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Race And Racism In Washington: Trump Tweets, Democrats' Infighting And More47:24
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(Left to right) U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley, D-Mass., attend a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on "The Trump Administration's Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment," July 12, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Left to right) U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley, D-Mass., attend a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on "The Trump Administration's Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment," July 12, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Find our buildout from this hour, featuring a partial transcription, here.


With Meghna Chakrabarti

From President Trump’s "go back" tweets to the dispute between the "squad" and House Speaker Pelosi. We take a look at race and racism in Washington.

Guests

Rep. William Lacy Clay, Democratic congressman for Missouri's 1st District. Member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development & Insurance. (@LacyClayMO1)

Peniel Joseph, Barbara Jordan chair in ethics and political values and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor of history. Author of "Stokely: A Life," among other books. (@penieljoseph)

Rochelle Riley, director of arts and culture for the city of Detroit. Columnist at the Detroit Free Press and author of "The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery." (@rochelleriley)

E.J. Dionne, columnist for the Washington Post. Professor of government at Georgetown University. Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (@EJDionne)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: "Opinion: The Democrats are fighting each other when they should be fighting Trump" — "Have Democrats reached the point where they would rather beat each other’s heads in than defeat President Trump? Have they forgotten that the opposition’s first task is to build a broad coalition for change?

"Yes, the media loves conflict, and the current fights among Democrats — in the House of Representatives and on the presidential campaign trail — are irresistible for us journalists. And so many of Trump’s outrages are treated not as the moral disgraces they are but as campaign strategy. As in: Boy, all that cruelty at the border and his threat to ignore the law and add that citizenship-status question to the census play great with his base, and isn’t he a genius? Trump has so debased the standards of our politics that we stop noticing how low we have sunk.

"But the Democrats’ primary mission right now is precisely to force attention to what those wielding authority — meaning especially Trump but also his enablers in the Republican-led Senate — are doing to our country. They can’t just blame the media for seeing that there is a lot of, well, tension in the House Democratic caucus. Reporters aren’t making up the fact that progressives and moderates often dump on each other. Progressives say moderates aren’t being militant enough against Trump. Moderates say progressives are not attentive enough to the middle-of-the-road voters and districts that gave them their House majority in the first place."

NPR: "Congresswomen Denounce Trump Tweets Telling Them To 'Go Back' To Their Home Countries" — "A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of 'stoking white nationalism.'

"Weighing in on friction between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and four liberal Democrats dubbed 'the squad,' Trump referred to ' "Progressive" Democrat Congresswomen' in his tweets, saying they should 'go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.'

" '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,' the president wrote.

"Although Trump did not single the lawmakers out by name, four freshmen U.S. representatives known for their progressive views and recent tensions with moderate Democrats viewed the tweets as directed at them: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan."

The New York Times: "Trump Tells Congresswomen to ‘Go Back’ to the Countries They Came From" — "President Trump said on Sunday that a group of four minority congresswomen feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi should 'go back' to the countries they came from rather than 'loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States' how to run the government.

"Wrapped inside that insult, which was widely established as a racist trope, was a factually inaccurate claim: Only one of the lawmakers was born outside the country.

"Even though Mr. Trump has repeatedly refused to back down from stoking racial divisions, his willingness to deploy a lowest-rung slur — one commonly and crudely used to single out the perceived foreignness of nonwhite, non-Christian people — was largely regarded as beyond the pale."

Washington Times: "Black Democrats reject AOC 'race card' in Nancy Pelosi feud" — "The debate between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other House Democrats over migrant children in detention at the border was wrenching enough. Then it became about race.

"First, the freshman’s chief of staff compared more centrist Democrats to 1940s segregationists. Then Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of 'singling out' her and fellow newcomers, all women of color.

"By Thursday, the rhetoric escalated, overshadowing the agenda and pushing House Democrats way off message with the most divisive upheaval since they took control of the chamber this year. Longtime lawmakers were stunned.

"'How dare they try to play the race card at this point,' said Rep. William Lacy Clay, an African-American Democrat from Missouri who faces a primary challenge backed by allies of Ocasio-Cortez. He called those making the claims 'ignorant' of racial history. 'It shows the weakness of their argument. It’s damaging to this party and the internal workings of the Democratic party.'

"Rep. John Lewis, the Civil Rights icon, shared his view."

Associated Press: "Leave the US, Trump tells liberal congresswomen of color" — "Starkly injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats, President Donald Trump said Sunday that four congresswomen of color should go back to the 'broken and crime infested' countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.

"Following a familiar script, Republicans remained largely silent after Trump’s morning broadsides against the four women. But the president’s nativist tweets caused Democrats to set aside their internal rifts to rise up in a united chorus against the president.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to 'make America white again.' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, after jousting for days with Pelosi, said Trump 'can’t conceive of an America that includes us.'

"Trump, who has a long history of making racist remarks, was almost certainly referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her House allies in what’s become known as 'the squad.' The others are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born."

Stefano Kotsonis produced this hour for broadcast.

This program aired on July 16, 2019.

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