President Trump started his morning with one of his all-too-common Twitter freakouts insulting a congressperson of color—Rep. Elijah Cummings—with racist language.

Cummings, a Maryland lawmaker whose majority African-American district includes parts of Baltimore, is also the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee faced with the daunting challenge of keeping Trump’s lawless administration in check.

In that role, Cummings assailed the brutal conditions of Trump’s border detention facilities some are calling “concentration camps” earlier this month. A Fox News segment criticizing Cummings for his comments and the state of his own district appears to be what set Trump off on his racist rant.

As has been pointed out several times in the past, linking minorities to some kind of “infestation” is not only dehumanizing and racist, it’s also the same language Nazis used to describe Jews during the holocaust. Equating “undesirable” people with vermin or disease lays the predicate to eradicate the “pests” or “cure” the “disease.” Obviously, it’s not the kind of language a normal president or politician uses.

Trump’s latest racist tirade against a black lawmaker didn’t sit well with one CNN anchor. Victor Blackwell reported on Trump’s tweet and then sent the president a powerful message about his own personal experience.

“Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people—many different types of people—but when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people,” Blackwell began.


Blackwell then gave a brief history of Trump’s tweets linking minorities with “infestation.” Like this one early in his presidency attacking Civil Rights hero John Lewis, who also represents a majority-black district in Georgia.

And this one about sanctuary cities:

And this one during the 2014 Ebola scare:

And of course this tirade against Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, and Pressley:

“‘Infested,’ he says,” Blackwell continued, “The president says about Cummings district—…”

That’s when Blackwell started getting choked up, and the anchor paused for a moment before gathering himself to continue, his voice breaking at times, to deliver a powerful and emotional speech.

“The president says about Cummings district that no human would want to live there. You know who did, Mr. President? I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college, and a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges, no doubt, but people are proud of their community. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there, they care for their families there, they love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans too.”

Blackwell won praise on Twitter for his clear, concise cataloging of Trump’s history of associating minorities with “infestation,” as well as his forceful rebuke:

Even Republicans lauded the CNN anchor for standing up to Trump’s bigotry:

Words matter. They tell people how you think and who you are. We know who the president is and we know what the president is, but it’s at least nice to hear it put so clearly and so powerfully. Well done.

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*First Published: July 27, 2019, 10:23 am