Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

— AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

One can only venture a guess how President Donald Trump’s xenophobic tweets directed at four freshman congresswomen of color over the weekend were received by his base, but I’m pretty certain that many of them heard something along these lines:

“Go back to the s--thole countries you came from. And just like that secret Muslim who stole the election twice, you probably never showed your birth certificate when Trump demanded it of you. And how dare you raise your voice disrespectfully against Nancy Pelosi, a white woman? Don’t you know your place?”

In a tweet rage Sunday morning more befitting a Ku Klux Klansman than a sitting president in 2019, Trump tweeted that Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

The trouble with this, of course, is that these women are all American citizens.

Three of them were born here — Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Pressley was born in Cincinnatti and Tlaib is from Detroit.

Omar wasn’t born on American soil. She came here as a child as her family fled war-torn Somalia, so her story of immigration in search of a better life in the states is quintessentially American, much more so than Trump’s, who had a wealthy father around to hold his hand and drop millions in inheritance into his lap.

Trump has demonstrated time and again through his words that he is an unrepentant racist, and for this reason alone he should have created a block of voters who will not, under any circumstances, vote for him.

If you are a football player exercising your First Amendment rights by taking a knee in protest of the shooting of unarmed Black men, Trump sees “a son of a b--ch.” If you are Mexican judge presiding over whether or not Trump’s fraudulent Trump University bilked people of millions, you can’t be fair because you are “Mexican.” And if you are one of three Black women journalists asking Trump legitimate questions you are either a “loser” or asking a “stupid” or “racist” question.

His silence on other race-related issues resonates as loudly as his does his ignorant boisterousness. Trump was predictably silent last week after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, signed a proclamation to recognize the state’s decision to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general, slaver and the first grand wizard of the KKK with a day in his honor.

Trump’s latest racist proclamation should be the final straw for any person of color who might somehow have been sitting on the fence and considering voting for him in 2020.

I can only speak for African Americans, but at this point, after everything he has uttered demonstrating his disdain and contempt for Blacks, there is nothing that can justify any Black person voting for him under any circumstances. In fact, his vitriol should have the opposite effect and bring folks sprinting to the polls next year to make sure he is a one-term president.

It is impossible to hear his boasting of record low Black unemployment, not just because it has been trending downward since Barack Obama was president and he hasn’t bungled things, but because his never-ending effort to snatch away the dignity of people who he sees as “others” is never far behind.

There are millions of single-issue voters out there and that is their prerogative. The example that comes most readily to mind is the pro-life Evangelicals. If a presidential candidate sides with the law of the land, and he or she so much as suggests women should have final say on their reproductive rights, they can kiss that group of voters goodbye.

Following this latest display of unbridled hatred and disrespect for people of color, Trump has demonstrated for the umpteenth time that he simply has no use for them. And for this reason alone, next November people of color should return the favor.

John N. Mitchell has worked as a journalist for more than a quarter century. He can be reached at and Tweet at @freejohnmitchel.

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