Texas paper slams Trump's border wall visit — calls him 'unhinged and unrepentant' after inciting mob
Soon-to-be-twice impeached Donald Trump is ending his white supremacist presidency the same way he started his campaign more than five years ago: racist, anti-immigrant fearmongering. Having basically gone into hiding after inciting a violent mob of seditionist supporters who ransacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results—and resulted in numerous deaths, including of a police officer—Trump is traveling to Texas on Tuesday to bluster about the border wall that Mexico never did end up paying for.
The Associated Press reports that missing from the visit will be unlawfully appointed acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf, who resigned Monday. But following the D.C. attack (nice job securing the "homeland" there, Chad), elected officials, editorial boards, and border communities are demanding Trump stay away too. "Normally we would welcome a presidential visit to our state. Not now," the American-Statesman Editorial Board wrote. "Not by a president who is unhinged and unrepentant for the violent mob he sent last week to the Capitol."
"The stated reason for Trump's visit to Alamo is to tout his administration's work on the border wall and immigration," the American-Statesman Editorial Board continued. "Indeed, Trump is wrapping up his term on the same note that he launched his political career, stoking fear about immigrants and exaggerating his accomplishments."
June 16, 2015, will always live in infamy as the day he launched his presidential campaign by descending the escalators at Trump Tower to call Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," he said. "They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
His comments were blatantly racist and disqualifying, but too many in the mainstream media were afraid to say so and instead merely labeled them "controversial." Worse yet, others dismissed them as a joke. It wasn't a joke or "controversial" to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans like me. He was talking about us. He talking about my parents and two older sisters, all born in Mexico. He was talking about me, the son of Mexican immigrants.
"Trump acts as if his legacy along the border will be construction of a 'beautiful' wall," American-Statesman continued. "In truth, his legacy is one of destruction: Crying children pulled from their parents' arms as part of his shocking family separation policy, with hundreds of kids still waiting to be reunited. Migrant kids dying in U.S. custody for lack of proper care. A shameful humanitarian crisis just south of the border as the U.S. turned its back on those who are lawfully seeking asylum. A degradation of America's values and standing in the world."
Now having incited a violent mob that my colleague David Neiwert writes was "intent on taking hostages and murdering them" and is now leading to an unprecedented second impeachment, Trump is returning to what he always goes to when desperate or in need of an ego boost: attacking immigrants (and doing it as likely his final trip in office).
"Rather than spend his last days in the Oval Office addressing the pressing Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring an orderly transition, Trump is doubling down on his xenophobic, white supremacist agenda," Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) executive director Fernando García said in a statement received by Daily Kos. Indeed, the City of Alamo said in a statement it hasn't even been contacted about Trump's visit.
"His presence at the borderland is a provocation, and an act of violence in and of itself," García continued. "Border communities are calling for the dismantlement of the wall of shame, racism and white supremacy. The wall and all it represents have no place in our society, and Trump must be held accountable."
President-elect Joe Biden's victory and our wins in Georgia provide an opportunity to take both executive and legislative action to protect undocumented communities attacked by the outgoing administration. I hope Trump has the time of his wretched life at his precious wall Tuesday because Biden has also pledged to not build another foot of it—and because it was built using swindled funds and has caused "incalculable" harm in the borderlands, there's a strong case for knocking the motherfucker down. The human costs of Trump's racism, however, the fomenting of violence and the unleashing of white supremacist forces, will not be so easy to scale back. That's the "legacy" he's leaving us.
"It is a presidency that has prioritized sowing division, undermining our institutions and norms, and working tirelessly to marginalize the 'other,'" American Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick writes. "For Trump, there were no people more "other" than those who came to our border and asked for our help." He writes that that to truly "defeat Trumpism, as a nation we must embrace a more humane approach toward those who are different from us, one that respects the law and our obligations to the most vulnerable."
"The Biden administration can start by restoring humanitarian protection, and finally moving away from the deterrence-based mindsets of the past decades and create a truly welcoming process at the border," Reichlin-Melnick continued.
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