Yesterday, Donald Trump’s racism escalated in horrifying fashion at a rally with some of his most overzealous and bigoted fans. As he looked on in approval, the crowd chanted “send her back” about Representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American refugee who the president has been nonstop attacking with bigoted smears all week.
The shocking new cry is rooted directly in Trump’s statement that Omar and three other Congresswomen – all people of color — should go back to their own countries. Lest one fail to recognize immediately how racist that sentiment is, it’s worth pointing out that besides Omar, all the women were born and raised in the United States.
Trump fans eventually break out in "send her back!" chants directed toward Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who serves in Congress who Trump viciously smeared. pic.twitter.com/LX3eAEkfci
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 17, 2019
Clearly, Trump thinks his key to winning in 2020 is to run a campaign somehow even more hateful than the one which got him elected in the first place. One shudders to think just how evil his language and supporters will manage to get before the country goes to the ballot box.
The “send her home” slogan is sure to pick up steam for his followers just as the “lock her up” attacks on Hillary Clinton characterized almost every single one of his 2016 events. The president is working his followers into a racist, misogynist lather and putting these Congresswomen’s lives in real danger. But Trump doesn’t care one bit about that, all he cares about is maintaining his own power.
For their part, the GOP is more than happy to turn a blind eye to Trump’s behavior and even defend it in many cases. With only four exceptions, every Republican representative refused to condemn the president’s original racist tweets about the Democratic women. Today, some were forced to address last night’s vile rally and they failed to denounce it, revealing themselves as nothing more than craven opportunists, happy to enable Trump’s racism if it makes them more popular within the party.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the president’s most outspoken and obsequious henchmen, ridiculously claimed that the “send her home” chant is really about criticizing policy, not race. He said that a “Somali refugee wearing a MAGA cap” wouldn’t be targeted, tacitly admitting that the only way to really shield oneself from Trump’s bigotry is to demonstrate absolute loyalty to him.
Lindsey Graham gives up the game, tells reporters that "if you're a Somali refugee wearing a MAGA cap, [Trump] doesn't want to send you back … what does that tell me? That it's about the criticism."
In other words, Trump tolerates refugees so long as they support him. pic.twitter.com/9x9IOvruLW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 18, 2019
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) managed to spit out a tweet even more shameful than Graham’s comments. He insisted that he “struggled” with the “send her back” chant but that the real focus should be on past remarks from Omar. His victim-blaming alone would have been enough to churn the stomach, but he finished the tweet by explicitly saying that we should not focus on the pain Trump and his base are inflicting on minority communities.
Though it was brief, I struggled with the “send her back” chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities.
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) July 18, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) threw his support behind Trump as well. Mediate reports that the senator said the president is “on to something” with his attacks on Omar and the other Congresswomen and dishonestly characterized the rhetorical blitz as being about “socialism.”
Elected officials weren’t the only ones to reveal themselves as monsters. Ben Shapiro — a regular guest on Fox News and the editor-in-chief of the popular right-wing website The Daily Wire — feigned horror at the “vile” Trump rally chant, but then dove immediately back into smearing Omar calling her “awful” and a “radical anti-Semite with terrible views.”
His claim that he finds the deportation calls “disgusting” is undermined directly by the fact that he is throwing fuel on the fire by inciting his followers to even greater hatred of Congresswomen Omar.
Vile. Omar is awful. She is a radical anti-Semite with terrible views. She is also an American citizen and chanting for her deportation based on her exercise of the First Amendment is disgusting. https://t.co/Y4nzHPzba4
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 18, 2019
It’s apparent that the Republican Party will never stand up to Donald Trump. They lack the courage and their interests are tied to his. The only people who can prevent this country from morphing completely into a white nationalist dystopia are the voters. The president and everyone who is aiding him must be voted out of office forever come 2020.