Manafort’s been charged with massive bank fraud and income tax evasion.
Manafort’s No. 2 guy was Rick Gates. He’s a confessed thief. Trump’s also given us Mike Flynn and Steve Bannon, Steve Mnuchin, Tom Price and Scott Pruitt. Do we need a rundown on their records?
No wonder Omarosa’s getting so much publicity these days. Against these other Trump folks, she’s looking like Eleanor Roosevelt.
A former Baltimore Sun columnist and WJZ-TV commentator, Michael Olesker is the author of six books. His most recent, “Front Stoops in the Fifties: Baltimore Legends Come of Age,” has just been re-issued in paperback by the Johns Hopkins University Press.