Dominating my feeds over the weekend was the fact that President Donald Trump tweeted out that people like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib should go back to their respective countries of origin and fix the problems there if they think America is horrible.
The tweet was heralded as racist from the top of every soapbox the leftist collective could find. It even prompted Omar to retweet an article that essentially labeled all of Trump’s supporters as racist if they support him, marking the first time Omar actually labeled Trump’s following as racist.
After looking at the tweet, I can easily arrive at two conclusions. The tweet is stupid and not very well thought out, but it’s definitely not racist nor is it without its point.
Before I start getting angry tweets thrown at me from both sides, let me explain.
Let’s take a look at the tweet in question.
Trump calls out the anti-American nature of these “Democrat Congresswomen,” and notes that their countries of origin are horribly run, not at all well-maintained, and are usually corrupt.
….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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
He then tells them to go back and fix the problems those countries have, then come back and show the U.S. how to solve these problems.
Let me just skip analyzing the countries that these women either hail or descend from. I don’t think I need to point out that Somalia is a horrible place or that the area around Israel is infested with terrorism and brutal governments.
Here are the two things that should be focused on and why I think it’s important to be able to differentiate between a stupid tweet and a racist tweet. For one, Trump isn’t saying that one race is better than another, he’s calling out the governments of foreign countries which definitely aren’t as good as ours. Trying to say that the United States is just as good as Somalia is just like trying to say a lion is the same as a house cat. It just doesn’t work.
Trump didn’t say “Omar and Tlaib’s races are inferior to the white race that dominated America’s history.” That would have been a racist tweet. What he said was that these women should retreat to these countries where these governments get it horribly wrong, then upon fixing these governments where problems that these hard-leftist claim to loath really are present, come back and show us how to fix the problems at home.
It’s key that he also said that they should come back. He doesn’t denounce their citizenship within the U.S., nor does he remove the idea that they’re elected officials. In fact, his tweet very clearly recognizes both.
Trump doesn’t demonstrate racism throughout these tweets, and it appears that claims of racism are inferred rather than proven from mainstream outlets that report on it. It’s the idea that Trump would tweet something like this because he’s racist. Thing is, the tweet doesn’t touch race, just crappy governments, and last I checked, government bodies don’t qualify as races.
On top of that, Trump has a point. These women consistently act like the United States is a cruel country with horrific problems generated from its embracing of a culture that was propagated by their favorite boogieman, the white male. I feel like I shouldn’t need to point out how racist and sexist this is, but funny enough, I constantly have to.
Their anger usually comes off as ignorant, like the spoiled ranting of first-world kids who haven’t truly known what it’s like to be oppressed, or live with little hope. Trump is advocating that they truly see what it’s like to have to live in a place where you don’t get a vote based on your genitalia, and prejudice and bigotry are a standard, not an exception like it is in the country they’re in now.
That said, this tweet was horribly worded and a reeked of ignorance. While not named, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the most famous of the “progressive Democrat Congresswomen” and while being born in in the U.S., she is a descendant of Puerto Ricans, a U.S. territory. It’s a place with a increasingly bad drug problem and a good deal of its citizens live below the poverty line, but it’s not exactly the hell-hole that is Somalia, where Omar actually hails from. Tlaib’s family is from Palestinian places outside of Israel, which are infested with terrorists and brutal governments, but Tlaib was born in the United States.
I’m not defending these women. The bigotry and ridiculousness they’ve shown eclipses anything stupid that Trump has done or said, but with that in mind, I think Trump’s tweet indicates that he doesn’t know much about these women other than the fact that they’re of foreign origin. Whether he mean to or not, this comes off as ignorance, and as such makes his already un-professional tweet come off as stupid. It’s likely that when he wrote of their countries of origin, he meant where they were descended from, but that doesn’t come off in the tweet.
Two things can be true at once. Trump’s tweet can be solid in its point, and it can be a ridiculous tweet that he shouldn’t have probably tweeted out in the first place. He’s definitely punching down at lawmakers who, while they have a very loud following, are generally recognized as silly people who don’t know what they’re doing half the time.
Let me be clear. I think addressing their comments in context and slapping them down when they tend to make news is a superb idea, but throwing out statements that contain generalities that come off like whispered comment on an episode of Real Housewives isn’t.
Omar and Ocasio-Cortez aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, but we can easily sit back and let them prove that themselves without the President’s jabs. That said, what Trump tweeted wasn’t at all racist, and I think it’s a bit ridiculous that this isn’t obvious.
This is just one more incident that proves that the word “racism” has lost all meaning.