Trump again disregards the value of our democracy

President Donald Trump says that U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, and three other freshman representatives, all women of color, should go back to where they’re from. President Trump, they’re from America. But, that Tlaib and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, were all born in this country, or that Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, was born in Somalia and is now a naturalized citizen, doesn’t matter: They’re Americans. When Trump attacks their right to be here, he’s attacking the precept on which this nation of immigrants was founded. We’re all from somewhere else. What joins Americans is our common beliefs, in democracy, in freedom, in a just and equitable society — not skin color, race, heritage or religion. And these four women were elected by their fellow Americans to serve in this nation’s highest body. When Trump attacks their right to be here, he’s attacking the democracy on which this nation was founded. But that’s nothing new. Some see Trump’s slurs against the four congresswomen as proof positive that he’s a racist. Fine. But we’ve known this about our president since he launched his 2016 presidential campaign with slurs against Mexican and Hispanic immigrants. Since he offered tacit praise to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. Since his personal vendetta against the Central Park Five. Since his Muslim travel ban. Since his administration carried out family separation at the southern border. Since his push for a citizenship question to be added to the 2020 U.S. Census. And we’ve understood his disregard for the value of our democracy since he marked the integrity of our electoral system and the harm caused by Russian interference in 2016 as secondary to his own political success; since he misrepresented the contents of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-years-in-the-making report. That’s the moral damage Trump deals. But there is real, practical harm done to people of color in this statement. Nearly every person of color in this country has heard some variation of those words: You are them, not us. The color of your skin marks you as other. You don’t belong here, and you never will. When those words come from this nation’s leader, the harm is immeasurable. Not just because Trump has the ability to empower racists to bold acts they’d not have contemplated in years past, but because he undermines the trust each of us should be able to place in our government. And that’s what Republicans should consider, as they weigh how to respond to the president’s latest salvo. Not just the practical reality that our political map is changing, that the Republican Party is going to have to accept that white folks aren’t going to be the majority in this country for much longer, no matter how many Census questions they try to add or how much gerrymandering they push. But the personal damage dealt to your daughter’s teacher, to the doctor who treated your mother’s cancer, to your local librarian or grocery-store checker or accountant or mechanic or electrician — the friends and neighbors to whom your silence will speak loudly. What does this say to them? And what does it say to everyone else, about what America is, and what America may become? — DETROIT FREE PRESS (TNS)

(1) comment

Edwards

FAKE NEWS

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