Posted Jul 15, 2019 by Michael L. Brown

There is a national outcry over the president’s “go back” home tweets directed at “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all). . . .”

From Hillary Clinton to rank and file Democrats, Trump’s remarks have been condemned as “racist, xenophobic and bigoted.”

His tweets, which were three in number, accused these Congresswomen of “viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”

He then asked, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”

He added, “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Then, in typical Trumpian fashion, after the tweets produced a severe backlash, he doubled down on his comments, tweeting, “So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion. Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, ‘RACIST.’ Their disgusting language.....

“...and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged. If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”

How should we respond to these tweets? Was the President guilty of crass, open, and vile racism?

To put things in context, Trump was clearly responding to comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar, who claimed that, “We live in a society and govern in a body that might value the life of a dog more than they value the life of a child who might not look like theirs.”

But out of the “progressive” Democrat Congresswomen whom he targeted, only Omar was born outside the USA (in Somalia, specifically). The others, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Presley, were all born here in America.

So, the President’s tweet was certainly inaccurate in claiming that they “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.” (Hillary Clinton, for her part, was quick to pick up on this, tweeting, “They're from America, and you're right about one thing: Currently their government is a complete and total catastrophe.”)

And, whatever Trump’s intent may have been, I cannot support him saying to these Congresswomen: “you can’t leave fast enough.”

That being said, and as much as I continue to wish that the President found a less offensive way to express himself, I personally didn’t find his tweets to be racist.

Inaccurate, yes, insofar as only one of the Congresswomen in question was born outside of America.

Inappropriate, yes, insofar as Mr. Trump is still the president of the whole country, and he does more harm than good when he unnecessarily alienates other Americans.

But, to repeat, I don’t find his tweets to be racist.

America has opened the door to people like Ilhan Omar, whose family escaped from the hellhole that Somalia has become. And America has given Omar and other immigrants like her incredible opportunities to succeed and flourish.

In Trump’s perception, Omar and her political colleagues are biting the hand that feeds them, showing ungratefulness rather than appreciation and criticism rather than gratitude.

In Trump’s mind, these women are quick to condemn “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth.” Then, they turn around and radical, socialist solutions to our national problems.

This, to Trump, is more an issue of patriotism than of race, more an issue of national solidarity rather than skin color.

And as much as headlines proclaim, “Trump Tells Freshman Congresswomen to ‘Go Back’ to the Countries They Came From,” a racist would not say, “Then come back here once you help fix these other countries.”

But that was Trump’s whole point.

If you have so much know-how, then go back and fix the countries you came from, “Then come back and show us how it is done.”

If America is to terrible and you have the solutions, then go improve these other countries that are in such terrible shape. And once you’ve transformed those nations, then by all means, get back over here and show us a better way.

Again, I have issues with some of the language in these tweets like many others, but I do not personally find them racist.

Of course, the president could have found a much less offensive way to get the same message across. But if he did, he would not have been Donald Trump.

We do best, then, to interact with the substance of his tweets rather than defend him at any cost or condemn him as a racist monster.


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Niecyb2 posted a comment · Jul 23, 2019
Dr. Brown, I am a black female. I have experienced racism in its many forms in my lifetime. I am so surprised at the many people who have jumped on the Racism bandwagon. I am not a fan of President Trump; however, I am not mad at him, and believe his policies have benefited the entire country. President Trump is not a racist and it is almost laughable as it is ridiculous that his tweet about the 4 congresswomen whether they are American born or not has been interpreted by those who hate this President as been racist in its form is nonsense. Those who want to see President Trump fail have decided to use the issues of race and ethnicity as a weapon and tool to stir people up. Lord we need you!
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PhelimMc posted a comment · Jul 20, 2019
Um - really? Were any such posts put towards people who have made similar comments from those who were not of African/Middle Eastern descent? No! So why the posts were not "racist" as such the fact that they were aimed at only those who were from African and Middle Eastern descent is what makes them racist and it is nonsense to suggest otherwise. And this is before we start looking at his grins when the crowd started shouting "send her back" about a Puerto Rican (which is actually part of the USA). The twisting of the rightful condemnation back towards the accusers was not the act of a Jehu, let alone a Cyrus, but of a Jezebel. Jehu allowed the continued worship of Asherah through the golden calves at Dan and Bethel, in fact he engaged in this worship. The calves were images of Hathor, an Egyptian goddess of sexuality fertility and destruction/war, who was seen by the Assyrians as Annas and Asherah. While Trump's administration appears to be standing up to the Jezebel spirit concerning abortion and militant feminism in these tweets and the twisting of the accusations we see Trump engaging in exactly the behaviour we would expect from a "Jezebel". It is time to stop wishing Trump had used better words and start calling this out!
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Gadgettribe posted a comment · Jul 19, 2019
Dr. Brown. I’m not sure whether you read the comments section on your posts or not. Nevertheless, I’ll venture to share my thoughts on your latest article. Before I do, I just want to say that in 2000 when I began following Christ, I was eager to share the gospel with my Jewish neighbors. I grew up near Crown Heights, Brooklyn and felt called to minister to them. So I purchased your series on ‘Answering Jewish Objections...’ and attended many of your debates with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. We might have crossed paths because I became good friends with the late Jhan Moskowitz when I began working for a campus ministry in Brooklyn College. I had moved to Ditmas Park, BK and attended his Shabbat dinners regularly before he passed away. All that to say that I appreciate your work and ministry. Having said that, I’m somewhat puzzled and disturbed by your recent post (and some of your more recent posts as of late). But what should it matter what my opinion is if what you’re saying is true. In your post, I appreciate that you admit that the President’s rhetoric and style of communication can be somewhat offensive to say the least. What puzzles me is that you failed to call it what it is racism shrouded in euphemisms. At best, your articles seems to present as though you are objective and fair; calling out President Trumps mishaps while maintaining that his rhetoric wasn’t racist. What puzzles me is that if his words were directed at four Jewish congressmen and they were told to go back to where they came from (if most of them were born in America), this would certainly be viewed as anti-Semitic speech. I’m not sure how he can tell Americans to go back to their countries when (for the three of them) their countries where they came from is America. It means that somehow, for some reason Trump must not believe that they belong - or at the very least, he must viscerally believe that they are from other places. While you dismiss this as a ‘mistake’ on his part, I think it’s more than a mere mistake. Trump has routinely done this. It’s his M.O. He did so relentlessly with Obama in demanding to see his birth certificate before claiming that Obama was a Muslim from Kenya. Even after the birth certificate was produced, he continued to call into question Obama’s citizenship. Moreover, when Trump now famously denounced and demeaned countries like Africa and Haiti (place of my parents birth) as ‘sh-thole’ countries and suggested bringing in people from Norway and Denmark, was he simply speaking to the condition of those countries? Whatever happened to ‘give me your poor, your tired, you huddled-masses yearning to be free’? I thought that America was about THAT! Is it now, we don’t want people from countries that are failing, we want the cream of the crop? When did that change? You wrote that to Trump ‘Omar and her political colleagues are biting the hand that feed them, showing ungratefulness rather than appreciation, criticism rather than gratitude.’ You added that to Trump this is ‘more an issue of patriotism than of race, more an issue of national solidarity rather than skin color.’ Firstly, these were not the President’s words. This is more of an
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mrejack posted a comment · Jul 19, 2019
As an Asian American of Immigrant parent who has been told to "go back", I can definitively say, President Trump's tweets were not racist at all. If someone yells that at me on the street without knowing anything about me other than my apparent race, then yes, it's a racist comment. But if you know someone's actions and words and tell them to go back based on that, then no, it's not a racist comment because it wasn't based on race. I tell my Chinese Canadian relative who is living in the USA to go back to Canada when I hear him complaining about how bad the USA is and how great Canada is. That's exactly what Trump did. Not racist comment. Racist Only to those who want to play politics with it and try to slander and demonize him and get the uninformed to not vote for him.