Racism won’t die

Last week wiped out any doubt– racism is alive and thriving in the United States

It didn’t help that the previous week the government had promised massive immigration raids in 10 major cities that it failed to pull off.

Or that Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leaders decided to have a photo op showing them surveying cages of immigrants and then declared that the crisis was the result of the “overwhelming of the system”–a system which this administration had devised.

And it certainly didn’t help that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told members of Congress that separating migrant children from their parents is so rare that only 1,000 were forcibly taken in the last nine months.

And half the Republicans in the Idaho House–including Canyon County’s Tammy Nichols and Brent Crane–added their two bits by criticizing new Boise State University programs aimed at increasing diversity on campus.

But all that qualifies as “business as usual” during this administration.

Not so for President Donald Trump’s four-part tweet complaining that “‘Progressive” Democrat(ic) Congresswomen who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” are “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.”

Hundreds of people at a Trump rally in North Carolina got the message. While Trump was attacking Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the crowd chanted “send her back.”

Trump initially claimed to have tried to stop the chant, but videos proved otherwise–so he doubled down. The chanters were “true patriots” and It was terrible for a Congresswoman to “hate” the United States–and Israel.

A line was crossed.

Jewish leader Jonathan Greenblatt wrote, “The president is echoing the racist talking points of what nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on this remarks.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the chanting “hurtful, wrong, and completely unacceptable.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she “felt solidarity” with the women attacked.

American pundits were less reserved.

“The cruelty and the racism is the feature display for Trump’s base,” said one.

“What Republicans have learned over the last three years is what Trump knew all along: Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and plain old hate sell. And they’re all becoming his salesmen,” said another.

“So, yes, white-centered racism is now the mainstream ideology of the GOP. For every Republican in the country, there’s nothing you can do to blur this. You either leave the party, or you have endorsed it,” said another.

And it hurts to know that many Idahoans continue to support the President’s actions. Many could not hear a crying child without comforting him or her. Many would not think of saying a harsh word to a person of color.

Yet, they find this administration’s attack on four brown women–legal citizens who represent hundreds of thousands of voters– acceptable.

Trump says they “hate America” because they find fault with this country..

But that’s what politicians, including Trump, do. They point out problems and promote solutions.

These women see low wages, unaffordable health care, limited educational opportunities, powerful lobbyists, and, yes, people in cages, as problems. The solutions they support, though far left of Joe Biden’s, are in line with those of Bernie Sanders.

Yet, Trump saw branding the Democratic party as supporting outspoken brown women as a way to increase his power–and he took it.

How sad for our nation if he’s right.

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2019