After treating Black people as a political afterthought for the first two years of his borderline illegitimate presidency, Donald Trump has now tried (and failed) twice to appeal to African-Americans when it comes to his racist immigration policies.
The duplicitous effort to falsely cite Black people as supporters of his border wall that will never be built was ramped up Tuesday night, when Trump delivered his first speech from the Oval Office and lied to the American people that “African Americans” were “among the hardest hit” by undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. That portion of the speech was a clear attempt to use Black people to further a political cause that most Americans do not support.
That narrative has been disproven time and time again, with NPR most recently writing Tuesday night about the president’s exaggerated threat of illegal immigration driving down jobs and wages, especially for Black and brown people.
“As for the president’s claim that illegal immigrants drain public resources,” NPR wrote in part, “many studies have concluded that while illegal immigrants may also drive up the cost of government services in some places, they also make up for it by paying taxes.”
But now, as if Tuesday night’s desperate speech wasn’t insulting enough, Trump has taken to his favorite medium of communication to falsely repurpose a nearly five-year-old video of then-President Barack Obama speaking about immigration from the White House’s Rose Garden. In doing so, Trump misrepresented the nature of Obama’s remarks, which is a kind way of saying he lied. Again.
What Trump conveniently left out of his sixth tweet on Thursday was the fact that Obama, during those remarks from June 2014, never once mentioned a border wall, a divisive and racist topic which is the very reason why the government was still shut down going on its third week now.
While there were some similarities between Obama’s verbiage at the time and Trump’s current political talking points — both used the term “humanitarian crisis,” for instance — precious context was missing from the president’s tweet Thursday.
The sound bite Trump tweeted begins with Obama saying, mid-sentence, that, “there is an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all.”
However, the House at the time had put forth an immigration bill requiring Obama “to use the resources already at his disposal to gain certifiable control of the border.” Trump is asking for increased funding instead of using the existing money provided in a bill that a bipartisan House vote approved. Instead of agreeing to compromise, Trump has refused to sign the bill into law and forced the government to shut down, fulfilling a pledge he made a week earlier.
Obama, conversely, avoided a government shutdown.
Watch Obama’s complete address below from June 30, 2014, and you be the judge.