“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.”
— Donald Trump
Just when you think the current president has exhausted his demonstrations of ignorance and hatred, he hits you with another whammy.
The above tweet comes from the man we allow to be president of the United States. His target(s) are four women of color who serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massaschusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Known as “The Squad,” each has called for the impeachment of Donald Trump.
The tweet is embarrassingly ludicrous. The law requires that one must be a citizen of the United States to serve in Congress, yet Mr. Trump urges them to go back to the countries they originally came from.
Is Mr. Trump not cognizant of the fact that three of the women of his disdain were born in the United States and one came to this country at an early age and is legally a U.S. citizen? Their country is this country.
Perhaps he became confused because they can speak multiple languages and have the courage to express a faith tradition that is not white, Western European and Anglo-American?
Is his anger grounded in political difference or on the fact that these women are smarter than he could ever become and refuse to allow him to grab them by their genitals? One wonders.
The second thing that illustrates the president’s old-fashioned stupidity is the logic behind the tweet. It assumes that some of us are more American than others. Is this idea based on color, language or dress?
The fact is that the only people from here per se are Native Americans, and they, too, came from somewhere else. All of us came here from somewhere else.
I love reminding so-called white people like Trump and his base that they originally came from Africa. All people originated in Africa!
The overt racism Trump expresses is troubling but not surprising. Maya Angelou once said that when people show you who they really are, believe them.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly shown us who he really is and that we should believe him. The more sensible people who voted for him (all of his base are not idiots!) in the last election are embarrassed by his tweet.
I may be naïve, but I do not think everyone who voted for Mr. Trump is a racist. I think some who voted for him wanted a dramatic change in government as usual and believed Mr. Trump would be the great white hope bringing constructive change and a voice for the “little people” in America.
Some voted for Trump because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton. Some voted for him because of a twisted and pseudo-theological xenophobic perspective that maintains the God is for everything white.
Some voted out their anti-black anger directed at President Obama. Whatever the reasoning of those who voted for Mr. Trump, it is undeniable that if you vote for him again, you are willfully voting for a racist who is anti-diversity and pro-divisiveness. The subsequent result is that no country divided against itself can stand.
All politicians make mistakes in speech and action. The Squad has made some errors in speech and action that must be admitted. The Squad needs to make some adjustments.
Stop being vulgar in speech. You are educated women with expansive vocabularies. Don’t sink to the lowest common denominator like Mr. Trump.
Just because someone calls you a socialist or anti-Semite doesn’t make it true, but don’t give people ammunition to shoot you with. Be bold and wise.
All people of color who attempt to speak truth to power get labeled and ridiculed. ’Tis the nature of the beast. If you happen to be a woman, it is worse.
Racism, sexism and homophobia are bastard triplets birthed in a cradle of ignorance and fear. We who truly love the idea of this democratic experiment must not allow division, the insanity at the border or the calculated efforts to limit personal freedom to destroy our country.
We can stop the madness if we are willing to intentionally stand together for the common good and not just for the good of some.
If we fail to stand with and for all Americans, we shall surely face doom together. The power is in our hands.
The Rev. C.W. Dawson Jr. was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy at MU. He teaches at Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College and writes for the Missourian.