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Trump’s ideas about “well-educated blacks” are squarely in the Republican mainstream.

John Gurzinski/Getty Images

Mother Jones has unearthed a 1989 interview in which the presumptive Republican nominee expressed some odd views on race:

“A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. And, I think, sometimes a black may think that they don’t really have the advantage or this or that but in actuality today, currently, it’s, uh, it’s a, it’s a great. I’ve said on occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today I would love to be a well-educated black because I really believe they do have an actual advantage today.”

This view might strike most people as strange. After all, being born a wealthy white man has taken Trump much farther than most well-educated blacks. It would be a mistake, though, to dismiss Trump’s remarks as a personal folly. As is so often the case, he is merely making explicit what many Republicans think. In 2012, Mitt Romney said, “My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and uh, had he been born of uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this.” The only difference is one of tone: Whereas Romney tried to jokingly suggest minorities are privileged, Trump blurted out the same idea.