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Trump adviser Peter Navarro says he doesn’t ‘see race’ because he’s a Californian

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  • President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, claimed during a Tuesday interview that he’s “race blind.”  
  • Navarro, who is white, told CNN that his “awakening on the race issue” came when he was eight years old and visited a segregated Woolworth’s store; Navarro drank from a water fountain designated for Black people because he “wanted to see colored water.”
  • The White House official then went on to claim that Californians “don’t see race.”
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President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, claimed during a Tuesday interview that he’s “race blind” because he’s from California, where people “don’t see race.” 

Navarro, who is white, told CNN that his “awakening on the race issue” came when he was eight years old and visited a segregated Woolworth’s store in West Palm Beach, Florida. Navarro recounted drinking from a water fountain that was then designated for “colored” people because he believed it would offer “colored water.” Navarro said he was confused when a woman informed him that he shouldn’t drink out of that fountain. 

The White House official then went on to claim that he lives in a “race-blind world” in his home state of California. According to the latest US census figures, California is 39% Latino, 37% white, 15% Asian-American, and 6% Black. An additional 3% identify as multiracial. 

“I’m a Californian. We don’t see race out there,” Navarro, 70, told CNN. “So, you know it’s like I live my life in a race-blind world, and it troubles me that we have so much of this discussion when in fact we have got real problems in this country.”

 

Navarro, who has served as the Trump administration’s national Defense Production Act policy coordinator since late March, has made a host of controversial claims about the coronavirus’ spread in the US and the administration’s response.

On Tuesday, he urged the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The drug, which Trump has repeatedly touted and at one time used himself, has not been proven to help treat the coronavirus and can have dangerous side-effects.

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