Republicans need to call out racist in chief
If there was any doubt remaining, with his latest comments Donald Trump has made it clear he is a racist and unfit for the office of president. Republicans — at all levels of government — who continue to back him, who choose not to speak out against Trump’s repugnant behavior, do so at their own peril.
The vast majority of Americans are fair minded. They know what they are seeing is wrong and does not represent the values of this nation and its free people. If Republicans to do not disavow Trump as the leader of their party and make it clear he does not represent what they stand for, voters will punish them at the ballot box.
It may already be too late.
The discussions this past week concerning immigration have displayed the confused Trump, the insincere Trump and the prejudiced Trump.
On Tuesday the president convened a bipartisan group of more than two dozen members of the House and Senate to discuss, in front of cameras, a possible resolution of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stalemate. President Obama initiated the program to protect from deportation 700,000 young immigrants, brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It has allowed these individuals to pursue higher educations and jobs.
They enrolled in the program, giving their names to the government. They will be easy to find. Trump has said he will end their protections in March without congressional action he can support.
When Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, speaking in clear language, suggested that Congress first pass “a clean DACA bill” and then move on to comprehensive immigration reform, Trump jumped aboard.
“I have no problem. I think that’s basically what (Democratic Sen.) Dick (Durbin) is saying. We’re going to come up with DACA. We’re going to do DACA, and then we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive,” said the president.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy quickly corrected the seemingly befuddled Trump that this was not the position of the president or his fellow Republicans. They demand improved border security and other measures in return for providing protection to the Dreamers.
And so it went, with the president at one point really drilling down into the specifics. “It should be a bill of love,” he said.
Trump then concluded with a complete abdication of leadership.
“My positions are going to be what the people in the room come up with,” he said.
By Thursday, Trump showed he had a racially and ethnically selective idea of love.
That is when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., met with the president to discuss a potential compromise. It would extend the protection for the DACA “Dreamers,” but bar them from sponsoring their parents for citizenship, while allocating $2.7 billion to enhance border security.
It was when Trump learned that the deal would also maintain visas for individuals living here under Temporary Protected Status, including thousands of Haitians and people from African nations, that he turned ugly, Durbin has confirmed.
“Why would we want people from Haiti here?” he demanded, and “all these people from shithole countries?”
His preference, he said, would be more people from places like Norway.
To sum up, our president would embrace “a bill of love” that allows entry to Nordic people but deters entry or continued residency of people from poorer nations, which also happen to be predominately black nations. That sounds like institutionalized racism.
An effort by the White House to clarify matters was arguably eviler in its cold-blooded calculation.
“Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation,” read the White House statement.
Trump had made it clear whom he thinks can contribute and assimilate.
Given that he bragged last month of “bringing Christmas back,” it might be appropriate for Trump to consider the admonishment of the Ghost of Christmas Past in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The Ghost was referencing Tiny Tim, but the message is the same concerning the children and people of Haiti and the continent of Africa.
“It may be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.”
The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Pat Richardson, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, retired Day editor Lisa McGinley, Managing Editor Tim Cotter and Staff Writer Julia Bergman. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.
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