President Donald Trump, in his first State of The Union address, claimed he wants to unite America, but his speech on Tuesday further divided an already racially-polarized nation.
Trump has shown his disdain for immigrants and people of color during his first year in office and Tuesday Trump was consistently intolerant in his approach to a changing multi-cultural society.
“Really stoking the fires, from my perspective, of bigotry,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
The president presented a flawed path forward for immigrants living in the United States and linked all immigrants to gangs and murderers.
“For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities,” Trump said. “They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.”
“In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration,” Trump added. “In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.”
Trump didn’t spend any substantive time talking about the hard-working immigrants who contribute heavily to America’s growing economy and how ethnic diversity is an integral part of our nation, creating a foundation for cultural understanding.
What was missing from Trump’s speech about “compassion” was actual compassion. He used his national address to double-down on his anti-inclusion message.
“Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors,” Trump said.
Van Jones, a CNN commentator, said Trump was “smearing” immigrants.
“[He’s] a master salesperson, who used all of those stories really well,” Jones said. “He was selling sweet-tasting candy with poison in it.”
“What he said about those young people, he implied — and he did it deliberately — that Dreamers [immigrants] are gang members,” Jones said.
“We’re not supposed to convince the American public of policy because we make them afraid,” said U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
According to a CNN poll, Trump received the lowest rating for a State of The Union address since 1998.
“Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families,” Trump said.
Trump failed to mention that he plans to deport 60,000 Haitians living in the United States, many of them families with children. And he said nothing to protect DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley said Trump’s policies are designed to promote fear.
“President Trump’s State of the Union address was filled with shameless fear-mongering aimed at undermining this nation’s long history of protecting persecuted individuals,” Quigley said in a statement. “Protecting our national security and offering refuge to those fleeing violence are not mutually exclusive—why should the most powerful nation on earth be afraid of the most vulnerable people in the world? “
But not everyone criticized Trump’s speech. Most Republicans were pleased and Trump was immediately praised by David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacists.
“Thank you President Trump. Americans are ‘Dreamers’ too,” Duke Tweeted. And Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who is credited with creating the term “alt-right,” also praised Trump in a Tweet that included a photo of a white family.
So much for Trump’s speech about unity.
What do you think?
PHOTO: Fox Screenshot
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