If there’s one thing everyone on the left, including most of the mainstream media, can agree on it’s that Donald Trump is a racist. We hear it on a daily basis like a drumbeat that never ends. It’s almost as if our cable news betters fear that if they stop repeating it, people will cease believing it. But when pressed to provide examples they fall into a familiar, stumbling pattern. I ran across yet another example this morning in this “think piece” from the Associated Press.

While they manage to provide some balance by including people objecting to these characterizations, the argument that the President is promoting racial animus is the prevailing theme. But when it comes time to cite some proof, here’s what they offer.

Racial and ethnic polarization has been a hallmark of Trump’s political rise and is central to his reelection. He’s warned of an “invasion” at the southern border, posted racist tweets about four women of color in Congress and attacked Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ largely black district as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”

Let’s address those in order, shall we? First, there is the much-touted reminder that the President “warned of an invasion at the southern border.” He certainly did. But his accusers conveniently leave out the context in which that phrase came up. One prime example can be found in the President’s remarks from November of last year, conveniently stored at the White House website. Here’s what he actually said, and repeated at many of his rallies.

At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an “invasion.” It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border. You saw that two days ago. These are tough people, in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don’t want in our country. But again, we’ll find that out through the legal process.

As should have been obvious already, Donald Trump was referring to the migrant caravans that hit us in waves for months on end. Many of them numbered in the thousands, all arriving at once and overwhelming our border security resources. And yes, it brings up images of an invasion. The fact that these migrants were primarily Hispanic has nothing to do with it. We could have ten thousand Norwegians traveling down from Canada with the intent of entering the country illegally and it would be just as much of an “invasion.”

The claim regarding “racist tweets about four women of color in Congress” is a convenient dodge. He’s obviously referring to AOC and “the squad.” (When will we be done with that phrase?) I’ve yet to see one instance where he referenced the race of any of them. They constantly insult and antagonize Trump and he’s the type who hits back. He also tweets disparaging things about Nancy Pelosi. Does that mean he hates white people too?

And finally, they summon up the President’s recent tweets about Baltimore which we’ve covered here previously. The fact that parts of “Elijah Cummings’ largely black district” in Baltimore is overrun with rats has nothing to do with the race of the residents there. I can show you some almost uniformly white districts in rural parts of Tennessee that are plagued with trash and rats as the meth industry causes the region to sink into decay. Baltimore’s previous mayor famously pointed out the problem with rats and trash, but since she is black I suppose she gets a pass.

Are there still racists out there? You bet there are, and some of them can become violent as we’ve recently seen. But if they’re taking a racist message from any politician’s words it’s because they hear what they want to hear. And they lurk in chat rooms where others reinforce their distorted views. What they do with that racial hatred, however, is their own choice and their own responsibility.

You can accuse Republicans of racism all you like. But if you expect to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to do a much better job of making your case.