A Statement from The AND Campaign: July 18, 2019
The AND Campaign denounces President Trump’s comments and the “send her back” chants from his rally last night in Greenville, North Carolina, which mark a new low in the deterioration of civility, basic decency and statesmanship in our politics. It’s important in times like this to reaffirm principles we have always held, and speak on behalf of those who trust and support us.
After days of “priming the pump” with his tweets, President Trump presided over a rally in which he whipped his crowd into a frenzy, chanting “send her back” directed at a United States Congresswoman at a time when he is also using ICE raids as political propaganda. Where should Rep. Ilhan Omar go back to? She is a naturalized citizen. It is the President’s signature at the bottom of the letter every new immigrant receives, a letter that welcomes them to the American family and urges them to carry out their duties and responsibilities as a new citizen. President Trump betrayed his own commitment, the commitment of the American people, last night.
Sadly, while we continue to call on all political leaders and citizens to reject this brand of politics, too many Senate and House members in the president’s party have refused to condemn his words and actions in unequivocal terms. This is no time to make half-hearted and qualified statements about behavior that threatens to further divide the country and possibly incite violence. Only political courage and disregard for partisan interests will suit a moment when the very foundation of our common interest is being tested.
President Trump’s comments this yesterday were racist and reprehensible. Politicians and faith leaders who are associated with him should take deliberate steps to discourage him from ever acting out in this manner on a public platform again. It’s our obligation to protect those who were offended or placed in harms way because of his antics.
Americans of all political affiliations or none, of all faiths or none, should reject a politics of vitriol that clouds the good and just purposes of politics and makes a mockery of the term “public service.” We reject this president’s exploitation of racial, ethnic and religious hatreds and stereotypes. As Christians, we reject this president’s vulgarity, especially his taking the name of the Lord in vain--as he did multiple times during last night’s rally--in front of the presidential seal. When we allow political disagreement to spill over into personal attack, when we try to discount not just a viewpoint, but the person who holds that view, we embrace a politics of exclusion and hatred. In order to have a politics of dignity, you must have politicians who are interested in being dignified, and a citizenry that consider the reflection of that dignity to be a voting issue.
The AND Campaign will continue to work for a politics that reflects our best values, based on our firm belief in Jesus Christ, who calls us to be faithful in all things. We urge our members, and all Christians, to pray for peace and protection for immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs and all who may be in danger as a result of this environment of political hatred. We invite all who reject this destructive politics, and believe that a better Christian witness is needed, to join us in our work to educate and organize Christians for civic and cultural engagement that results in better representation, more just and compassionate policies and a healthier political culture.
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