The ongoing battle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the progressive freshman legislators known as “the Squad” reached its climax on Sunday, when our dear old president decided to weigh in on the dispute. He did so by telling the four women of color to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
This was an extremely obvious act of racism, and Trump’s targets wasted little time in reacting. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, perhaps the most visible member of the Squad and a woman of Puerto Rican heritage, was the first to fire back after the remarks with a defiant Twitter thread.
Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar also responded.
“I never use the word you used—president—to describe [Trump],” Pressley told the Globe. “I refer to him as ‘the occupant.’ He simply occupies the space. He embodies zero of the qualities and the principles, the responsibility, the grace, the integrity, the compassion, of someone who would truly embody that office. It’s just another day in the world under this administration.”
Other legislators came out in defense of the congresswomen, even, ironically, Pelosi herself.
Others put out more strongly worded statements condemning the comments.
Republicans, unsurprisingly, largely refused to respond.
“You’re going to have to ask the president what he means by those specific tweets,” acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan said when asked about the comments on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Trump, of course, was all too happy to reiterate the attack.
But Pressley and her colleagues seemed remarkably unbothered by the never-ending shitshow. She told the Globe that her vision of her and her colleagues role is an inclusive one.
“‘The Squad’ is big,” she told the Globe. “If you share the values and believe in working for a more equitable and just world, you are part of ‘The Squad.’ ”