General Dave Goldfein is the United States Air Force Chief of Staff, but he just did something that might cause Trump’s ire to be directed at him.
On January 23rd, Gen. Goldfein shared a video to his official Twitter account starring Staff Sergeant Eric Piime. Staff Sgt. Piime is an immigrant from Ghana, one of the many nations Trump recently referred to as “shithole” countries, indicating he’d rather not have immigrants or refugees from those countries coming here. Gen. Goldfein shared the video with the caption, “This is Staff Sgt. Eric Piime. He’s a boom operator with
@121ARW & he’s an inspiration. His story began in his native Ghana where he developed a fascination with aviation & an appreciation for the U.S. His is a story of hope, hard work, perseverance & patriotism. #Airpower”
You can see the post and watch the video below:
This is Staff Sgt. Eric Piime. He's a boom operator with @121ARW & he's an inspiration. His story began in his native Ghana where he developed a fascination with aviation & an appreciation for the U.S. His is a story of hope, hard work, perseverance & patriotism. #Airpower pic.twitter.com/ZHhXToeZIf
— Gen. Dave Goldfein (@GenDaveGoldfein) January 24, 2018
Immigrants have a long history in the armed forces of the United States. Currently, approximately two million veterans come from an immigrant background (either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants), and thousands of immigrants are in the military at any given time—and there’s historical precedence for far, far more. From the Migration Policy Institute:
Immigrants have always served in the U.S. armed forces. In the past, their presence was particularly high: The foreign born represented half of all military recruits by the 1840s and 20 percent of the 1.5 million service members in the Union Army during the Civil War, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The video received an overwhelmingly positive reception among social media users—in fact, as of January 25th, there was not a single negative response among them. Finding such an outpouring of positivity on social media is rare:
It’s nice to see that there are still leaders who support American values, and who understand that America’s diversity is one of our core strengths. Being a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees with a free and open society is a massive boon when it comes to soft power projection. America has dominated global politics for decades, partially because of this. Donald Trump and the nationalists who support him are rapidly destroying the global image of the United States, much to our detriment.
When Donald Trump chose to call all of Africa “shithole” countries, saying we should refuse immigrants from there, he insulted and disrespected every single immigrant who has ever served our country. He disrespected their children. He disrespected our nation, our liberty, our traditions, and our values.
Donald Trump—the child of a white immigrant, married to a white immigrant—has massively benefited from the immigration policies of the United States. That makes his current rhetoric both racist and hypocritical. Not to mention that while millions of immigrants have served our military over the years, Donald Trump refused to serve, using rich kid excuses to get out of the draft.
Our nation deserves better. In fact, the entire world deserves better—especially people like Staff Sgt. Eric Piime.
Featured image via video screenshot from embedded media