Whitmer responds to racist Trump attacks on Tlaib

    Rashida Tlaib | Wikimedia Commons

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responded on Twitter Thursday attacks on U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and her fellow progressives in Congress, calling them “racist” and asking Michiganders to “focus on the things that unify us.”

    “Right now, we have seen so much ugliness come out of the White House, with racist tweets and attacks on Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a Detroit native,” Whitmer said in a video posted to Twitter. “What Michiganders want and what people across our country want are presidential candidates who offer real solutions.”

    Whitmer’s comments were in reference to a message from Trump last weekend saying Tlaib and fellow U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” 

    Trump added later that “if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.” Of the four, all except Omar are native-born Americans. She is a naturalized citizen who immigrated from Somalia as a child.

    Whitmer served in the state Senate at the same time Tlaib was a state representative. They were among the Democratic legislators who teamed up in 2012 to put on the “Vagina Monologues” at the Michigan Capitol to protest Republicans silencing two female House members during an abortion debate.

    Tlaib on Trump’s ‘bigoted’ tweetstorm: ‘We know this is who he is’

    This week, Tlaib said the president’s rhetoric was “simply a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook,” and that “We cannot allow these hateful actions by the president to distract us from the critical work to hold this administration accountable [for] the inhumane conditions at the border that is separating children from their loved ones and caging them up in illegal, horrific conditions.”

    Whitmer referred to the Democratic presidential candidates ahead of not only this month’s primary debates in Detroit, but the annual NAACP convention, which will kick off Saturday in the city and feature a forum on Wednesday including major candidates.

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.


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