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Is Trump’s hatred for minority Congresswomen a true reflection of America today?

July 15, 2019 at 11:15 am | Opinions & Features

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Head of Content

July 15, 2019 at 11:15 am | Opinions & Features

Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley -- Photo: Ocasio-Cortez/IG

Since 1931, Americans officially sang their national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, with so much conviction that the United States is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

On the contrary, they have always strived to come to terms with the fact that freedom is only a preserve for some privileged Americans since the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865 which officially ended slavery as an institution.

With President Donald Trump in the Oval Office as an American authority, the true state of freedom in the United States is evident and the unrepentant bigots in the Senate, Congress, police departments, state institutions, schools, communities, cities and on the streets have reared their ugly heads in action.

In a series of posts on Twitter on Sunday before and after playing golf, President Trump lashed out racist comments at his key adversaries in Congress, House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts.

“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.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” he tweeted.

This is one of many divisive, racist and xenophobic tweets of Trump against people of colour who have been appointed as representatives of American people and who have the power to go against his policies and government.

Among the four women he attacked, only Ilhan Omar was born out of the U.S. She was born in Somalia. Rashida Tlaib is also the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican heritage.

The reference to “the people of Israel” was in direct reaction to the controversy created after Ilhan Omar remarked about foreign policy and the “foul language” reference is linked to Tlaib’s statement to her supporters promising to “impeach the motherfucker” after she was sworn into Congress in January.

Many Americans have condemned the president’s distasteful posture on social media while pointing out to the fact that immigrants built the United States and the president himself is a descendant of an immigrant family.

However, this reaction is from a few people who have access to social media to express their disgust and to put the president in his place. The Democratic Party has had its members denounce Trump’s utterance including House leader Nancy Pelosi who said Trump wants to “make America white again”.

Even outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May denounced Trump’s tweet calling it “completely unacceptable”. Meanwhile, there has been no reaction from the Republicans except a few including Trump critic Justin Amash of Michigan who called the remarks “racist and disgusting”.

Senior party members have been quiet and just like previous racist comments which have gone unpunished including calling Mexicans “rapists”, labelling Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as “shithole countries”, and falsely claiming Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. during his presidential campaign, Trump will continue to project racist, bigoted, sexist and xenophobic sentiments many Americans are happy to hear.

“I will #neverbackdown and no bully, even this racist President, will waiver the work we have to do for our residents of Wayne County. Together, we will fight back, speak truth to power, and become stronger for it,” tweeted Rashida Tlaib in a video reaction to Trump’s attack.

“Mr. President, the country I “come from,” & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied to the president.

‘“There are few things more dreadful than dealing with a man who knows he is going under, in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others. Nothing can help that man. What is left of that man flees from what is left of human attention.” ~James Baldwin,’ tweets Ilhan Omar who is leading the calls for the launch of an impeachment proceeding against Trump.

Ayanna Pressly decided to brush off Trump’s attack by tweeting: “THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday.”

These women have the power to fight a strong force like the President of the United States Donald Trump. How about the construction worker or the nurse and Uber driver in the streets and at their places of work who are racially attacked? What power do they have beyond the four-year rotational votes?

Together known as “The Squad”, the four women have accused the Democratic party leaders of caving into White House demands in terms of policies including the border security funding, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, free public college and the Green New Deal. They have had public fights with Nancy Pelosi and leaders of the party over delaying impeachment proceedings against Trump for fear of defeat.

According to the FBI, hate crimes in the U.S. rose by 17% in 2017 affecting especially black and Jewish Americans. 7,175 hate crimes were recorded last year compared with 6,121 in 2016. 2,013 of the reported cases were aimed at African Americans and 938 were against Jewish Americans.

The report added that 59.6% of incidents were motivated by bias against race, ethnicity or ancestry. Crimes motivated by a victim’s religion constituted 20.6% of attacks, and crimes against a person’s sexual orientation made up 15.8%.

As Americans keep complaining without taking necessary actions, Trump continues to entrench systemic racism from the Oval Office.

Here are some Twitter reactions against Trump’s attack:

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