Considering Donald Trump’s continuous attacks against people of color and his despicably racist tirades—in both verbal statements and written comments on Twitter—it’s impossible to remain silent.
Even before Trump published yet another
racist Twitter thread on Saturday targeting House Oversight Committee Chairman
Elijah Cummings while watching Fox News, 149 African Americans who served in
the Obama administration had signed
an Op-Ed in The Washington Post condemning Trump’s racism and his
administration’s undermining of democracy.
The Op-Ed is aptly titled “We are African Americans, we are patriots, and we refuse to sit idly by.”
The list of co-authors is extensive, ranging from former policy advisers
to agency chiefs of staff to legal counsel.
The column specifically addresses Trump’s racist comments earlier this month, in which he told
Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from
which they came.”
Later that week at a rally
in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump supporters chanted “Send her back!”
for 13 long seconds when Trump began attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the four
women—who are all U.S. citizens and elected officials—the president had told to
go back to their own countries.
“We stand with congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, as well as all those currently
under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers,
who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not,” the former
Obama administration staffers wrote. “There is truly nothing more un-American
than calling on fellow citizens to leave our country — by citing their
immigrant roots, or ancestry, or their unwillingness to sit in quiet obedience
while democracy is being undermined.”
They added: “We are proud descendants of immigrants,
refugees and the enslaved Africans who built this country while enduring the
horrors of its original sin. We stand on the soil they tilled, and march in the
streets they helped to pave. We are red-blooded Americans, we are patriots, and
we have plenty to say about the direction this country is headed. We decry
voter suppression. We demand equitable access to health care, housing, quality
schools and employment. We welcome new Americans with dignity and open arms.
And we will never stop fighting for the overhaul of a criminal-justice system
with racist foundations.”
Former President Barack Obama shared the
Op-Ed on Twitter, writing, “I’ve always been proud of what this team
accomplished during my administration. But more than what we did, I’m proud of
how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better.”
In both the attacks against the four congresswomen and the
latest against Cummings, Trump used the word “infested.” The president referred
to Cummings’ 7th District in Maryland, which is 53% black, as a “disgusting,
rat and rodent infested mess.” Regarding the congresswomen, he referred to “the totally broken and crime infested places
from which they came.”
In an emotional segment on CNN on Saturday, Victor
Blackwell, who is from Baltimore, highlighted Trump’s use of the word
“infested” whenever he attacks people of color.
“‘Infested’—that’s usually reserved for references to
rodents and insects, but we’ve seen the president invoke infestation to
criticize lawmakers before,” Blackwell said. “You see a pattern here?”
He added: “Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times.
He’s insulted thousands of people, many different types of people, but when he
tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people.”
In the Post Op-Ed,
the former Obama officials wrote, “We refuse to sit idly by as racism,
sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected
official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy.”
They ended with a promise: “Expect to hear more from us. We
plan to leave this country better than we found it. This is our home.”
After all of this, Trump, who never apologizes, doubled down.
“Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through
‘Oversight.’ He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly
run district!” he