After the House of Representatives voted largely along party lines last month to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets directed at Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), many others followed that lead in railing against the president for his comments.
The latest, Danyelle Solomon, vice president of Race and Ethnicity Policy at the Center for American Progress, said she was pleased that House members stood by the four congresswoman who have become affectionately known as “The Squad.”
“No one should be shocked by President Trump’s recent actions,” Solomon said in a news release. “He has a long, well-documented history of invoking directly and indirectly racist and offensive tropes about immigrants and people of color. His comments also shed light, once again, on who he believes is American. Telling people of color to go back to where they came from is code language for ‘you don’t belong here.’
“But they are exactly where they are supposed to be – and their voices will be heard,” she said. “There is nothing more American than the presence of these four women in the U.S. House of Representatives using their First Amendment rights to dissent and critique the policy and practices of approval the Trump administration.”
Following his comments, Trump attended a rally in Minnesota where his supporters chanted, “send her back,” which the president’s critics said underscored his racist attitude.
“Donald Trump cannot hide from the fact that his racist and hate-filled rhetoric has recklessly increased danger to a sitting member of Congress and mother to three small children,” said Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. “The president could’ve disavowed those hateful chants in the moment, when it mattered most, but instead he was silent and almost gleeful about the reaction he received. The correct thing to do was to denounce racism and start acting like the president of the United States, instead of the leader of the white nationalist movement.
“The president may not believe his statements are racist, but the racists sure do,” Bass said.
The Democrat-controlled House passed a resolution that condemned Trump’s racist comments.
The measure, which stated that lawmakers “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of Color,” was supported by 235 Democrats and just four Republicans — Will Hurd of Texas, Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan Brooks of Indiana and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, antisemitism, xenophobia and hate,” Hurd tweeted afterward. I voted to condemn the President’s tweets today but I hope that Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi also considers holding members of her own party accountable to the same degree to which she holds the President.”
NBC News reported that Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who announced his departure from the Republican Party last month, also voted for the resolution.
“These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting, and the comments are racist,” Pelosi said.
In part, the resolution reads:
“Whereas President John F. Kennedy, whose family came to the United States from Ireland, stated in his 1958 book ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ that ‘The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life.
“We see it in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background. Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.’;
“Whereas President Ronald Reagan in his last speech as President conveyed ‘An observation about a country which I love’;
“Whereas as President Reagan observed, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors, and it is the Statue of Liberty and its values that give us our great and special place in the world;
“Whereas other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area, as ‘a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close’;
“Whereas it is the great life force of ‘each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed’ through the 21st century and beyond and is part of the ‘magical, intoxicating power of America’ … condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘go back’ to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as ‘invaders,’ and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”