Ahead of the vote to formally denouce Trump’s racist tweets aimed at black and brown freshman Democrats known as “the squad,” who he told to “go back” to their own countries (they’re all American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S.), Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) spoke on the House floor. Lewis, who was one of the four pivotal leaders during the Civil Rights Movement and was nearly killed while marching for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, said: “I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it … Some of us have been victims of the stain, the pain and the hurt of racism … Segregationists told us to go back!”
Donald Trump and his white supporters, not one of whom has ever experienced racism and never will, have decided that Trump’s words were not racist because they are the arbiters of what racism looks like and the majority of black and brown Americans who say they experience racism on a regular basis are either opportunists prone to lying or too ignorant to evaluate their own personal experiences, are refusing to listen.
GOD BLESS THE USA🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/w6FenobnlR
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a video ahead of his campaign rally in North Carolina. The video shows Trump getting photo ops with veterans and current members of the military while “God Bless the U.S.A.,” which repeats the phrase “I’m proud to be an American” throughout the song. It is a direct attack on the four congresswomen, who Trump says hate this country, which is undersscored by the final shot in the video.
It is a new campaign slogan meant as an attack against those “unAmerican” congresswomen who dare to do what Trump did for eight years and throughout his presidential campaign by disagreeing with U.S. policies and its leadership. For a white, European-American, that’s encouraged. For black and brown congresswomen, black protesters who highlight disparities in police brutality, or anyone who stands against Trump, that is apparently a violation of some American standard.
However, it isn’t. Insisting that these women and all others who protest American issues “hate America” is misguided and misinformed. Protest and dissent were how this country and government was founded. Without criticism and protests, the Civil Rights Movement, the suffragette movement, the abolitionists who protested slavery, and the fight for LGBTQ equality would never have happened. Protest is protected under the Constitution, which Trump has apparently never read.
Twitter echoed the sentiments of Rep. Lewis over Trump’s racist and divisive rhetoric. Read some of their comments below: