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The EditorsJuly 16, 2019
From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., respond to remarks by President Donald Trump after his call for the four Democratic congresswomen to go back to their "broken" countries, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., respond to remarks by President Donald Trump after his call for the four Democratic congresswomen to go back to their "broken" countries, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The president of the United States issued a series of racist tweets this week telling some members of Congress to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Though he did not name them at first, his tweets appear to have been directed at four Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

No one seems to be surprised by yet another diatribe from Mr. Trump. The nation has, tragically, grown accustomed to such language from its commander in chief, from claiming he could shoot someone in Times Square and not lose political support to calling Kim Jong-un “Little Rocket Man” and deploring refugees from “shithole countries.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets have been, unquestionably, a distraction from the critical business of the country: Congress must soon raise the debt ceiling again to prevent the government from running out of cash; the Trump administration has once again taken steps to make it more difficult for asylum seekers to find safety in the United States; there are children still being detained at the border after being separated from their parents.

Behind Mr. Trump’s tweets is an attempt not only to delegitimize his political opponents but to appeal to nativist tendencies, suggesting that citizens born in other countries or born to immigrant parents are somehow less American than others. That is antithetical to the values of this country, for which generations of immigrant Americans have sacrificed to the point of shedding their blood on foreign shores.

Some have pointed out that, true to form, Mr. Trump has his facts wrong. Three of the four congresswomen were born in the United States. But Mr. Trump’s remarks would have been reprehensible even if they all had been born in Canada or Haiti, Somalia or China. To echo what Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference addressing the president’s remarks on Monday: “No matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and it belongs to everyone.”

These comments need to be called out as racist, xenophobic and sexist. They are wrong, full stop. The president’s lack of restraint has perhaps briefly unified Democrats in outrage, but they seem to have had little impact on Republicans. Only a small number of G.O.P. members of Congress have criticized the president’s tweets or even indicated that they are disturbed by them.

While we may have come to expect this sort of behavior from the president, it should not be treated as normal. Especially if they ally themselves with Mr. Trump’s public policy goals, members of Congress have a moral obligation and constitutional duty to denounce such remarks and to defend their colleagues against such attacks. Public debate and public decency require minimum standards. The United States Constitution and its separation of powers presumes those standards. Our national leaders should not stand by in silence while the voices of the elected representatives of the people are delegimitized by the head of the executive branch. What is left of the parameters of civil discourse in the United States must be defended.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

Nonsense! What constitutional duty? What racist attacks? Trump said nothing about race. He was pointing out their unhappiness at the United States and could be applied to anyone of any ethnic background with similar attitudes. Besides it only applies to one person. . Why not examine this person’s comments? Claims of racism is a specious charge. One of Trumps best appointments was Nikki Haley, a person of color. There is talk of her replacing Pence as Trump’s running mate in 2020.

JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

In response to one of the people in the photo above accusing Nancy Pelosi of racism., a black progressive said these cries of racism are phony

What a weak argument. Because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable
JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

Is there much racism in the United States? Yes and no but what is here is catastrophic and not what most people think. The racism that exists is not discrimination or some inappropriate offensive comments but much more devastating. It is denial that certain social/political policies have led to the destruction of the family such that those born in these dysfunctional family structures have an extremely difficult time succeeding in society. But the ones who are to blame for this condition are the ones crying racism the loudest.

JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

The real racism is never discussed on this site. But yet we have a constant stream of articles about racism here. Is it because of politics and nothing to do with the victims of the real racism?

rose-ellen caminer
2 years 10 months ago

My country right or wrong,
Love it or leave it.
Go back where you came from.
And as my husband read in a letter to the editor decades ago; We're the only free country in the world; you can't criticize us!

These stupid tropes have been part of America for ever. Criticizing your country to make things better materially for the people , and more just, is not betrayal of ones country, any more then criticizing ones child is not, not loving ones child. The attacks on the "squad", specifically on Omar and Thalib are xenophobic and racist. [ non- European ethnic/religious origin]. These attacks from Trump have percalated up, from as Omar has said; the chat rooms of the right,and even the left , and Fox news and other right wing media outlets.And from the streets. In having a US president talk like this too, he has exposed the dirty laundry that has always been here;xenophobia and negative nationalism can be and is, as present in the country comprised of immigrants and "founded on an idea",as it is in countries founded on "blood and soil." The targets here change;as wave after wave of groups get incorporated' as" real " Americans over time, But there are always new targets of xenophobia, racism and bigotry that is fodder for existing negative nationalism.
Now Trump is forcing everyone to take a stand;do you believe immigrants have a duty to go along with how things are in their new country? Do you believe Muslim immigrants should shut up and not rock the boat regarding our cherished narrative on Israel? Do you believe all immigrants should be good House Negroes , only happy to be in the house, and not speak out against what they may perceive as unjust and needing change? No uppity new ethnics such as you all from non European countries/religions are welcome.?
Trump in his trickster way,is smoking out the bigots, racists Islamophobes, ethnic haters, intolerant negative nationalists and xenophobes. And those who oppose them.Everyone has to lay their cards out now!

Laura Gonzalez
2 years 10 months ago

Oh, please. This is an old racist trope. If you can't see it, you're blind, have no knowledge of US history and are likely racist.

JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

Now if I support Scherie Murray over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez am I a racist? Calling someone a racist is the phoniest part of this editorial. It is all about what one believes is best for all people. The four people pictured above have been advocating very dysfunctional policies. So the editors and others should cut out all the racist charges. The real problem is false claims of racism and advocating very bad policy. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v6geoLhv8LM&time_continue=135

Ysais Martinez
2 years 10 months ago

I am Hispanic too and I think J Cosgrove is absolutely correct. These 4 provocateurs are only popular among white liberal newspaper editors and the handful of people --out of 320 million-- that have Twitter in the US. They consistently attack this country that has been a blessing to many immigrants like myself. I'd be eating garbage off a dumpster in the Caribbean if it wasn't for the United States of America. It boggles my mind when I see people piling on this blessed land.

L Hoover
2 years 10 months ago

NOTE: I wrtte this in response to Ysais Martinez's post. If I read his post correctly, he, in essence, said it's un-American to criticize America. I see the right to criticize one of the greatest American freedoms. I don't at times agree with the opinions and biases of The Squad....but will respect and defend their right to have those opinions----without branding them as un-American. Here goes to Martinez:

Well, then, you must be appalled and extremely upset about all the horrible things Donald Trump has said and implied about this country, our people, our institutions. No? Well, it boggles my mind. I love my country and will fight to the end for truth and justice, the rule of law, constitutional freedoms, respect for diversity and differences, and compassion for illegals even when we have to say no to them. I am fighting against fascism and a corrupt, authoritarian form of government. As a student of history with some wisdom and a love for the truth that is of Christ.....I will fight against Donald Trump, who should never have been accorded presidential powers. Never. Remember, Donald Trump has done nothing to save you or others in similar situations.

Opting Out
2 years 10 months ago

The faux outrage by the Editors while they gave Hillary a pass for doing something far far worse to 50 Million Americans:
"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.“
- Hillary elitist racist Rotten Clinton to the applause and laughter of her elitist racist supporters.
America Magazine is that you ?

J. Calpezzo
2 years 10 months ago

Trump is a traitor, a racist, and a fraud. And so are his supporters

JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

Unbelievably un-Christian statement. You just called millions of people racist because you don’t understand another point of view.

Douglas Fang
2 years 10 months ago

As usual, there are some die-hard Trump believers/followers who would defend him no matter how despicable his words/actions are… Luckily, there are honest and courageous people like the Editors of this Magazine who speak up the truth about his latest tweets… “…Go back to your country…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-15/trump-s-racist-tweet-most-vile-made-by-a-recent-president

It brings tears to my eyes when I saw this video about the last speech of President Reagan:
https://twitter.com/ValaAfshar/status/1117039035657142272

To tell the truth, the Republican party of Reagan no longer exits. It is now the Trump party.

As an immigrant myself, more than once, someone asked me why I didn’t speak English with my spouse, who was also an immigrant…

These white nationalists are now rejoicing when they see that the POTUS is now speaking their same language.

Is the American Idea dead???

Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you to my colleagues at America for telling the truth, the role of the prophet, and denouncing in no uncertain terms behavior that should make every single Catholic pause and take stock. We can no longer be silent and pretend that hatred of neighbor, attacks on the poor and the sick, turning away the stranger, and not feeding the hungry, not welcoming the children, and doing all manner of evil being tolerated and covered up by the Republican party is something we can tolerate any more as Catholics who believe in a loving God. I am grateful for your voice.

Charles Morgan
2 years 10 months ago

This editorial is short on reason and long on name calling and isn't that the crux of the problem for which you are condemning Trump? Unfortunately, for me this editorial is representative of what the Jesuits have become and it saddens me. Note that I didn't call you a name.

Eugene Fitzpatrick
2 years 10 months ago

The editorial is eminently logical and eschews name calling. It’s a bit lame when your need to express negativity clashes with the editorial’s patently clear verbalization presented right in front of your eyes.

JR Cosgrove
2 years 10 months ago

How does it eschew name calling when it calls someone a racist?

Alan Johnstone
2 years 10 months ago

I agree Charles.

Crystal Watson
2 years 10 months ago

I agree - Trump and his Republican toadies should apologize. They won't, of course. There's no doubt anymore that Trump is a racist, a sexist, a crook, a liar, and a sociopath. I don't know how his followers can live with themselves.

Michael Bindner
2 years 10 months ago

Their duty is to force him to resign or vote him out in impeachment.

FRAN ABBOTT
2 years 10 months ago

Even more reprehensible that being racist, xenophobic and sexist is USING racism, xenophobia and sexism to get what you want, and I believe that that is exactly what Trump is doing. He will say anything, stop at nothing to achieve his goals, which obviously include an imperial presidency. Thank you, editors, for your stance on this atrocity.

joan knothe
2 years 10 months ago

Very on point.....imho.
Thank you.

Lisa Weber
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you for calling out bigotry and defending decency in public discourse. The damage this occupant of the White House is doing will last a long time past his miserable, hate-filled life.

arthur mccaffrey
2 years 10 months ago

just curious to know if America editors ever think that this gang of four ever say anything reprehensible? All the criticism seems to be very one-sided--is it really that simplistic?

Vince Killoran
2 years 10 months ago

Trumps comment was despicable, but I don't see the "constitutional duty" element.

John Walton
2 years 10 months ago

Query -- where did race enter into any of Trump's remarks? For the left, charging someone with "racism" just means that "you're not as far to the left as I would like."

For the record, one of the subjects of Trump's remarks is a noted anti-Semite and supporter of Hamas and Hizballah, both on the State Department list of terrorist organizations since 1997.

joan knothe
2 years 10 months ago

Love it or Leave it...
Should not be used regarding Church or State....in the same way the People are the Church...so we are America.....in all of our multifaceted diversity and views.

Laura Gonzalez
2 years 10 months ago

Seriously? "Where did race enter into" it? Are you not familiar with US history? Do you not know this is an age-old racist trope? It's been used since the Know Nothings. You obviusly do not have your finger on race relations in this country, so stop pretending.

None of the women is anti-Semitic or a supporter of those organizations. Both Omar and Tlaib have criticized, and rightly so, the hold that Israel has on this country, and the slanted view of msm. And speaking of anti-Semitism, did Trump speak out against the men chanting "Jews will not replace us"? Remember, he said there were good people on both sides.

rose-ellen caminer
2 years 10 months ago

None of them expressed hatred for Jews.Support of the Palestinians , in their conflict with Israel, does not mean you hate Jews. Believing that siding with the Palestinians makes you a Jew hater, is anti Semitism; directed at Semitic Palestinians. Labeling people as anti Semitic Jew haters for their support of Palestinians is a powerful propaganda trope used to silence criticism of Israel AND to dehumanize Palestinians. Omar and Thalib are hip to that and were not cowed by that. Unless they cow tow to AIPAC beliefs,and unless they do a million mea culpas for terrorism, unless they tow the line by saying that Alquada attacked us for not being Muslim, and not that we got attacked as blowback for our policies, they will be vilified anyway just for being Muslim, by Muslim hating anti Semites. It is illegal to support any terrorist organization. It does not mean that one can't believe that they should not be declared terrorist organizations OR that the Israeli military/Mossad hit squads should also be declared terrorist organizations..

ALTONETTE STONE
2 years 10 months ago

Trump expressed anger and complaints about America through his entire presidential campaign. He continues to make bigoted remarks about Hispanics, Muslims and Blacks along with falsely claiming President Obama was not born in America. Often he talks in code. Apparently, Trump believes he has a "right" to express displeasure with America which he claimed was a mess. But, women of color cannot express their concerns. Yesterday, the four women stated they love America. He certainly continues to make bigoted statements and anyone who agrees with his statements is as bigoted as him. It is suspect that only certain people can complain but when people of color express concerns they are told to go back from which they came. Well, most of these folks ancestors have been here for hundreds of years. This is their country, so get over it already, Trump and supporters.

Crystal Watson
2 years 10 months ago

The Director of the Anti-Defamation League speaks out against Trump and his effort to drag Israel into his racist rant ... https://youtu.be/7rRy5gql3lc

Adeolu Ademoyo
2 years 10 months ago

I will like to thank the editors of America Magazine for once again standing up for our faith, decency, reason and common sense. I have argued on this platform before, and I will say it again that the relation between racism and Christianity is contradictory and antagonistic. The two beliefs are fiercely antagonistic and irreconcilable. The contradiction between the two cannot be resolved. So, one cannot plausibly combine the two, and not irreparably damage Christianity and inflict deep wounds on our faith-the Christian faith . Yes you can be racist and pretend to be a Christian, but very soon in the fullness of time your cover will be blown off and you will be seen for who you are-someone who is not a christian but who is pretending to be one.

You are either a racist or a Christian. You cannot be both. One cannot simultaneously be a racist and a Christian and vice versa. One has to abandon one for the other. I challenge anyone to show the readers based on the Word of God, the nature of our faith Christianity, the Gospel and the scriptures how one can be a racist and a Christian at the same time. Christians who continue to support Mr. Trump, his racism, xenophobia, hatred and bigotry have put our faith on the line. Good enough, we have the editors of America Magazine to thank for strongly standing up in defense of our faith against racism.

My second point is pretty straightforward. Mr. Donald Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign criticizing America and the then president Barak Obama. To Mr. Trump, America was hell, America was not good under the then President Obama. When Mr. Trump criticized the then President Obama and the administration of the country under President Obama, nobody said that Mr. Trump should go back to where he or his ancestors-maternal and paternal- came from. If the four congress women-Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are not of the same gender, ethnic and racial background as Mr. Trump, criticized America the way Mr. Trump did under President Obama, and they-the four Congresswomen are asked to go back to where they came from and no one told Mr. Trump the same thing, then that is classic structural racism. The questions are: As the saying goes, is what is good for the goose no longer good for the gander? What gave Mr. Trump the warrant to criticize America under President Obama while the four congresswomen cannot ? Is it the difference in the color of Mr. Trump’s skin and that of the congresswomen? Is it the difference in their gender, race and ethnic background?

Those who still defend Mr. Trump have the moral duty to respond to this double standard which is nothing but structural racism. Once again, I thank the editors of America Magazine for standing up for our faith-the Christian faith, reason, common sense and decency.

Kevin Murphy
2 years 10 months ago

Nothing about "the Squad's" anti- semitism and accusations of racism, homophobia etc. against anyone who doesn't agree with them? They won't even condemn Antifa, Al Qaada or violence against law enforcement. America, as well as the Left, is OK with smears as long as it is done by their side. America and it's fanbase are enormous hypocrites.

rose-ellen caminer
2 years 10 months ago

You are the anti Semite; against[Semitic] Muslims who you smear are terrorists and Jew haters unless and until they parrot what you want them to say about Alquada [mea culpa, mea culpa] and show undue loyalty to AIPAC/ Israel .They owe you no such jumping through the hoops of your bigotry, denouncement, apology, and support. They are not on trial as terrorists except in your own mind.They are not here to appease your fear and loathing of them.

L Hoover
2 years 10 months ago

BRAVO, rose-ellen!

frank troia
2 years 10 months ago

These last couple of years have served as a real history lesson for me.
I now understand how Hitler came to power. There are too many complacent people in this nation. We sit and watch this freak show happen and readily assume that Fascist fanaticism can't drive a wedge through America. Trump survives by exploiting class and racial divisions. This is not leadership, it is lunacy.

Jay Zamberlin
2 years 10 months ago

Does the article title really read "constitutional duty?" America has become a joke. Even if one would suggest that Trump was completely wrong, or egregiously this or that (the other suggestion of racism is a farce as well) - wrong, but even if this was the indesputable truth, how the hell does one go from one to the other? (Constitutional duty). Just more mindless and intellectually lazy and/or blatently dishonest twaddle. And pulled out of the editors' collective southernmost orifice. Disgustingly insulting to anyone with a scintilla of appreciation for the truth, employment of language, what the Constitution says and doesn't say. Breathtakingly imbecilic and not worthy of a good comic book read, much less some sort of "Catholic" magazine of any seriousness. Please, stop, just STOP!! BASTA!

G Reeder-Ferreira
2 years 10 months ago

The 14th amendment of the constitution protects the citizenship and privileges of persons of color. The federal actors during the time knew people who (such as yourselves) regarded people as inferior may raise up out of jealousy and dislike, and try to enact State laws allowing for a license to discriminate and not allow them to enjoy all the same civil rights as white people enjoyed. It is every elected official's constitutional duty to stand up against racism and any racial epithet of a standing president. That's what the legislative body is supposed to do.

FRAN ABBOTT
2 years 10 months ago

AGREE!!!! Well said!

Opting Out
2 years 10 months ago

Obama showed true hatred for Americans when he portrayed them in such unflattering terms but the Left quote him today as their Oracle. No wonder they loathe Trump and his followers: they hold a different opinion. So much for diversity of thought and choice. Hypocrites by no other name

They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment, as a way to explain their frustrations."
- Barack Obama

Alan Johnstone
2 years 10 months ago

In case some readers did not notice, the authors used the critical and condemnatory word racist. The actual content of the tweets did not stand up to their judgemental and critical description of them. Just jumped on the bandwagon.

American Catholics might like to think on this - you call each other and yourselves Asian-American and Afro-American and Irish-American all the time when issues of identity and origin and cultural issues are involved.

Nobody here in Australia does it, and we are populated by people from the four corners of the globe and whether born here or migrated here, accept that their ethnic heritage is part of their identity and upbringing and sometimes causes conflict.
From Poland we have Poles and Jews, from the former Yugoslavia we have Croats and Bosnians and Serbs. Not always happy in one another's company.

New-speak and double-think is spreading and it is being swallowed as progressive and virtuous while gathering strength and acceptability as it deflects hard dialogues into name calling.

Vincent Gaglione
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you for an "on-target" editorial.

Roland Greystoke
2 years 10 months ago

It was the content of their character, of lack thereof, that he called into question. Donald Trump has received numerous accolades for his work in helping minorities (1999 Rainbow Push conference, for example). Now that he's President under the GOP banner (remember how a LOT of the career GOP pols attacked when he was running for the nomination?) he is suddenly a racist? He was smart enough to fool minorities for all those decades? And he had to run as a GOPer because, in this country, we have become two-party slaves. The best person for the job shouldn't need to belong to any one race, religion, gender or political party. But changing the we-must-vote-DNC-or-GOP mindlessness of the population is impossible. And it's sad we've become like this. BTW, I wrote in General James Mattis for President in 2016. When people say that I wasted my vote, I remind them that I was an NCO on active duty for 20 years and then quote a line from Slaughterhouse-Five by the character Paul Lazzaro....it has the phrase "rolling doughnut" in it.

John Barbieri
2 years 10 months ago

Hmm:
I am discerning!
You are discriminating!
He, She, It is bigoted!

John Barbieri
2 years 10 months ago

Hmm:
I am discerning!
You are discriminating!
He, She, It is bigoted!

John Barbieri
2 years 10 months ago

Hmm:
I am discerning!
You are discriminating!
He, She, It is bigoted!

John Rysavy
2 years 10 months ago

The congressional districts that elected these 4 socialists are broken and largely in disrepair due to the liberal progressive local leadership which Trump was likely referring to. America is getting pretty judgmental in choosing political sides where those 4 socialists have said vile things about him and country as well.

Chuck Kotlarz
2 years 10 months ago

“The congressional districts that elected these 4 socialists are broken and largely in disrepair...”

A look at the senate majority leader’s state might reveal congressional districts in good repair.

Instead, an oligarchy parasite feeding off Mitch McConnell’s districts has shortened life expectancy by nearly 4 years vs. life expectancy in the districts of the 4 socialists.

What voters saw in 4 socialists perhaps has national merit.

Ysais Martinez
2 years 10 months ago

I am having a hard time understanding what was racist about what the president said. In fact, the freak show of press conference the four congresswomen staged was a God-given political gift to the president and his 2020 reelection bid. Only editorial board white liberals sitting in their comfortable offices in Manhattan, LA, Boston, Chicago, etc have been so triggered by the president strong but truthful statements. Talk about disconnect from the general public who doesn't have a Twitter account. Only the mob in that truly despicable, rotten application Twitter is still talking about this. We all moved on to work, pray, change diapers, and take the garbage out to the curb.

John McCauley
2 years 10 months ago

Lol. Right on Ysais! Once again "The Editors" hide behind their obscure title and continue and contribute to same pattern overtaking all our discourse....claiming their authority to pronounce rushed judgements, calling out others "sins", airing and elevating political grievances and largely avoiding and ignoring the deeper responsibility to encourage less inflamed rhetoric, reminding both sides responsibility to lead and be accountable for achieving real results. It is hardly clear whether in fact the President is everything you condemn him to be and you have contributed nothing to elevate and champion this present discourse by providing vision guided by Christ's love, genius and shrewdness. All you have achieved in this infantile editorial is merely pouring more gasoline on accusations and dubious claims of victimization. Is that ultimately what you consider as a "job well done"? I expected more. So I am with Ysais and will return to life one that imperfectly is one of helping, encouraging and supporting all I encounter whatever race or color to try to try to bring help and love not thru words but actions. Would be nice to see the call of "The Editors" to do the same and illuminate what love would do in this moment.

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