President Donald Trump blew the lid off hell on Sunday when he tweeted that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—four progressive Democratic congresswomen who are among his biggest critics—should “go back” to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Trump’s racist comments attracted sharp—and deeply deserved—reproofs from Democrats and the press.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Nobody was surprised. Trump didn’t give us any new data on who he is, only additional confirmation of the ancient data on who he is. We have every right to be shocked and amazed at what he said but not that he said it.
Racist conduct has been a constant in his life as a recent Atlantic piece attests. It starts with the Trump family’s discriminatory rental practices throughout the 1970s and extends to his public campaign against the Central Park Five and continues through the “birther” claim he used against President Barack Obama.
He sympathized with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, said a judge could not hear a civil case against him because he was a Mexican American, and recently asked why the United States couldn’t attract more immigrants from Norway and fewer from “shithole” countries.