The “squad” is the nickname that has been given to the four, young Democrat United States Representatives to Congress who are all women of color. All four were elected in November, 2018 to their first terms in congress. The “squad” are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
In June, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi allowed a vote on a Senate-passed border spending bill without a series of amendments negotiated by progressives to protect migrants. The vote on the bill without any amendments by the House was done at the request and urging of the more moderate Democrat members of the House. Tensions and internal party fighting were made public during the debate over the border spending bill that passed. The four so called “squad” Democrats were the only 4 Democrats who voted against the Bill and they said they were being marginalized by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The discourse within the Democratic Caucus escalated when the Chief of Staff to Ocasio-Cortez compared moderate Democrats to segregationists. The tweet suggested that two moderate groups, the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats, be called New Southern Democrats, a group of Democrats who once supported segregation. Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff said “They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to downplay the conflict between the 4 members of congress and the much larger bloc of moderate Democrats and urged her members to stay out of the fray and said:
“We respect the value of every member of our caucus. The diversity of it all is a wonderful thing. Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made it personal, suggesting in an interview that House Speaker Pelosi was deliberately targeting the four because of their race and said:
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood … But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
TRUMP’S ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT AND DIVIDE
Never missing an opportunity to disrupt and divide Democrats, President Donald Trump on Sunday, July 14, 2019 tweeted about the dust up between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez:
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe … now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. … Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
In a follow-up tweet, President Trump suggested that the four Democrats should leave Washington:
“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. 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!”
Democrat US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to Trump with her own tweet by saying:
“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.”
All four women of the “squad” won election to Congress in 2018. Three of the 4 woman were in fact born and raised in the United States. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y, was born in New York and is from the Bronx, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., was born in Detroit, Mihigan. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.,was born in Mogadishu, Somalia where her family fled the country amid civil war when she was a child and she became a United States citizen as a teenager.
This is not the first time that Trump has assumed a person is not and American because of their last name and who was born and raised in the United States. In May 2016 during the presidential campaign, Trump suggested United States Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who oversaw the class action lawsuit against Trump University, was biased against Trump due to his “Mexican” heritage claiming American born Curiel was from Mexico.
To her credit and as a testament to her leadership, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had a very sharp response to Trump and went to the defense of the four congresswoman and tweeted:
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”
In another tweet, Pelosi said:
“I reject @realDonaldTrump’s xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values. Stop the raids – #FamiliesBelongToget”
Democratic lawmakers quickly united in defending the 4 congresswomen against Trump’s attack and universally condemning Trump’s tweets.
New Mexico Democrat Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, an assistant House speaker and the 4th ranking in House Leadership, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump’s tweet was “racist” and “wrong” and said:
“[Trump] Telling people to go back where they came from? These are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America to serve in one of the most distinguished bodies in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Arizona Democrat Congressman Ruben Gallegos was more personal responding to Trump by recounting how, despite being born in the United States, he was repeatedly told to “go back to Mexico” from childhood through adulthood, regardless of his service in the Marine Corps or how well he did in school:
“To people like Trump I will never be American enough … So if you wonder why I give no inch to these racists, now you know. Nothing will ever satisfy them, all we can do is stop them.”
Tennessee Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) tweeted:
“3 of 4 are American born and the other is a citizen. They are all ‘more’ American than 2 of Trumps wives (he seems partial to foreign women) and his grandparents.” Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, was born in then Czechoslovakia, and the president’s wife, Melania, immigrated to the United States. Melania Trump immigrated from Slovenia in 1996 for a modeling career. Trump’s grandparents and his mother were born in Europe.
TRUMP’S “NO TOLERANCE POLICY” STILL STANDS AS BEST EXAMPLE OF HIS RACISM
On July 13, 2019 Vice President Mike Pence toured the overcrowded facility in McAllen, Texas and saw firsthand the abhorrent conditions the detained migrants are enduring in the United States. The images of around 384 men kept behind metal fences in the hot facility where they do not have any mats or pillows have been shown on news casts. The images reflect that even if the men wanted to sleep on the concrete floor it would be impossible for all of them to lie down at the same time.
The overwhelming stench in the facility has been reported as so bad that ICE agents and visitors have to wear face masks. ICE agents at the scene acknowledged that many of the men had not showered for 10 to 20 days because there were no actual showers at the facility until recently. It was reported that many of the men being held at the facility have been there for at least 32 days or more.
Before taking the tour, Vice President Pence claimed that reports of detainees being kept in filthy conditions were “slanderous.” After visiting the facility, he changed his tune and said he wasn’t shocked by the horrific scene and was quoted as saying:
“To be honest with you, I was not surprised by what we saw. … This crisis is real, the time for action is now. … The McAllen station, where our cells are overflowing … ought to be a very clear message to every American that the time for action is now and the time for Congress to act to end the flow of families that are coming north from Central America to our border is now”.
Pence did say the overcrowded facility in McAllen, Texas was not acceptable. Pence also said it was the fault of Democrats in Congress who have refused to provide additional funding for the border not at all accepting the fact it is a crisis created by President Trump.
When a any person, a United States Citizens or not, is arrested and taken into custody, or for that matter convicted of any crime and sentenced to prison, by law they become wards of the government and they all must be properly housed, fed, protected from harm and medical care provided which is all paid for by the taxpayer. Over the years, millions have been paid out in civil rights lawsuits over prison overcrowding, poor conditions and correction officer mistreatment, including rapes and physical abuse. New Mexico and Bernalillo County have be subject to those very types of lawsuits costing taxpayers millions. It may be a crime to be here illegally, but once the migrants were taken into custody by ICE and placed in the McAllen, Texas facility, they became wards of the United State government entitled to safe and proper housing, to be fed, protected from harm and medical care.
What is happening at the border with the incarceration of those seeking asylum is nothing more than a “reincarnation” of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy he announced last year that arrested and prosecuted people coming into the United States illegally and forcibly separating children from their parents at the Mexican border. Cage like “chain link” enclosures and tents were erected to house the children.
Initially, President Trump dug in his heels over his controversial “zero-tolerance” policy. Mr. Trump pointed to Europe, which he said had become a “migrant camp,” and said that would not happen to the United States under his leadership. Speaking at the White House last year Trump said:
“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. You look at what’s happening in Europe, and in other places, we cannot allow that to happen. Not on my watch.”
At last year’s Nevada GOP state party convention, Trump reiterated some of his most vile rhetoric about migrants and asylum seekers from Central and South America when he said:
“The word is ‘overrun.’ We will have millions and millions of people pouring through our country and all the problems that would cause with crime and schools. … If they see any weakness, they will come by the millions.”
Trump elaborated on his plans for cracking down on people fleeing their home countries to enter the United States relying on fear mongering about gang violence from groups like MS-13 when he said:
“These are sick evil people. … I called them animals and people said ‘that’s a terrible thing to say.’ Nancy Pelosi said that’s a terrible thing to say. She was defending MS-13.” Apparently in Trump’s sick and warped mind, over 2,500 children separated from their parents are sick and evil people who are all MS-13 gang members.
After immense bipartisan pressure and public outcry, Trump abruptly reversed himself and signed an executive order halting his disgraceful policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border. Just four days after reversing himself and issuing an executive order, Trump again took to bashing migrants seeking asylum with their children on twitter:
“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents. Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!”
Trump has never differentiated between people who entered the United States to seek asylum and illegal immigrants. U.S. immigration law provides certain rights for undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In most cases, they are allowed a full hearing before an immigration judge before being deported. The first conviction for entering the United States illegally is a misdemeanor and a second offense is a felony.
You can review a history of Trump’s racism in the postscript to this blog article.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
President Donald Trump is a racist pure, plain and simple, even against American born citizens and elected United Sates Representatives born and raised in the United States and elected by United States citizens. The Republicans in Congress even refuse to admit it in the hopes of clinging to power. Not a single Republican elected to congress has condemned the President’s obviously racists tweets against 4 of their colleagues in the United State Congress.
Trump’s biggest legacy as President of the United State will be his disgraceful “scar of racism” he likes to show off for all the world to see. Trump enjoys showing his racism to his most fervent defenders who no doubt have no problem with it. Trump also stands for what the Republican Party has become.
Trump needs to be dumped in the garbage of history as the United States first duly elected racist dictator, the sooner the better. At this point, it is not likely he will be removed from office by impeachment or resignation, unless of course former Special Counsel Robert Mueller says when he testifies before congress in a few weeks that Trump did in fact commit crimes, but he could not indict him as a sitting President. Mueller would also have to tell congress point blank that Trump needs to be impeached and removed from office. Otherwise, this country will have at least another year of Trump’s racist version of “Making America Great Again”.
It is suggested that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. , Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass produce certified copies of their birth certificates, roll them up and deliver them to the White House and tell Trump to file the documents where the sun don’t shine. In the meantime, all 4 of the Squad and all American citizens need to recognize our real enemy, the enemy of Democracy and what this country stands for sits in the Oval Office of the White House and not in the Speaker’s Chair in the United States Congress. Otherwise we can look forward to having another four more years of a racist President hell bent on “Making America White Again” (MAWA).
TRUMP’S HISTORY OF RACISM
President Trump’s racism dates back to 1973 when his housing management company was the target of a Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division civil lawsuit over allegations that he and his father as real estate developers were keeping black and Puerto Rican people out of their apartments.
It was in 1989 that Donald Trump purchased newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” four black men and one Latino man accused of rape who were later exonerated by DNA evidence and released after being exonerated as not committing the crime. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump still insisted the “Central Park Five” were guilty.
For at least eight (8) years, Donald Trump was front an center of the “birther movement” and questioned former President Barack Obama’s American citizenship thereby questioning Obama’s legitimacy as President of the United States. In 2011, Trump called on President Obama to release his birth certificate and went as far as to offer to give $5 million to one of Obama’s charity of choice if he released his college records and passport.
In 2015 when Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency, he said “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”
During the Presidential election, Trump said “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
In May 2016 during the presidential campaign, Trump suggested United States Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born and raised in the United States and who oversaw the class action lawsuit against Trump University, was biased against Trump due to his “Mexican” heritage claiming American born Curiel was from Mexico.
During a campaign stop, Trump looked over a crowd and ask out loud to the crowd of supporters “where’s my African American” as if to show he had support of African Americans.
On January 27, 2017, just seven days after being sworn in as President, January Donald Trump signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries arguing it was needed to combat terrorism. The move sparked numerous protests and legal challenges.
In August 2017, after a 20-year-old white man drove his car into a crowd at a white nationalist rally in Charlotesville, Virginia, killing one anti-racist protester and injuring 19 others, President Trump said that there was “blame on both sides” regarding the deadly violence that was instigated by white supremacists.
President Trump during a ceremony in the White House to honor the World War II Navajo Code talkers, one from New Mexico, took the opportunity to call Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”.
During the football season, Trump proclaimed that professional football players, who were predominantly African American and who “took a knee” during the national anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans should be fired.
The New York Times reported in December, 2017 that President Trump said in a June meeting about immigration that Haitians “all have AIDS”, a statement denied by the White House.
On December 24, 2017, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump described Nigerians as people living in huts and that they would not want to return to them. He reportedly said 40,000 had come from Nigeria and would never “go back to their huts” once they had seen America.