US President Donald Trump has caused racial controversy this weekend. He posted tweets calling on several Democratic congresswomen of colour to “go home”. The group of four minority Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, accused president Trump of being racist and ‘stoking white nationalism.’
Trumps racist attack
Trump referred to ” ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” in his tweets, stating they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“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 wrote.
Although he did not specifically name the lawmakers,the four congresswomen of color Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan viewed the tweets as directed at them.
He added: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. 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!”
So the quartet of progressive congresswomen chose to use their powerful voices back at the president.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent, replied: “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us.” Ayanna Pressley, who was born in Ohio and is black, responded: “THIS is what racism looks like.”
Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian parents.She and Ilhan Omar became the first two Muslim women to ever be elected to Congress in 2018. Ilhan Omar replied to Trump by accusing him of “stoking white nationalism.” And Rachida Tlaib said, “I am fighting corruption in OUR country.” She added: “Detroit taught me how to fight for the communities you continue to degrade & attack.”
(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
The support they got
The result of Trumps bigotry appeared to have one clear consequence: uniting the party in defense of the four freshman lawmakers.
Nancy Pelosi commented on Trumps remarks:
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who is of Hispanic descent, said that despite being born in the U.S., he used to hear “go back to Mexico” growing up, an insult that he encountered even as an adult, despite him serving in the Marine Corps and winning a seat in Congress.
Several members of the Trump administration refused to comment or acknowledge the racist remarks, they remained silent on the Trump tweets. But Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who has recently quit the Republican Party to become an independent, came to the defense of the four congresswomen.
“To tell these American citizens (most of whom were born here) to ‘go back’ to the ‘crime infested places from which they came’ is racist and disgusting,” Amash said.