Trump’s “Go back to where you came from” comments aren’t racist. The MSM is though.
There’s been an overwhelming outrage in response to Donald Trump’s “go back to where you came from remarks,” which although not specifically directed at anyone, were deemed by the press to be aimed at four women of colour in congress. The subjects, also designated by Trump as the ‘four horsewomen of the apocalypse,’ are Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D- New York), Illhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Ayanna Presley (D- Massachusetts) & Rashida Talib (D-Michigan).
Progressive Squad: Talib, Omar, Cortez & Pressley
Shaun King of The Intercept said the tweet was symptomatic of Trump’s heavily entrenched and impeachable racism “Can an overtly racist person “preserve, protect and defend the constitution?” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Trump is “demeaning female members of the House of Representatives based on the colour of her skin and their cultural heritage.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.”
Whilst the comments may be interpreted as inflammatory, you can’t can make a solid argument that they’re racist, and certainly not worthy of impeachment.
Trump never specified a race nor any individual, but referred explicitly to countries. To categorically call the comments racist, one has to assume that all states have an entirely homogenous ethnicity. Whilst you may have an overwhelming majority of citizens with similar ethnicity, the construction of borders and a government and thus a nation state, doesn’t in turn make the constituents a race.
Statehood and race certainly aren’t the same thing, and to correlate the two would propagate the notion that the origins of Talib, Pressley, Cortez and Omar are strict ethno-states in and of themselves, a dangerous and divisive revision of history and politics.
Of the four women, only Omar is an immigrant, the three others are natural born citizens. Even if we assume the tweet was directly aimed to Omar, who is Somalian, ethnic minorities within Somalia make up approximately 15% of their population. Those in that 15% are all Somalian’s yet racially different. Even if Trump had said “Go back to Somalia,” the comment isn’t racist, and by redefining ‘racism’ you take away from genuine cases of it.
All of this ‘Trump is a racist’ bluster can be debunked even when the tweets were taken out of context. When read within the contexts of the twitter thread in it’s entirety, it’s abundantly clear that the tweets aren’t racist.
Here is just one of the tweets within the thread, “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 …. 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.”
So even if you take issue with the characterisation of the foreign governments, or object to how Trump describes the USA, you still can’t claim that the comments are racist, because he is clearly making a point about countries and not about ethnicities. Somalia, is literally stone cold dead last on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), and according to the Committee to Protect Journalists at east 64 Journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1992. The point that Trump was making, even if you assume that it was directed at Omar, is that if you’re so vehemently opposed to traditional American ideals you can try instituting your own perception of morality in Somalia, which is clearly in dire need of assistance.
Somalia Ranked Last in the 2016 Corruption Index Report
Further, even if you believe in your heart that Trump is a racist, you could easily make the case he’s the least effective Racist ever. Hispanic and Black unemployment are at record lows, Black business ownership has increased more than 400% since he came into office and he’s instituted prison reforms with a disproportionately positive impact on Hispanics and African Americans.
If he’s so racist, is it that he is so incompetent that he’s consistently blundering his way into helping ethnic minorities?
CNN’s Devan Cole wrote “Trump has routinely inflamed public debate and in turn rallied his base with comments about race.” What Devan and other activists who moonlight as ‘analysts’ can’t seem to wrap their head around, is that the rhetoric they’re espousing is far more racist than anything Trump has said. They rely on the assumption that all of Trump’s supporters are white, which is clearly Racist, denying the existence and autonomy of the record number of African American and minority Trump supporters. If we were to apply any logic at all, he’s calling all the African American’s who support Trump, because they equally as entitled to be part of his ‘base,’ racist as well.
What Devon and other activists should try for once, is actually looking at the effects of Trump policy, instead of abstract progressive interpretations of tweets, and then come to a conclusion about his intentions. Until then, to assume his ‘base’ is white and that statehood is the same as ethnicity is way more Racist than anything Trump has said and done.