Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Brandon Morse On Omar and Tlaib Telling People They Should Be Deported

Some interesting stuff here, but I think it's more complicated than Morse makes it out to be. For one thing, Omar is responding to someone who said something about deporting her--and I say that matters a lot. If Smith says "Get deported!", and Jones says "Deport yourself, jackass" in response, I think Jones's response is defensible. There's no such defense of Tlaib, however, it seems. OTOH, she says it of Trump, and he's not an immigrant (and she knows that); I think that's a relevant factor, though not a dispositive one.
   Morse does point out something huge that I completely overlooked: in the offending tweets, Trump is not actually saying Go back where you came from--nor even anything very close to it. What he says is: Go back to your crappy countries, study their governments, then come back and tell us how we should be doing it. That's an absolutely huge difference. It changes things...a lot. [Completely changes them, actually.]
   That means I was wrong when I said Trump's tweets were in the vicinity of the cartoonish anti-immigrant insult Go back to where you came from. They really aren't.
   But...and I just thought of this so I haven't thought about it much...I think that also might undermine the argument that the tweets were racist--if the argument underlying the charge went like this:

     Trump roughly told them to go back where they came from
     That's a kind of anti-immigrant bigotry
     Trump wouldn't have said it if they weren't nonwhite
     The tweets are racist / Trump's racist

But if this is the argument, and the first premise is false, then etc. etc.
   But I reconstructed the argument differently in an earlier post, so I'm not sure how much this matters.


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