A scathing editorial in the major newspaper in a state Donald Trump won in the last presidential election flatly called him a “racist” and asked Republicans if they’re good with that.
North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer bashed Trump for his tweets Sunday targeting four Democratic congresswomen of color, telling them to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three of the four — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — were born in America. Rep Ilhan Omar of Minnesota moved to the U.S. as a child with her parents from Somalia and became a U.S. citizen.
“‘Go back where you came from’ is among the worst of racist tropes. It divides us by ethnicity and skin color. It says that even if someone is a citizen or legal immigrant, they are not part of the rest of us,” The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board said Monday. “That runs contrary to who we should be as Americans, and if Donald Trump didn’t know it when he typed the words, he surely did later when people responded with appropriate outrage.”
But the “same president who referred to Haiti and African nations as ‘shithole countries’ and said African visitors would never ‘go back to their huts’ once again doubled down on his racism,” the newspaper added.
The Observer called on the state’s Republicans in Congress to challenge Trump on his racism, including North Carolina’s most senior leaders, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for reelection.
Trump beat Democratic presidential rival Hilary Clinton in the state in 2016 by a 3.6 percentage point margin. But African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans make up more than a third of the state’s population and could be reluctant to back him for reelection next year.
The paper declared that the Republican Party is “firmly Donald Trump’s party now. It’s the party where insults and other ugliness are just being ‘rough around the edges,’” the Observer noted. “It’s the party where locking legal migrants in crowded, unhealthy cages is acceptable immigration policy. It’s the party where it’s OK to say racist things so long as the next jobs report is encouraging.”
Now, the newspaper said, GOP lawmakers, including those of North Carolina, are “bowing to the worst of who we are.”