President Trump has been chided for his suggestion: “go back home” and “go back to where you came from,” aimed at the four nonwhite congresswomen whom he has criticized as being “un-American” and “anti-Semitic.”
Trump’s racism obviously extends toward all the “others” in the land; after all, one of his strongest fans is the KKK’s David Duke. And now his racist rant against U.S. Rep. Cummings and others. One thought, however: if President Trump can reorient his “go back home” mantra toward the dispossessed Palestinians, he would not only follow UN resolutions, but also be applauded by much of the world.
More to the point, however; during the campaign, Trump also talked “un-American” (“bad, messy America”), and, presumably, he has now made America “great.” Looking forward, he expediently labels these Congresswomen as “anti-Semitic,” but his own similar views are well-known. However, there are numerous Jewish leaders who find Trump’s use of “anti-Semitism” as cover for his racism. U.S. Sen. Schatz (D-Hawaii) recently urged him not to “use Israel politics to obscure or excuse racism.” Rep. Phillips (D-Minn.) suggests Trump is “employing anti-Semitism as a political weapon” and it is “as dangerous as anti-Semitism itself.” Further, the Anti-Defamation League president condemned Trump’s “cynical” use of “Jews as a shield.”
To be sure, however, the “go back” suggestion is not new. Once, the Know-Nothings wanted Germans-Irish to go back. During the early 1800s, white preachers and politicians urged freed blacks to move to Africa. And once there were waves of nativist attacks on Catholics, Jews, Asians, and Hispanics — not uncommon in nearly every generation.
Personally, during our 50-plus years of living in the Palouse, rare snubs notwithstanding, there was overwhelming mutual affection and we were deeply immersed in the community.