With the 2018 midterm elections, the U.S. Congress gained many history-making members of Congress. And over the past few months, four of these new legislators—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley—have made headlines for their progressive policies and their challenges to President Donald Trump. Unfortunately, they have also been the targets of ire from both conservatives and moderate Democrats. On July 14th, Trump himself attacked these four freshman congresswomen in a series of blatantly racist tweets.
Trump’s tweets came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the four lawmakers—known as “The Squad”—in a recent New York Times article. Although three of the four legislators were born in the U.S., the president wrote that they came from “countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.” He added that these four American citizens should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Since then, Insider notes that Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff has been among those defending Trump’s comments as not racist, despite the fact that people of color who advocate for racial equality and progressive policies are often told to “go back to where they come from.”
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries 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), now loudly......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
....it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
The Squad quickly fired back at Trump. Pressley shared a screenshot of the president’s comments, rebuking them as racist and pledging to fight for marginalized people.
THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday. pic.twitter.com/vYzoxCgN0X— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) July 14, 2019
Omar tweeted that she and her three colleagues are fighting to protect America “from the worst, most corrupt, and inept president we have ever seen.”
Mr. President,— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 14, 2019
As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.
Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen. https://t.co/FBygHa2QTt
You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 14, 2019
“America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.” -RFK
Tlaib emphasized the many ways she has served the country and her constituents. For good measure, she taunted Trump by tweeting that he will “be out of the WH soon.”
Yo @realDonaldTrump, I am fighting corruption in OUR country. I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a U.S. Congresswoman. Detroit taught me how to fight for the communities you continue to degrade & attack. Keep talking, you’ll be out of the WH soon. #TickTock— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 14, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, who has a reputation for her flawless social media clapbacks, pointed out, “the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.”
Mr. President, the country I “come from,” & the country we all swear to, is the United States.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019
But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet. https://t.co/HLKQCotR8T
You are angry because you don’t believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected @IlhanMN, where @RashidaTlaib fights for Michigan families, where @AyannaPressley champions little girls in Boston.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019
You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019
You won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it.
Yet here we are.
But you know what’s the rub of it all, Mr. President?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019
On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you,either.
You can’t accept that we will call your bluff & offer a positive vision for this country. And that’s what makes you seethe.
Trump’s comments about these lawmakers are absolutely unacceptable. We’re glad to see these four congresswomen standing up to him, and we hope that they continue to work toward a more equal country.