The president wants 2020 to be about racial identity

The following is a statement from Teresa Jenkins, vice-chair of the Charlotte County Democratic Executive Committee, in response to recent tweets from President Donald Trump urging four members of Congress (Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley) to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All of these women  are American citizens and three of the four were born in America. This statement was sent out in a press release to the Charlotte Sun.

The president of the United States’ tweets and tirades against four  U. S. Congresswomen of color portrays a consistent pattern of racist behavior and speech. The latest tweets about “the squad” are not an aberration but a culmination.

These rants are nothing but a shrewd effort to manipulate voters into seeing the 2020 presidential campaign through the prism not of issues but of racial identity. The president even suggested that these women “hate our country” and “might be Communists.” Weaving together nativism and McCarthyism is an affront to democratic norms.

The president easily attacks duly elected members of Congress — including war heroes.  He believes he is allowed to criticize this country as much as he likes, calling it a land of “carnage;” claiming that we are losers and laughingstocks. People of color, he suggests, have no such rights. In claiming to defend America, he is using “the squad” as a handy symbol of all things he wants us to be afraid of:  youth, powerful women, and ethnicity.

I am equally troubled by the president’s policies: ripping children from their parents and attempting to take health care away from 133 million people with pre-existing conditions. And what happened to the Republican Party’s firmness against Russia? It disintegrated when it was needed to get their demagogue candidate elected one way or the other.

These divisive tactics and harmful policies must be called out. Ignoring the president’s white power tactics is not an option; it must be faced head on at the polls.