Yes, of course racism still exists. Yes, some of those racists consider
themselves Republicans. Yes, some of
those racists support Donald Trump. But
some of those racists consider themselves Democrats and they hate President
Trump. Racism is not the sole purview of
any one party or politician’s cult.
All that said, I guess I’d like to press pause on the
collective freak-out over the recent “Send Her Back” chants at a Trump rally
just long enough to get some clarity from rational people. Because when I try to think though this
situation rather than feel my way through it, I don’t come away with the
impression that the hatred that was expressed at Democrat Representative Ilhan
Omar was because of her race. I get the
impression that it was because of her flagrantly anti-American rhetoric.
To be clear, the fact that Omar’s politics are terrible, the
fact that she herself is a virulent racist against Jews, the fact that she
loathes the very institutions she profits from immensely does not justify
hatred towards her. Jesus died for Ilhan
Omar as much as He died for me; she’s just as valuable to God as I am; she’s a
being that bears the image of the Creator and therefore worthy of my
I condemn hatred against Omar, just as I condemn hatred
against Trump, just as I condemn hatred against any person. But I also want to be responsible enough to not
lose my mind over all this and pretend it’s something that it’s not. Demagoguery seems to be the political class’s
spiritual gift, so they can have at it.
Me? I guess I think we’ll get
further with the truth than intentionally inflammatory misrepresentations meant
to accomplish nothing more than demonizing people who think differently for our
own political gain.
Appearing on Fox and Friends last week, the big voice on the
right, Rush Limbaugh explained his take on “the chant” this way:
[P]eople are fed up, I think, hearing how rotten their country is. And they’re fed up hearing the media give those people an additional platform to broadcast their hate and their disgust with the country.
I guess I tend to thing that is what has always motivated
the support for Trump, and that’s what motivates the anger and hatred at people
like Omar. Trump supporters see Omar as
having an aggressive antipathy towards the United States, its history and its
allies. So they react by saying, “You
don’t like this country so much, why don’t you leave?”
Is it a sophisticated argument? Of course not. But I don’t think it’s very sophisticated to pretend
the reason those Trumpists were chanting to “send her back” was related to her
skin color either.
Do they want to get rid of her because she’s brown? Or do they want to get rid of her because
she’s a far-left Democrat who is being given a large platform from which to run
down values these people cherish?
I mean, those same Americans chanting “send her back” aren’t chanting that at “people of
color” who they perceive as supportive of this country, its institutions, and
its opportunities. There are a lot of
people who “look like Ilhan Omar” that those same chanting Americans embrace. They just so happen to be the ones that express
similar political views.
These chanters don’t want to “send all brown-skinned people
back to where they came from,” because that would mean sending back a lot of
good Republicans. So, what’s their
motivation? Politics. Not race, politics.
And along those lines, what motivates liberal politicians
and their media allies to use this incident to hatefully brand all Trump
supporters racists? Politics.
None of this is okay, of course. None of it is healthy. None of it is godly. None of it helps our country. But the only way it gets better is if those
of us who want it to get better stop playing the game. As in, we stop letting our political desires
cloud the lens through which we see our fellow man…left or right.