On Tuesday, journalist Jamil Smith wrote a column scorching President Donald Trump’s attacks on “The Squad,” as an act of utmost bigotry — and narcissism.
“Trump would surely love to run against these four women in 2020 rather than an actual opponent, positioning them all as racial bogeymen,” wrote Smith. “It’s a royal flush for his racist campaign: two black women, including one who wears a hijab and is a Somali refugee; a boricua from the Bronx; and a first-generation Palestinian-American from Detroit.”
“Despite his Monday morning tweets complaining about the characterization of his tweets as ‘RACIST,’ the truth is that Trump reached into the Genesis chapter of the bigot’s bible when he essentially told two Congresswomen to go back to Africa, and told the other two to also ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,’ invalidating the citizenship of all four women on a whim,” continued Smith. “It was a white nationalist insult from a white nationalist.”
As Smith explained, Trump’s words were not just racist — they were supremely arrogant. The words of a man who believes the country he controls is perfect simply because he controls it.
“The country has thrived not in spite of a diversity of thought and culture, but because of it,” wrote Smith. “The Founders, who had slaveholders in their number, may not have intended this result. But it turns out that they made a country that actually requires multiculturalism to survive. More to the point, it requires challenge. America doesn’t move forward without being pushed.”
“But the aspiring strongman requires a different pledge of allegiance,” Smith continued. “This is a president who has done all he can to center the state in himself, masking his authoritarian impulse in the fog of his own incompetence. He and Republicans aren’t grasping for insults for these Congresswomen because they actually said something unpatriotic. These four House members merely disagree with Trump, who thinks of himself as the nation-state. As such, he is not a president who is looking for critical thinking from his constituents nor from his opposition. Yet critical thinking is precisely what we need in order to maximize what America can be.”
For many in the age of Trump, Smith concluded, “It is difficult to even perform the jingoistic stuff that we were taught as kids: the anthems, the salutes, the waving of the flags. But I hope that it has been easier in the Trump era for people to get out of bed to do the real work of patriots. There is no love for a country like those who have had to suffer and work for it, and those four Congresswomen all belong to groups that know what it is like to be told that this country does not belong to you. They are being told that lie, all for telling America, and the president who thinks he is America, the truth about themselves.”