Nearly 150 black Obama administration staffers penned an op-ed on Friday in support of freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar
(Minn.), as well as those “currently under attack by President Trump
“We stand with congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not,” the 148 African-American ex-staffers wrote in the Washington Post op-ed.
The group wrote that during their time in the Obama administration, they had seen firsthand the “relentless attacks” on the former president’s legitimacy.
“We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy,” they added.
The group urged local, state and federal lawmakers, as well as 2020 presidential candidates, to “articulate their policies and strategies for moving us forward as a strong democracy, through a racial-equity lens that prioritizes people over profit.”
“We understand our role in this democracy, and respect the promise of a nation built by, for and of immigrants,” they wrote. “We are part of that tradition, and have the strength to both respect our ancestors from faraway lands and the country we all call home.”
The op-ed comes weeks after Trump went on the attack against the Democratic women, telling each of them — all U.S. citizens and women of color — to “go back” to other countries.
Days after going on the offensive against the congresswomen, Trump held a campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., during which supporters chanted “send her back,” about Omar. Omar came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee.
“We’ve heard this before. Go back where you came from. Go back to Africa. And now, ‘send her back,’” the ex-staffers wrote. “There is truly nothing more un-American than calling on fellow citizens to leave our country — by citing their immigrant roots, or ancestry, or their unwillingness to sit in quiet obedience while democracy is being undermined.”
Trump, who faced bipartisan criticism for his remarks, has insisted that the tweets and his later comments were not racist. Trump was one the most prominent proponents of the birther movement, which falsely held that Obama, who was born in Hawaii, is not a U.S. citizen.
*story by The Hill