Trump has been engaged in a week-long racist rhetorical campaign against four Democratic members of Congress, all of them women of color. By smearing representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley he’s aiming to incite his racist base and drive up his voter turnout in 2020.
The president started this wave of hate by telling the four women in question that they can go back to their own countries even though three of the four are native-born Americans. From there, he decided to focus his fire on Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American refugee and Muslim who he accused of liking Al-Qaeda.
Last night, things took an even darker turn. At a rally with some of his worst supporters, the president addressed a crowd as they chanted “send her back” about Omar, bringing the MAGA movement to a new xenophobic, nativist low.
In the clip, the president doesn’t seem disturbed by the racist chant in the slightest and does nothing to discourage it. While he tried halfheartedly to distance himself from it today, it’s clear this is the kind of thing he wants his supporters to engage in going forward. Racism is his reelection strategy.
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
Now, Weijia Jiang of CBS News reports that she confronted Trump over his xenophobia in a clever way. She says that she asked him if he would be okay if someone told First Lady Melania, herself an immigrant, to return to her country of origin. Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump refused to answer.
I asked Trump if he would be okay with someone telling the First Lady to go back to her country. He did not answer.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) July 18, 2019
Here we see the truth of the matter. President Trump isn’t actually worried about the effects of immigration and clearly has no problem marrying immigrants — or employing undocumented immigrants at his businesses — he just knows it’s a potent way to whip up white rage and anxiety and then weaponize it at the ballot box. This man is as cynical as he is cruel and the only way to hold him accountable is to vote him out of office. Every day he remains in the White House degrades our nation further.