President Donald Trump did a couple of things this week: He single-handedly managed to unite the Democratic Party and all people of good intentions, and removed what little doubt was left that he is a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist bigot.
Feeling left out of the intra-party squabble between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the four freshmen progressive Democratic congresswomen — Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — Trump had to add his two cents to the fray with some tweets that sided with Pelosi.
With his backhanded, tongue-in-cheek words of support for Pelosi from the White House Sunday, Trump cemented the view many of us have of who and what he is:
“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.
“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,” the president wrote.
“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!”
The irony that abounds in Trump’s misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, bigoted words against these four women of color is limitless.
Short civics lesson here: To run for and hold any elected office in this nation, a person must be a citizen.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives must be at least 25 years old, have been U.S. citizens for seven years and be legal residents of the state they seek to represent in Congress.
All four of the women are citizens of the United States. Three of them are natural-born.
Pressley is from Cincinnati. Tlaib from Detroit and Ocasio-Cortez from New York. Omar immigrated from Somalia when she was a teenager.
I’m certain that Trump and almost all of his supporters didn’t know or care about those facts.
Here’s something they may care about: If you still support this man after what he said about these women of color, your failure to speak out now tells me just about everything I need to know about how you truly feel about race and Trump.
Telling a person of color to return to the country they came from is the second most racist thing can say to or about them.
Among the longest held racially tinged beliefs by some in this country is that America is a place built by and for white people. My saved email box contains dozens of such sentiments.
Only racial slurs on the level of the N-word surpass saying these words.
Although these words are not the first racist ones Trump has uttered in his public life, the optics of where he said and wrote them, along with the implied message within them, surpass all the racist things this man has said and done during his political career.
A quick recap of a few of Trump’s “Greatest Racist Political Hits:”
• His taking out ads in New York City newspapers in the late-1990s calling for the five NYC teens accused and convicted of brutality raping a white female jogger in Central Park to be executed. They were later exonerated of the crimes.
• Early during President Barack Obama’s first term, Trump became the de facto leader of the right-wing, conspiracy-fueled Birthier Movement, which believed that the first black president was not a natural-born citizen and questioned his academic achievements.
• He began his 2015 run for president making the oft-repeated claim that the majority of Mexicans coming to this country were murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other assorted brown and black criminals.
• His attacks that the Mexican-American judge from Indiana presiding over the Trump University fraud case was unqualified because he knew that if Trump were elected president, he planned to build a wall on the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
• Following through on a campaign promise, he banned Muslims from certain countries from coming into this country for any reason.
• After Heather Heyer, an anti-racist marcher, was hit and killed when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville, he said that there were very fine people on both sides of the rally.
• He called black professional football players kneeling during the national anthem SOBs and demanded that they be fired for doing so.
• During a discussion about immigration with Republican congressmen and administration officials, he referred to some Caribbean and African nations as being s---hole countries and hoped that more immigrants would come to the United States from places like Norway.
• He tried his best to put a citizenship question on the national census designed to under-count black and brown non-citizens.
Then came Sunday and the Tweets that topped everything that came before them with their racial volatility.
To have these words come from the mouth and brain of the occupant of the White House, a place that was constructed by enslaved people of color, some of whom were brought to this country against their will, is another sad piece of historical irony.
A short history lesson here: From the time of presidents Thomas Jefferson through Abraham Lincoln, there were many racial reformers who believed that the only way to solve the race problem in the United States was to send all free blacks back to Africa, from which they came.
The African nation of Liberia was established by free American blacks and former slaves to achieve this very goal.
From the Bottom were I see things, with his latest misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, bigoted words, Trump has said the most racist thing a sitting president has done publicly at the White House since Woodrow Wilson hosted a showing of “Birth of A Nation” and resegregated federal offices in Washington.
To their credit, House Democrats; four outlier Republicans Will Hurd of Texas, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Fred Upton of Michigan; and former Republican now independent Justin Amash of Michigan did not allow Trump’s racist words to go unrebuked.
By a vote of 240-187 Tuesday night, the Pelosi-led House voted to officially condemn Trump’s racist language.
The main takeaway from the vote in the House, along with the refusal of the majority of Republican politicians to call Trump’s misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, bigoted words what they are affirms what many of us have known for a long time — the Grand Ole Party is the party of racism.
No longer do GOP politicians have to speak about racial issues using the dog whistles that we who listen have become accustomed to hearing.
When Trump stood on the lawn of the White House and doubled down on telling these women of color to go back to the countries from whence, they came, he was using a bullhorn.
I’m sure that the rest of the party and his hard-core base supporters will fall in line and mindlessly march in lock-step behind Der Leader as he seeks to make America white again.
Hi, Momma Lois.
TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.