Dalila Omerovic, Op-Ed Editor
President Donald Trump recently expressed some racist sentiments on Twitter that has generated more attention than usual. He publicly called out recently elected Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
In a series of tweets, he labels them as progressive and as women who came from countries with catastrophic and corrupt governments. He attacks them for criticizing the U.S. government and even went as far as to say that the representatives should go back to the broken places which they came from so they can help fix and restore them. He ended the tweet series with a dig to Nancy Pelosi by saying she would happily work out free travel arrangements for the representatives.
Trump continues to receive backlash for these tweets, but the situation escalated further when a crowd began shouting “Send her back” at his re-election campaign rally the other night in North Carolina. The crowd continued with the chant for about ten seconds until he started to speak. Trump claims that he disagrees with the chant and even tried to stop the chant, but it is well documented by video that he made no attempt to quiet the crowd. He listens to the crowd for seconds before beginning to speak. Several members of the House of Representatives, including four members of the Republican party, deemed Trump’s remarks as racist and voted to condemn Trump’s comments.
It is embarrassing for a U.S. president to use his platform to spread racist messages and hate. Furthermore, it is embarrassing that many of Trump’s fans, including Republican party members, support these comments and wish for him to win a second presidential term.
Regardless if they are members of Congress or not, people should have the universal right to protest and criticize their governments without being told that they should leave or move back to where they came from. Critiquing government and its practices and policies is a way to promote change and call out what isn’t working, which is exactly what Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib are attempting to do.
The representatives seem unintimidated by his comments and will likely continue to criticize Trump’s policies, in particular policies surrounding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, which have recently garnered national media attention due to the horrendous living conditions the government forces people, including many children, to live under while being held there.
In some aspects, Trump’s remarks also highlight American exceptionalism. He makes it clear that it is not right for people to criticize the U.S. government. He also implies the fact that the U.S. is not a broken or crime-infested country which simply isn’t true.
If Trump held any another job, it is likely that he would be fired for these comments because they fall under workplace discrimination. It’s likely that even I would be fired from my cashiering job if I made comments like these to a customer or a co-worker. Trump should be held to a higher standard, and we should all work hard to make sure he does not win a second term.