Speaking on the White House lawn Monday, President Donald Trump continued his racist rants against four members of the House of Representatives, saying they “hate the United States.” At a news conference later, however, the respect and love of these women for their country shone, framing Trump’s attacks of opponents personally because he can’t debate policy.
Trump, plagued by static poll numbers, unleashed a Twitter assault steeped in racism, sexism and vile prejudices Sunday. His attack was un-American, degrading one of this nation’s most exceptional attributes, a willingness to welcome people of any race, hue or religion.
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world . . . now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”
Trump has not denied that the four citizens he was referring to are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (born in the Bronx), Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (born in Detroit), Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts (born in Cincinnati) and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (born in Somalia in 1982, came to the United States in 1992, became a citizen in 2000). All four won landslide victories in 2018.
It was more of the same bigotry that led Trump to make the farcical claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, that a U.S. judge of Mexican descent cannot be impartial, and that people coming here from Mexico are drug dealers and rapists.
GOP officials were mostly muted in response to their leader implying that Muslims, African Americans and Hispanics are not real Americans. They delegitimized themselves by not issuing full-throated condemnations.
Trump’s message is a dangerous one, that the other, the person who is different from you, is not a real American. Soon enough, if Trump’s hatred is not rejected, anyone who speaks against him will be the other.