Padma Lakshmi lays out how Trump’s wife is an immigrant and yet, he discriminates against immigrants of color
Donald Trump’s racist “go back to where you came from” tweets, which he hurled at four congresswomen of color, inspired supporters at a recent rally to chant “Send her back! Send her back!” in regard to Rep. Ilhan Omar. Trump’s unabashed racism inspires terrifying copycat behavior amongst his followers and for those who still don’t think the president is racist, host and executive producer of Top Chef and ACLU Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ and women’s rights Padma Lakshmi perfectly explained why Trump’s “go back to where you came from” rhetoric is racist hypocrisy at its finest.
“Those words, those hurtful, xenophobic, entitled words that I’ve heard all throughout my childhood, stabbed me right in the heart,” Lakshmi began her op-ed for The Washington Post. “They echoed the unshakable feeling that most brown immigrants feel. Regardless of what we do, regardless of how much we assimilate and contribute, we are never truly American enough because our names sound funny, our skin isn’t white, or our grandmothers live in a different country.”
Laksmi then got right to the heart of the matter, reminding everyone that Trump’s wife Melania is an immigrant, and yet — Trump and his supporters only seem to despise immigrants when they don’t look like them.
“The president is himself a second-generation American. Two of the women he has married are immigrants, but the only difference between them and Omar — and myself — is skin color. It’s clear that Trump equates being American with being white. But he doesn’t have the right to judge the Americanness of any of us,” she continues.
Lakshmi cites that although Trump’s base has shrunk and he currently only has a 40% approval rating, we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to how Trump has galvanized his base with white nationalism.
“[Trump’s] main strategy is to latch on to white peoples’ fear of irrelevance, their perceived loss of social capital and political power — the age-old fear of the ‘Other.'” Lakshmi writes. “He took disenfranchised citizens’ ire meant for bankers and Wall Street’s dubious loans and aimed it squarely at young Guatemalan families crossing the border with bare feet to seek asylum.”
Unfortunately, Trump has so far escaped from this scandal unscathed. The best way for American citizens to hold Trump accountable is to vote him out of office in 2020 and conveniently, there are about one zillion candidates running against him. Fearful that your reproductive rights are being terminated? Literally any of the democratic nominees are on your side. Want your kids to get a free college education one day? Both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have a plan for that. Want universal free or low-cost childcare? Lizzy Warren’s got that too. Frustrated by the wage gap? Kamala Harris wants to fine companies who don’t get on board with equal pay.
At the end of the day, the president is dangerous and racist and to quote Lakshmi one last time, “[we must] resist this dangerous plague of ignorance.”