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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Donald Trump’s recent tweets telling four non-white Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries they came from not only were racist, but miss the mark about what it means to be an American.
That’s according to popular primetime CNN hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo.
While denying racist intent, Trump and members of his staff have expanded on anyone who doesn’t “love” the country should leave.
Lemon took issue with that sentiment, in on-air remarks.
“This is not about love for the country. I hope we all love our country. Listen: Part of loving our country is being able to criticize the country,” Lemon said. “… That’s the whole point of America. We can criticize this whole thing and make it better. This is about racist comments from the president of the United States. Racist comments he is trying to reframe as a battle against antiamericanism. And people are buying into it.
“It’s sad. ‘Love it or leave it.’ It’s not what this is about. That’s not what America is about. We’re not about that. That’s not what makes America great,” Lemon added. “What makes America great is our the ability to be able to decent. Our rights to life. To liberty. And the pursuit of happiness. Today the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans to join Democrats in condemning the president’s Tweets. And went onto stay this. On the house floor.”
In his remarks, Cuomo referenced his own Italian heritage, as the son of the late New York governor Mario Cuomo.
“Is it getting to me. It hits close to home. To be honest. My grandparents were afraid of people like Trump,” Cuomo said. “Ironically they grew up very close to one another. Where Trump grew up is blocks from where my grandparents finally made some advantage but they were afraid of people and being judged and told to go back and called unclean and left in the ghetto. Where all the immigrants were together like mud. And I remember them. I remember what it was like.”
“My father you didn’t get to know him enough. You would have loved him,” Cuomo told Lemon. “He made a joke that I was the first white guy in the family. We finally made it. He’s got lighter colored eyes and went to the good school. We’re white now we made it.”