PIERS MORGAN: AOC and her super-woke socialist Squad may be very irritating, Mr President, but they’re also as American as you and to suggest otherwise is racist
England became World Champions at cricket for the first time yesterday, with the most diverse team in its history.
The side included players born in South Africa, New Zealand and Barbados, and two Muslim men of Pakistani heritage.
Yet the one thing that unites them, apart from a rare talent at a game Americans fortunately find too baffling to take up, is that they’re all English.
And for anyone to suggest otherwise would be racist, right?
It would mean a bigoted refusal to accept that someone born outside of a country, or whose family was born outside of a country, could ever be considered to have the nationality of that country.
The victorious England cricket team – pictures yesterday with their hard-won World Cup – is a very diverse group of men who all proudly represent THEIR country, England
But as England joyously celebrated the wonderfully multi-cultural group of men who had instilled such pride in THEIR country, President Donald Trump hit a very different tone towards a group of his fellow Americans.
He posted three extraordinarily offensive tweets about four Democrat Congresswomen known in Washington as ‘The Squad’.
They are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachussets.
Their common denominator, other than being young, female, vocal (especially against Trump) and politically left leaning, is that none of them is white.
Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent. Pressley, who is black, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants. Omar is a refugee from Somalia.
So three of them were born in the U.S. and one was born outside.
But all four of them are legal U.S. citizens.
In other words, they’re all Americans.
In fact, they’re as American, and as entitled to live in America, as Donald Trump.
Lest we forget, Trump’s own grandfather Friedrich Trump was born in Germany and emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager.
The women Trump was targeting are ALL Americans: Ocasio-Cortez (top left) was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent. Pressley (bottom right), who is black, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. Tlaib (bottom left) was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants. Omar (top right) is a refugee from Somalia.
That’s how the Trumps came to be in America, and that’s how Donald was able to become President of the United States.
Now, if you ask him, I’m sure Donald will tell you he’s the most American of any Americans you’ve ever met, despite his grandfather coming from German and his mother being Scottish.
Yet if you ask him about The Squad, you’ll get a very different answer.
In his tweets yesterday, Trump said the following: ‘So interesting to see “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen” who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all) 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. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need you help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!’
Trump’s anger at these women was driven by their undeniable visceral hatred of everything he says and does.
They’re all super-woke liberals who live, breathe and spew a ferociously politically correct agenda that I too find extremely irritating.
Trump’s controversial tweet sparked outrage across the political spectrum for using racially inflammatory language
AOC, unofficial leader of The Squad, regularly spouts outrageous virtue-signalling socialist claptrap and viciously partisan anti-Trump abuse that makes my skin crawl.
But here’s the thing: she, like the other three Congresswomen, enjoys an absolute right to do so under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because she’s an American citizen.
That’s the real power of a great democracy: freedom to say what you want, when you want, about what you want.
So when President Trump tells them all to ‘go back’ to ‘places from which they came’, he’s inferring that somehow they’re not real Americans, or certainly not as American as he is.
And that, whichever way you try to spin it, is a racist sentiment.
From my 13 years of knowing him, I don’t believe Donald Trump is a racist.
But I do think he is far too casual with his language, and says stuff that has unsavory racist overtones – like his ‘Mexico.. is bringing their rapists’ jibe back in 2015 and his ‘good people on both sides’ nonsense when white supremacists marched in Charlottesville.
In both examples, as with this latest one, I can see the point Trump was clumsily trying to make.
But he didn’t properly consider how to make those points without veering into careless, insensitive, racist-sounding phraseology that will inevitably fuel and empower genuine racists.
And that’s just unacceptable.
Understandably, outrage erupted over his comments from many senior Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raged that this proved Trump’s slogan ‘Making America Great Again’ “has always been about making America white again.”
Senator Cory Booker, a black presidential candidate for 2020, said simply: ‘We’ve heard this our whole lives. Now we hear it from the Oval Office.’
Another candidate, Joaquin Castro, tweeted: ‘They’re Americans. You’re a bigot.’
Trump predictably doubled down, tweeting last night: ‘So sad to see Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion…their disgusting language and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged.’
Yet the truth is his own language was disgusting.
Trump has not backed away from his original tweets, and even took to the social media platform again later on Sunday to double down on them
And from a political standpoint, it was also totally self-defeating.
The Squad gleefully seized on his ‘go back’ remarks to go on the attack.
‘You are stoking white nationalism,’ accused Omar. ‘You are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.’
Pressley posted a screenshot of Trump’s tweets and said: ‘THIS is what racism looks like.’
Tlaib said: ‘Keep talking, you just make me work harder. I’m proud of my Palestinian roots and a WEAK bully like you never wins.’
Ocasio-Cortez retorted: ‘Mr President, the country I “come from” and the country we all swear to, is the United States.’
The supreme irony of all this is that until Trump’s tweets, the Democrats were eating themselves alive and accusing each other of racism.
Last week, Ocasio-Cortez sensationally charged Pelosi with ‘explicity singling out newly elected women of color’ after the Speaker criticised The Squad for their far-left proposals on issues like health care and the environment.
Trump questioning the nationality of these woman demeans him as President and he owes them an apology
Pelosi even suffered the grotesque indignity of Trump mischievously defending her and saying she was not a racist.
Now, just when there seemed to be a potentially election-ruinous chasm developing between the old and new guard of the Democrats, with alleged racism at the heart of it, Trump’s managed to reunite them against their preferred common enemy: him.
So this was very bad politics.
But worse than that, it was very bad rhetoric.
In fact, let’s call it exactly what it was: very bad racist rhetoric.
Trump’s ‘go back’ attack on The Squad may play well with his base, which probably views AOC and her colleagues with the exact same disdain as he does.
But it demeans him as President to utter it, and it demeans the office of the Presidency too.
You owe these four American women an apology, Mr President.