VOA Special Report

Race in White America

Since launching his run for president, Donald Trump has equated immigrants with crime. Likewise, when he mentions African Americans, he often quickly moves to a discussion of crime. Despite evidence that proves such conflations at best misleading, echoes of Trump’s train of thought can be heard in Tampico, Illinois, where 99.74 percent of the residents are white.


It’s Tampico, Illinois, the birthplace of Ronald Reagan. I don’t 100 percent agree with everything he did. But yes, we are proud of Ronald Reagan here.

I’m 58 years old. I’ve never seen the country so divided as I have in the last three years. People are playing races against each other. We’re all Americans. If everybody had to live by the same rules, we wouldn’t have this.

Yes, we’re all concerned, but I’m not going to treat you differently if you’re Mexican-American, African-American. Everybody’s American. If you’re an American citizen it does not matter what race you are. It doesn’t. I’m going to treat you with respect as long as you treat me with respect. If you go out and rob somebody, you have no respect for them, do you? If you go out and shoot somebody, you have no respect for them. Right? So, am I supposed to have respect for the person that robbed me? No.

Our police officers, our law are being attacked. If we can’t hold ourselves up to the law and respect our law enforcers, I guess that’s because we have no respect for the law.

Is it a race war? It becomes a race war. Can we change it? Can we? All we can do is hope and pray we can.

—Bonnie Anderson, Bar Owner

Tampico, Illinois