Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Trump's Racist Tweets: Are his Defenders Racists or Cowards?

Trump’s Tweets from 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. 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!”

Republicans (all but 4 of 197) voted to defend the President's racist tweets and words directed at 4 Congresswomen of color (all US citizens). He said basically they should "go back" to where they come from (3 were born here, but have at least one parent born in another country). 

Most Republicans have tied themselves into pretzels in defense of the President. Some of their weak or fact deficient arguments are listed below and disputed in italics.

He might not have been talking about those 4 Congresswomen, since he didn’t name them in the tweet. “In those tweets, I see nothing that references anybody’s race — not a thing — I don’t see anyone’s name being referenced in the tweets, but the president’s referring to people, congresswomen, who are anti-American,” Patrick Duffy (R-WI)
The President himself clarified that in a tweet Tuesday night: “So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen.”

The President is not a racist,” Mitch McConnell said. “I don’t have a racist bone in my body,” the President said.

The Resolution does not say the President is a racist, it says he used racist words to talk about members of Congress. Behavioral psychologists have revealed that most all of us have implicit racial biases, which means we must each be vigilant to recognize and resist that in our speech and thoughts. Obviously, the President does not make that effort and frequently makes statements that many people view as racist such as referring to African countries as s*ithole countries, Mexican immigrants as rapists, etc. 

But he just said they should go back and fix those countries, then they could come back here and show  us how it’s done. He wasn’t saying that they should leave permanently. Representative Harris (R-MD) went so far as to say, "He could have meant go back to the district they came from--to the neighborhood they came from,"

Three of the four Congresswomen were born in the U.S., so is Trump saying that the country they came from, the U.S., that he presides over, is a complete and total catastrophe, the most corrupt and inept in the world (he has actually said similar words about the U.S. in the past)? Of course that doesn’t make sense—presumably he meant the countries their families came from before they came to the U.S. (for Occasio-Cortez, that is still the U.S.—her mother was born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, and anyone born there is a U.S. citizen). 

When did “Love it or leave it” become racist? “I say it all the time,” said the President.

It becomes racist when out of all the people in the United States (all of whom are descended from people of other countries except Native Americans), out of all the people in the United States Congress (some of whom were born in other countries or are 2nd generation citizens) who are critical of the President or his policies, you direct those words only at people of color. 

But some of them said awful things about the President and used profane language, we should be passing a resolution condemning their words. And some of them have said they were Socialist. And some have said things about Israel that are anti-Semitic and we didn’t pass a resolution condemning them. They even accused the Speaker of racism for calling them out. Maybe we should condemn her. (This summarizes the argument of many Republicans on the House floor)

This Resolution concerns the President’s words used against members of the House of Representatives. The President’s words matter more than those of a freshman Congresswoman because he speaks for the whole nation, he is supposed to speak for all of us and the rest of the world is listening. By not signing onto this resolution, Republicans in Congress have indicated to all the black and brown people of this nation, to all the Muslims, or really any citizen, that if they criticize the President or the policies he supports, they are not welcome here and should leave. His words in the tweet and at other times have told the world that not only does the U.S. not want to accept travelers from Muslim nations, does not want immigrants from Hispanic or Muslim or majority Black countries, but that we would like to send people descended from people of those nations back. The underlying message is a full endorsement of White Supremacy.

Now, I’m going to mount a defense of the President. He was just kidding. Seriously, he sees himself as a stand up comic, a performer, an entertainer. The whole rant of three tweets that he probably composed in bed on Sunday morning ends with a punchline: “you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Yes, hardly a belly laugh, but I didn’t say he was funny, just that he thinks he is. Because he thought it would be funny to suggest that Pelosi would love it if these four women who have been grabbing so much attention and creating headlines about a rift among Democrats would go far away. 

Of course, if he had come out later that day and said, “Yes, I see how people might take this as racist and I apologize. I was just trying to make a joke,” the outrage might have died down without a resolution condemning his “racist tweets.” But we all know by now that’s not he operates, so he doubled and tripled down, threatening Republicans who didn’t defend him and calling the “squad” anti-American and women who hate “our country.” 

My defense is really no defense. What I’m saying is that Trump is a racist who often makes racist jokes. And thank goodness, today in America, a lot of people are willing to call him out for that. Those who haven’t should get some sensitivity training. Voters should send them that message by sending them back--to their neighborhoods--in 2020.

ps--I created a petition on to support the House resolution condemning Trump's racist tweets. I encourage you to read the text of the resolution I copy/pasted there and sign on...and share with friends. We should all "sign on" to the resolution. Click here to view/sign