President Donald Trump this week mocked one of his Hispanic supporters during a campaign rally by claiming that he looked white and then asking him, "Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?"
In an interview with ABC News, Republican consultant Mike Madrid slammed Trump and said his remarks made it sound like he was trying to make "a distinction between Hispanics and true Americans."
Madrid added that the president seems to believe that Hispanics must renounce their heritage in order to be truly accepted as American citizens.
"Hispanics are demonstrably second-class citizens in the eyes of this president," he said. "These are both textbook definitions of racism."
Melissa Michelson, a political scientist at Menlo College in California and former president of the Latino caucus of the American Political Science Association, similarly told ABC News that Trump is creating a "false choice" by telling people they have to be either Hispanics or Americans.
"A vast majority of Latinos in the United States have strong identities both as Americans, and as Latinos or as Hispanics," she said, and then went on to say Trump was just delivering "the same message as always, which is that the loyalty to America of people of color is questionable."