Are President Trump's Tweets about 'Progressive Democrat Congresswomen' Racist? Christians, Political Analysts Weigh-in

Lori Arnold | Contributor | Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Are President Trump's Tweets about 'Progressive Democrat Congresswomen' Racist? Christians, Political Analysts Weigh-in

Are President Trump's Tweets about 'Progressive Democrat Congresswomen' Racist? Christians, Political Analysts Weigh-in

A weekend tweet from President Donald Trump in which he targeted "progressive Democrat congresswomen" by telling them to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," has drawn backlash within the Christian community.

“Whew. Racists love that ‘go back to Africa’ line even though many of us have been here for 5+ generations. Then turn around and want sympathy because their grandparents had it *so hard* when they came,” tweeted author Austin Channing Brown, whose writings explore racial justice, faith and black womanhood. In addition to books, Austin writes for Sojourners Magazine and Relevant Magazine.

Although Trump did not specifically name whom he was targeting in the tweet it is believed he was going after four freshmen representatives, known as the Squad, who have been critical of his presidency and have called for his impeachment. Trump has previously taken them to task for their socialist policy proposals including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. They are New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib. Only Omar was born outside of the U.S. She immigrated to the United States from Somalia at age 12. 

The Sunday tweet was just the first in a series, which prompted a terse response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, until Trump’s Sunday tweet, was embroiled in her own public squabble with Ocasio-Cortez, who made a veiled comment last week suggesting that Pelosi herself was racist. Trump’s latest tweet controversy has appeared to reunite the Democrats. 

“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” Pelosi tweeted

On Monday, the congresswomen held a news conference that further fueled the issue by again alleging a “white nationalist” agenda and repeating calls for his impeachment, the Daily Caller Reports

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Rev. William Barber, senior pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, called Trump’s actions un-American.

"He likes to other-ize people and point to them as being the problem," Barber said. "What he's doing is ugly and vile and un-American and not new. The rhetoric is cover for racist policy."

Others simply tweeted out timely messages on racism without specifically mentioning Trump or the congresswomen. Nonetheless, many are speculating that these tweets are in response to the President's tweets. 

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, retweeted a quote by Rebecca McLaughlin, an author and regular writer for The Gospel Coalition.

“The NT is one of the most emphatically anti-racist texts ever written... Read it, and you will find that trying to marry Christianity to white-centric nationalism is like trying to marry a cat to a mouse: one is designed to hunt the other, not mate with it. - @RebeccMcLaugh”

O. Alan Noble, assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, challenged elected officials.

“If you are not willing to lose your elected position for doing the right thing then you have no business being in politics,” Noble said.

Michael Brown of the Line of Fire Christian radio program, lamented Trump’s tweets as inappropriate, but argued they weren't racist.

"America has opened the door to people like Ilhan Omar, whose family escaped from the h***hole that Somalia has become. And America has given Omar and other immigrants like her incredible opportunities to succeed and flourish," Brown was quoted as saying by the Christian Post.

"In Trump’s perception, Omar and her political colleagues are biting the hand that feeds them, showing ungratefulness rather than appreciation and criticism rather than gratitude."

He went on to comment on a portion of Trump’s tweet that was not included in much of the media’s coverage by saying "a racist would not say, 'Then come back here once you help fix these other countries.'"

"If America is so terrible and you have the solutions, then go improve these other countries that are in such terrible shape. And once you’ve transformed those nations, then by all means, get back over here and show us a better way."

Sr. Political Analyst for Fox News Brit Hume echoed Brown’s sentiments writing on Twitter, “Trump’s ‘go back’ comments were nativist, xenophobic, counterfactul (sic) and politically stupid. But they simply do not meet the standard definition of racist, a word so recklessly flung around these days that its actual meaning is being lost.”

Photo courtesy: Win McNamee/Staff/Getty Images

Are President Trump's Tweets about 'Progressive Democrat Congresswomen' Racist? Christians, Political Analysts Weigh-in