President Donald Trump continues to attract harsh criticism for his treatment of Democratic women of color currently serving in Congress, who he’s in recent days consistently singled out, demanding they “go back where they came from.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel has now joined in that criticism, insisting at a press conference that she opposes the behavior and stands in solidarity with those who the president targeted. She added that she believes Trump’s behavior ignores the true basis of American “strength,” which she said lies in its diversity.
‘I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked… The U.S.’s strength lies exactly in the fact that people of very different nationalities contribute to the strength of the American people. Those are sentiments which are very much in opposition to my impressions which I strongly believe in, and it is something that undermines America’s strength.’
Notably enough, although Merkel is generally liberal, conservative leaders in other countries have criticized the president’s behavior as well. A spokesman for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May decried Trump’s commentary as “completely unacceptable,” and candidates to be the next Prime Minister after May including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt “joined her in that criticism,” as CNN puts it.
Trump started the latest racism bonanza with a tweetstorm this past weekend demanding that progressive Congresswomen including Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, and Massachusetts’s Ayanna Pressley “go back where they came from.” Three out of four of those individuals were born in the United States, and the fourth — Omar — has been a U.S. citizen for almost two decades. Trump has insisted that the Congresswomen in question “hate America” and use “vile language,” but there is essentially no evidence for this. Criticizing the Trump administration does not equate with hating America, no matter the president’s egomania.
In the face of all of this mess, Trump has tried to distance himself from allegations of racism, but he can’t just un-say what he already shouted to the world and continues to tout. After a rally this week where his supporters shouted “Send her back!” about Omar, Trump said he didn’t “agree” with the chant and tried to shut it down — but that’s a lie. He just stood there, stepping back from the microphone, and made no apparent attempt to shut it down whatsoever. We can all see the video.
The Congresswomen themselves have taken a stance similar to Merkel’s, insisting in Ocasio-Cortez’s case for instance that the president “won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it,” although she added:
‘Yet here we are.’
Although the U.S. House already passed a resolution condemning Trump’s behavior as “racist,” the most obvious way to take decisive action will probably appear in the 2020 presidential election. Leading Democratic presidential primary contenders have already bluntly criticized the president for his behavior while they’re preparing for their second debate later this month.
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