The president is a racist, in his words and his actions.
Before you go clutching your pearls and extolling the virtues of “civility,” let me say this: Put a sock in it.
This is not a new revelation, nor is it something that we can continue to ignore as though it were coming from a drunk uncle at the family barbecue. Bigotry is dangerous and, coming from our nation’s commander in chief, it can mean an inability to recognize individual humanity and a failure to act with moral authority in times of crisis. Every person talking about his clothes as he cheerfully bares his ass is part of the problem.
On Sunday, he claimed that newly elected progressive Democrats “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and “the worst, more corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.” And he told freshmen Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar—outspoken Democratic women of color who have challenged the administration’s inhumane immigration policies—to leave the country.
Three of the four were born here in the United States. All are American citizens, and duly elected members of Congress.
Trump’s repugnant rebuke of American values did not come out of thin air. It unfolded days after “the Squad” travelled with a delegation of congressional Democrats to tour detention facilities in border states. What they found was deplorable. Reports of rampant abuse and neglect filled the airwaves, leading Trump to again dismiss accurate coverage as “fake news.” Rather than focus on improving basic conditions and getting to work on bi-partisan, comprehensive reforms, the president basically said if immigrants didn’t like how they were being treated, they should stay in their own country.
This morning, he turned his ire on some of his most vocal critics in Congress—all of whom have previously called for his impeachment.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump tweeted about the four congresswomen today. “Then come back and show us how it is done.”
“These places need your help badly,” he went on, “you can’t leave fast enough.”
While Republicans predictably remained tight-lipped and oblivious, Democrats reacted swiftly.
“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ and the country we all swear to, is the United States,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded. “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a tweet. “Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”
This isn’t simply disgusting and divisive rhetoric. Whether it is the abhorrent, inhumane treatment of immigrants detained in government-sponsored concentration camps or the slow, piecemeal aid sent to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, for some, his policies have been deadly.
Certainly, this is not the first time Trump has shamelessly revealed himself in public. His “Make America Great Again” campaign was always about catering to our lowest common denominator—a hateful sector of the electorate that believes themselves culturally superior by skin color and religion.
For years, even before mounting a formal bid for the presidency, Trump regaled television news audiences with racist conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama. He pledged to send investigators out to prove the nation’s 44th president was not born in the United States. He later derided immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries, calling those foreign nations “shit hole countries.” He once said immigrants from Haiti all “have AIDS” and that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts.”
In Trump’s mind, a judge’s Mexican heritage made him incapable of ruling fairly in a civil fraud case against one of his companies, and he believes “laziness is a trait in blacks.” Trump, whose real estate company was sued for housing discrimination in the 1970s, went on to place a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of five innocent black teenagers. Even after the Central Park Five were exonerated, he refused to take it back. After Heather Heyer was murdered in Charlottesville, Virginia, amid a white supremacist protest, he lamented the there were “some very fine people” on “both sides.”
Trump is not a fine person. His words Sunday were not racially “charged,” “fueled,” or “tinged.” They were unapologetically racist.
And, if you support him, so are you.