Opinion

President Trump’s ‘go back’ comments aren’t moving us forward

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio on Aug. 1. The Cincinnati rally is one of many Make America Great Again rallies that Trump has planned around the country.
President Donald J. Trump speaks during a rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio on Aug. 1. The Cincinnati rally is one of many Make America Great Again rallies that Trump has planned around the country. Agencia EFE

This nation’s morals were deeply shaken last week by one of those tweets by President Donald J. Trump that demanded four women serving their country in Congress – all of them women of color, and three of them born in the U.S. – should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Unless you have been told to “go back to your country” by folks who assume you weren’t born in this country, you can’t feel the hurt, shame and shock that the president’s words represent. The president’s words are what I used to absorb on the playground.

Those words, shockingly, are being used by a president who should be a uniter-in-chief, not some playground bully.

And, if you’re Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley or Rashida Tlaib, you won’t get deluged by hateful rhetoric and threats. The women responded by calling attention to the president’s policies.

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” said Pressley, who represents a district in Massachusetts.

There are some – Republican support for Trump rose following his tweets – who love the president for tweeting such remarks.

vida editor esparza loera

But the president has been a Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to speaking to the nation.

Here are the president’s video remarks made to the newest Americans at their naturalization ceremony, along some of his other remarks. The citizenship words are italicized.

“My dear fellow American: It is with great pride that I welcome you into the American family. No matter where you come from, or what faith you practice, this country is now your country. Our history is now your history. And our traditions are now your traditions.”

Campaign kickoff speech, June 2015: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. 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 bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

“You enjoy the full rights, and the sacred duties, that come with American citizenship — very, very special. There is no higher honor, there is no greater responsibility. You now share the obligation to teach our values to others, to help newcomers assimilate to our way of life, and uplift America by living according to its highest ideals of self-governance and its highest standards.”

Interview in June 2016 about federal judge Gonzalo Curiel: “He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he's got bias. I want to build a wall. I'm going to build a wall. I'm doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans, I'm doing very well with them, in my opinion.”

“All Americans are your brothers and sisters. And each of us must do our part to keep America safe, strong and free. America is our home, we have no other. You have pledged allegiance to America. And when you give your love and loyalty to America, she returns her love and loyalty to you.”

May 2018 television interview: “You have to stand proudly for national anthem, or shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there,” Trump added. “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. And the NFL owners did the right thing.”

“We share one American heart — and one American destiny. It is a destiny filled with love, opportunity and hope.”

June 2019 campaign event in Florida: “No one who supports sanctuary cities should be allowed to run for president of the United States. Sanctuary cities are an open attack on American law enforcement and American families.”

“We celebrate this day. We welcome you into our national family. We applaud your devotion to America. And we embrace the wonderful future we will have together. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”

Juan Esparza Loera has been editor of Vida en el Valle since it was first published in August 2019. Send comments, questions or suggestions to: jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

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