Trump comments misconstrued

I have been reading with dismay the cries of “racist” against President Trump about a recent statement that he made. As you recall, he told U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues (and I quote): “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly … and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how …”

He later tweeted, “If you are not happy here, you can leave! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country … They are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda and comment on the 9/11 attack ‘some people did something.'”

I personally don’t care for the way President Trump presents himself; he’s blunt to the point of rudeness. But to me, this time his remarks were taken out of context. I don’t believe that he was telling them to leave permanently (in fact, he specifically told them to come back to show us how to do things); he was merely making a statement. Years ago, I remember bumper stickers that said “America — love it or leave it.” I didn’t consider it racist then (no one else did either), and I don’t now. It wasn’t directed at any specific color, ethnicity or religion. It was simply a statement of fact — if you don’t like it here, you don’t have to stay. No one is holding you.

When I worked at Grede Foundries years ago, there were people who constantly complained about what a bad place it was to work, and I used to tell them, “If you don’t like it here, quit. Go somewhere else to work. Nothing is preventing you from leaving. You chose to work here and you can choose to leave.” And I didn’t say it meanly; I was giving them honest options. Was I being racist? Nope, I said it the same way, to several different people.

So do I think President Trump’s remark was “racist,” specifically directed toward women of a certain color, race or ethnicity? No, I don’t. In fact, I think he’d tell anyone the same thing, no matter who they were or where they came from, because it’s simply a statement of fact.

The racist card is being played far too often lately. Sometimes it’s warranted but oftentimes it’s not. It’s time to focus on the real issues our country faces instead of stoking the fires of division. God bless America.

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