Just imagine for just a second, these words being written by a President of the United States in (let’s say) 1999:
“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA…… As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
Fake news? Nope… not an aberration, not something out of House of Cards, this is reality.
Here is some of the reaction to this unacceptable “presidential” statement from this weekend:
- The Baltimore Sun: Better to have a few rats than to be one
- CNN, Victor Blackwell: Blackwell tears up defending hometown over Trump attacks
- CNN, April Ryan: April Ryan on Trump’s Baltimore rant: The reporter hat is off
Political dialogue is about discussing solutions for challenges that at times can feel insurmountable… differences can and many times should come out of such dialogue.
Differences can lead to solutions.
Racism, in any form, including the President’s words written above, is not part of the solution to the challenges our cities and towns face, each and every day. Racism is a cancer on American public discourse and it is a cancer that is thriving under this administration. The above statement (among many, many, many others from President Trump), are totally unacceptable.
We must not accept any of this as the “new normal”. It is not. It is absolutely not normal.
Let’s ensure that we reinforce that “normal” is “loving thy neighbor”… a virtue that is decent and necessary in these difficult times. Times when rhetoric and words matter much and must become more decent – and that should start at the top, but must start with us.