President Donald J. Trump is waging a racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic war against Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
The president and his political operatives at a July 17, 2019 reelection rally in Greenville, North Carolina orchestrated the now infamous racist “send her back” chant which was directed primarily at Congresswoman Omar.
President Trump has a particular distaste for Rep. Omar because 1) she is a woman; 2) she is a woman of color; 3) she is a Somali immigrant who became a naturalized U.S. citizen; and 4) she is a practicing Muslim.
That the “send her back” chant is both racist and xenophobic is not an issue of dispute among normal, rational people. Trump and his subservient supporters in Congress, like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), have trashed the rules of logic by trying to mask the chant as an ideological, not racist, public expression.
That pony will not run.
The “send her back” chant is as racist as former Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” words during his 1963 inaugural address.
Historical Racism Out of the Closet
The Trump rally chant and Wallace’s segregationist words represent an ideology of racism that is woven into the fabric of this nation’s founding and history.
In that 1963 inaugural address, Wallace praised the racism upon which this nation was founded and inspired a brand of “greatness” that Trump wants America to return. Wallace closed his address with the following historical glorification of racism:
“We remind all within hearing of this Southland that a Southerner, Peyton Randolph, presided over the Continental Congress in our nation’s beginning . . . that a Southerner, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the Declaration of Independence, that a Southerner, George Washington, is the Father of our country . . . that a Southerner, James Madison, authored our Constitution, that a Southerner, George Mason, authored the Bill of Rights and it was a Southerner who said, ‘Give me liberty . . . . . . or give me death,’ Patrick Henry.
“Southerners played a most magnificent part in erecting this great divinely inspired system of freedom . . . and as God is our witnesses, Southerners will save it.”
Most Americans do not support this Trumpian definition of “greatness.” These Americans come from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They see America’s greatness in its future potential, not in its ignominious past. When Patrick Henry said, “give me liberty or give me death,” he surely was not talking about freedom for George Washington’s slaves.
Congressional Squad Celebrates Modern American Promise
Rep. Omar, and the other three members of her Congressional squad, comes from the kind of diverse backgrounds. They love America. They understand the potential of this nation. They do not want to return to George Wallace’s “Southland” which, as the late governor pointed out, was the bedrock of this nation’s history.
Rep. Omar was born in Somalia in 1982. She and her family fled the war-torn nation in 1991. The family spent the next four years in a dangerous, violent refugee camp near the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa. The family then entered the United States through a resettlement program that had been created in 1980—a program that admitted thousands of Somali refugees into this country. She was 12 years of age at the time. Five years later at age 17 she became an American citizen.
Eighteen years later the people in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District elected Rep. Omar by an overwhelming 56 percentage points over her Republican rival. Omar’s story is one of American promise and triumph of personal struggle, persistence and achievement.
The Congresswoman’s election should be compared to the 2016 presidential election when 1,367,716 people in Minnesota voted against Donald Trump for president. Those folks did not want anything to do with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. They voted for an America as it exists today, not what it once was during George Wallace’s era or even George Washington’s era.
Wrong Side of History
Throughout his personal, business, and political life, Donald Trump has never been on the right side of the facts. This was once again exemplified by Trump’s suggestion that Rep. Omar return to Somalia, a country Trump designates as a “shit hole” and “crime infested,” where she and her family escaped with little than their lives.
While Trump maligns black and brown countries the world over, he offers ebullient praise for Russia and North Korea which have been graced the “worst countries for human trafficking” in 2019, according to World Atlas. And it should be noted that the United States—along with four other predominantly “white countries Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia—rank the highest in child sex trafficking, according to the Carlson Family Foundation. This ranking comes at a time when prosecutions for child sex trafficking by Trump’s Justice Department have significantly declined for the second straight year; and just as two of the president’s child molesting personal and political buddies—Jeffery Epstein and George Nader—have been indicted in high profile child sex cases.
Clearly, President Trump has his own “crime infestation” problem of his own, overseeing one of the most corrupt administrations in American history.
We believe the interests of crime control would be better served if President Trump would clean up his own White House (as well as Mara-Lago) and “drain the swamp” of his own administration before chastising “the Squad;” Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn. These women are American heroes who should be commended for speaking truth to power and courageously standing on principle.
Trump is not interested in what is best for a majority of Americans. His only interest is to keep the nation’s political process polarized and to keep the nation’s people racially divided. That is the path he has chosen for his reelection bid. He will continue to attack Rep. Omar and her colleagues because he understands fully and completely that the racial underpinnings of the “send her back” chant appeals to his predominately all-white political base.
In the meantime, the nation’s political process, its judicial system, and the rule of law will suffer terribly as the president pursues his racist, white nationalist political agenda.