Trump's Racist Tweet Storm Attacking Democratic Women of Color Was Cruel and Unforgivable and Will Not Hurt Him At All Politically
The bar has been set so prohibitively high for terrible behavior when it comes to Donald Trump that it can seem difficult, if not impossible for any new unspeakable transgression to cross it. Sure, what Trump might have just said or done or tweeted might have seemed egregiously racist but is it as bigoted as spending years trying to discredit the first black president of the United States on the grounds that he’s an illegal imposter from Africa?
For that matter, can it measure up to the monster in the White House taking ads in New York papers begging for the death penalty to be brought back for the sake of the government killing black men accused of rape, then doggedly holding onto that view even after the Central Park 5 have been vindicated in every conceivable sense, legally, morally and otherwise?
Can whatever new racist thing Trump did, said or Tweeted compare to his kicking off his campaign for the highest office in the land with a speech about how Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists sending wave upon wave of brown-skinned criminals over the border?
Sure, Trump might have said and done something horrifically, transparently sexist, but can it possibly top being taped bragging to Billy Fucking Bush about how when you’re famous you can just grab women by the pussy, that they’ll let you do whatever you want from them if you’re a star?
Alternately, can whatever unforgivable thing new sin Trump committed compete with making fun of John McCain for the unforgivable crime of getting captured by the Vietnamese, then tortured over a period of years, then continuing to make fun of the widely beloved war hero even after he died one of the most revered politicians and leaders of the past fifty years?
Trump has gotten away with doing so many things that would single-handedly destroy not only the political careers of any other politician, but cause anyone else to be banished from polite society forever that it’s hard to see what could possibly hurt him with a base that seems to worship him as a man-God who can do no wrong, even when he’s clearly doing incredibly wrong.
Yet even by these standards Trump’s recent tweet storm essentially telling four women of color who have the audacity to publicly criticize him, a white Christian man, to go back to the worst, corrupt, inept countries they ostensibly came from and stop getting above their raisin’ and using their voices to bring about positive change in American society is particularly appalling. Even by Trump’s standards, this is is some unbelievably racist bullshit.
This is the President of the United States using social media to tell a democratically elected American citizen like Ilhan Omar to go back to Africa if she has a problem with the incredibly racist way he conducts himself. He’s telling AOC, who was born here, to go back to Puerto Rico. He’s telling Rashida Tlaib, who was also born here and as much a citizen and any other American, to go back to Palestine.
This is psychotic. This is racist. This is wrong. And Trump is almost assuredly going to get away with it the same way he gets away with everything else. It might even help him with his base since in these abysmal missives of hate he’s not only articulating but validating and justifying and giving legitimacy to every racist, sexist asshole who sees strong, empowered women of color like AOC speaking boldly and from a place of righteousness and wants to cut them down to size, to punish them for acting as if their lives and their viewpoints have as much value as those of white people.
These tweets aren’t going to hurt Trump in any real way any more than the creditable recent sexual assault accusation of E. Jean Carroll did. Trump’s apologists and defenders will trot out the same exhausted, cynical excuses and rationalizations they always cling to when Donald Trump does something new that no decent human being in good conscience could possibly condone.
Trump’s surrogates will laughably but successfully depict him as the wronged party in this skirmish, as someone innocently defending himself from vicious personal attacks. His racist, desperate online tantrum will be depicted as a show of strength from a political street-fighter who isn’t afraid to punch back viciously in defense of his beloved country. His surrogates will portray his actions as self-defense from someone who isn’t ashamed to be an American.
Though Trump insists that the countries these women of color’s families come from are hellholes “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)” and the American government is “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth”, saying in no uncertain terms that Trump’s fabled white, Christian United States is SUPERIOR to all other countries and races his followers will lazily insist that this has absolutely nothing to do with race, only immigration.
The phantom crimes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be invoked, as if the fact that Democrats formerly in power were compromised, imperfect figures justifies anything Trump could possibly do. Trump will be lauded for being “politically incorrect”, for saying the things we’re all supposed to be thinking but lack the courage to say out loud for fear of rightly being dubbed a virulent racist.
Trump will not apologize. He never apologizes. He’s more likely to go on the offensive, continuing to attack these women in explicitly racist, gender-based ways to the delight and support of a core that loves to see their own unapologetic racism reflected in the words and rhetoric of the most powerful man-baby on earth. He’ll reframe the debate so that the real offense will be these “unAmerican” women being insufficiently grateful to God’s own United States, not his own impossible to deny or ignore racism.
It won’t take us long to forget this latest insult to human decency. Trump will say or do something as bad or worse soon that will take its place in our collective memory.
We’re offended. We’re appalled. We’re indignant but we ultimately won’t do anything to hold Trump accountable for his hate-mongering and scapegoating. That reflects almost as badly on us as Trump’s nakedly racist, sexist rhetoric reflects upon him.
I wish I was I wrong about this. But I’m not. I never am. My cynicism is always justified and Trump’s presidency has given me more reasons to be deeply cynical about human nature and the American people than ever before.
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