Crowds chanted “Send her back!” as US President Donald Trump stepped up assaults on four colored Democratic Congresswomen, including Minnesota’s Somali-born Ilhan Omar, at his first campaign rally since his re-election bid was announced in 2020.
The crowds, decked out in the colours of the US flag and “Make America Great Again” caps, responded with the chant – “Send her back! Send her back!”
“The way they speak so badly of our country,” Trump continued. “They want to demolish our constitution. Eliminate the values that built this magnificent country.”
On Twitter, Omar replied with a poem by Maya Angelou, a U.S. author and civil rights champion.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0BAdvertisement
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
“Trump is appealing to American pride as he not only tries to hold onto his base here in New Carolina but also use some of the racial divisions in the US to win over new voters,” she said.
However, initial indications suggest the episode has not hurt Trump’s support among Republicans: His approval rating has risen five points to 72 percent, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
And the issue of immigration – which was core to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and will be again in 2020 – continues to strike a powerful chord.