ECAASU Condemns President Trump’s Racist Attacks on Democratic Congresswomen

Official Statement
July 26th

Press Contact: 
Tiffany Wang,

ECAASU Condemns President Trump’s Racist Attacks on Democratic Congresswomen

WASHINGTON, DC-  On July 14th, 2019, Donald Trump tweeted, in regards to Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe...Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” That Wednesday, on July 17th, at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump continued his attacks on the four Congresswomen, culminating in the crowd chanting, in reference to Rep. Omar, “Send her back! Send her back!” The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) unequivocally condemns President Trump’s racist attacks on these four Congresswomen and remains in solidarity with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

This is not the first time Trump has attacked women of color, and once again he is employing a historical racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant trope against them, one that has often been used against Asian American and Pacific Islander residents and citizens of the United States. In a time when migrants are being detained in concentration camps and the citizenships of naturalized citizens are being challenged, it is ever more important to fight back against the rhetoric that normalizes the more tangible violence perpetrated against people of color in the U.S. While country of birth should not determine how one is treated in the United States, it is important to note that three out of the four Congresswomen attacked by Trump were born in the United States and that all four are U.S. citizens. It is clear that Trump has targeted these women solely because of their race and because they have effectively challenged him while pushing the Democratic Party on progressive issues.

ECAASU knows that American and Western foreign policy, war activity, and other forms of imperialism have had a direct impact on many families’ decisions to leave their countries for the United States. By describing other countries as “broken and crime-infested places,” President Trump reinforces the idea that non-western countries are predisposed to conflict without acknowledging the role played by imperial and colonial powers. Furthermore, unless you are indigenous to the land in which you are living or a descendent of chattel slaves, those of us living in the United States are settlers living on illegally occupied land. It is wildly ahistorical to paint white settlers as the “rightful” inhabitants of this land. 

ECAASU also recognizes that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has often received the most virulent attacks due to her intersecting identities as a Black Muslim immigrant woman. Since her emergence onto the international scene during and after the 2018 midterm elections, she has been villainized in a way that others have not, especially because of her outspokenness on the illegal occupation of Palestine. ECAASU affirms her right to serve as a Member of Congress and condemns any attempt to delegitimize her because of the identities she holds.

ECAASU remains in solidarity with all immigrant communities and all communities of color harmed by the words “go back to where you came from,” regardless of immigration status. On July 19th, the New York Times published stories of U.S. residents who have experienced this pain, highlighting the profound impact of the President’s words. Furthermore, migrant families are still being separated and being put in concentration camps at the southern border, while many already in the United States are being targeted by ICE for incarceration and deportation. ECAASU has compiled a list of resources on ways to help these migrants.

Run solely by volunteers, The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower those interested in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.

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View the statement as a pdf here.