I was driving my pickup truck in Colorado, some years ago, when someone who thought I was Hispanic told me to “go back” where I came from. It’s a very strange feeling, given that I come from Chicago.
“Go back where you came from” is obviously a racial taunt which implies that the taunter is somehow better than the taunted. For the President of the United States to hurl (via Twitter) this taunt at four duly elected members of Congress, all female and all persons of color, should shock and dismay all Americans. It should also condemn Donald Trump as clearly unfit for the Office of the President. The fact that Republican members of Congress have instead come out and defended him (only four voting for the motion to condemn his language in the House), with some trying to turn the conversation toward the politics of the four women, is equally disqualifying of these Republicans’ ability to serve in our government.
Donald Trump will be on the ballot for reelection in just 16 months. This issue, a racist president, should be a seminal one for voters as we decide whether he deserves another four years in office. As a reminder, here’s Donald Trump’s racist history.
Trump to this day asserts that the Central Park Five, all men of color, deserved the death penalty, even though they were exonerated by scientific (DNA) evidence. Trump came to political prominence by stoking the racist position that President Obama was not born in the United States ((birtherism). He then started his campaign by labeling Mexicans coming across the border as murders and rapists. He has kept up a steady dose of anti-Latino rhetoric while continuing to justify imprisoning Latino migrants seeking asylum in inhumane conditions, including the continuation of separating migrant children from their parents and imprisoning them in cages. He called African nations shithole countries. He called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the U.S.,” saying that “Islam hates us.” This is not American. It is certainly not what’s written on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
If one needs more proof that Trump is not fit to be president, consider his support for White Supremacy. Donald Trump’s base is predominantly white (88 percent). While it is not predominately made up of white nationalists, they are part of that base. After the president dubbed himself a “nationalist,” white nationalists applauded his characterization. After his State of the Union address he received congratulations on his immigration and wall remarks from both the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and the Alt Right. Trump knows that his path to reelection is through the Electoral College (he cannot win a general election), and to win there he will continue to need White Nationalist support.
The most damning thing that Donald Trump has done was his response to Charlottesville; where a woman opposing the White Supremacists was murdered. Neo-Nazis marched chanting: “Jews will not replace us.” Our president responded by saying “there are good people on both sides.” That is all one should need to know about Trump’s fitness to lead the world’s greatest democracy. He is unfit!
Yet, Congressional Republicans, for the most part, will continue to support him; as will his base (about 40 plus percent of the nation). Those of us who treasure diversity need to be clear that we are, in fact, still fighting a civil war with race as the primary motivation supporting Trumpism. If America is to remain America, he has to be defeated.