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President Donald Trump’s racist tweets against four congresswomen saying go back to their “totally broken and crime infested” countries of origin, were widely condemned Sunday (July 14).

“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 (if they even have a functioning government at all), 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 said in an early morning string of tweets.

Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the president continued. “Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Though he did not mention anyone by name in his tweets, the president appeared to be referring to a group of progressive congresswomen, none of whom are white, who have generated headlines and whose influence was recently downplayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

That group includes Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Omar was born in Somalia, while Tlaib was born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Pressley is African-American and was born in Cincinnati. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City to a family of Puerto Rican heritage. Omar and Tlaib are Muslim.

Ilhan Omar arrived in the US at the age of 12 after fleeing her country’s civil war. Her persistent criticism of Trump and American foreign policy has led right-wing pundits to blast her as un-American, with Fox News host Tucker Carlson accusing her of harboring undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people” in a segment aired on Tuesday.

National President of the American Muslim Voice (AMV), Khalid Saeed condemned President Trump’s racist Tweets and said that there is nothing new in Trump’s latest Tweets. “On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly made explicitly racist and otherwise bigoted remarks, from calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists to proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the US. From the moment he launched his candidacy, President Trump has returned time and again to language that is racially charged, insensitive and highly offensive.”

“Trump’s latest racist tweets echo the bigoted shouts of ‘go back where you came from’ heard daily by American Muslim women and children, immigrants and members of other minority communities across our nation. It is sad to see the occupant of the Oval Office transition from empowering and encouraging racist taunts to actually using them himself,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad said adding:

“If Trump shouted the same thing at a Muslim woman wearing hijab in a Walmart, he might be arrested.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tweeted: 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. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.

Pelosi added in a separate tweet that she rejected Trump’s “xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation.” “Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values,” she continued.

Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Trump on Twitter Sunday afternoon, saying “the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.”

“But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet,” she continued. She added that Trump is “angry because” he doesn’t “believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected [Omar], where [Tlaib] fights for Michigan families, where [Pressley] champions little girls in Boston.”

“You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us,” she said. “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

Rashida Tlaib

In a series of Tweets Rashida Tlaib said: I am fighting corruption in OUR country. I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a U.S. Congresswoman. Detroit taught me how to fight for the communities you continue to degrade & attack. Keep talking, you’ll be out of the WH soon.

“Want a response to a lawless & complete failure of a President? He is the crisis. His dangerous ideology is the crisis. He needs to be impeached,” Tlaib said in another Tweet.

She also said: I will never breakdown and no bully, even this racist President, will waiver the work we have to do for our residents of Wayne County. Together, we will fight back, speak truth to power, and become stronger for it.

Ilhan Omar

Omar also responded to Trump in a tweet, saying she and her fellow members swear an oath only to the U.S., “Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.”

Mr. President, Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.

In another Tweet Omar said: You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda. “America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.”

Ayanna Pressley

Ayanna Pressley tweeted: “THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify every day.”

She told Boston Globe: “I never use the word you used — president — to describe him.” “I refer to him as ‘the occupant.’ He simply occupies the space. He embodies zero of the qualities and the principles, the responsibility, the grace, the integrity, the compassion, of someone who would truly embody that office. It’s just another day in the world under this administration.”

Immigration raids 

The presidential trolling may have been meant as a distraction from immigration raids due in major cities on Sunday. The immigration raids came on the heels of congressional testimony about “horrifying” conditions inside detention facilities at the southern border. On Friday, reporters with Vice-President Mike Pence visited a station in McAllen, Texas, and described men held in cages in “sweltering” heat where the “stench was horrendous”.

According to Globe Columnist Adrian Walker, there’s an obvious connection between a president who relentlessly attacks immigrants and these tweets, in which the worst insult Trump can think to hurl is that the representatives should go back where they came from.

Congresswoman Pressley was part of a congressional delegation that visited three federal facilities in Texas. Though they expected terrible conditions, she was shocked to come face-to-face with the reality that incarcerated refugees are living.

“It was just sobering confirmation of my worst fears and also confirmation that the system is corrupted and broken,” Pressley said. “I hesitate to even say the system is broken . . . the design is broken, but it is doing what it was designed to do. History has proven that the most effective way to control, oppress, marginalize people is to separate families. And so the system is doing what it was designed to do, and it is painful to see up close and personal.”

Senators Sanders & Warren also condemn

Trump’s tweets were swiftly condemned by other congressional Democrats as well, including presidential candidates, who called them “racist” and “bigoted.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent also running to be the Democratic nominee, tweeted:  “When I call the president a racist, this is what I’m talking about. We must stand together for justice and dignity towards all.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted that Trump’s comments were “vile,” “racist” and “xenophobic.” “This is their country, regardless of whether or not Trump realizes it,” Warren said of the Democratic congresswomen. “They should be treated with respect.”

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011(@)gmail.com


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