IPMN Condemns Xenophobia and Racist Rhetoric
July 19, 2019 — The rhetoric of racism and xenophobia continues to alarm Americans in a time of deteriorating social norms. When a crowd is encouraged to shout “send her back” at a political rally and echoes the narrative of white supremacy and xenophobic nationalism, we are in dangerous territory.
The Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) strongly condemns any use of such language as well as the use of racist rhetoric such as “go back to where you came from”, which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) identifies as textbook examples of unlawful bigoted harrasment. On its website, the federal agency, which enforces the government's employment discrimination laws, states that “ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal…”
We stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia; as a member of Congress, she is a role model for all Americans, not just refugees and immigrants. We call for the President to immediately cease his attacks.
Nick Kristof in The NY Times said “Trump has taken two of the most ignominious threads in American history —nativism and McCarthyism— and woven them together in an outburst that is an affront to democratic norms.”
The language of this week’s attacks is a form of ethnic cleansing and reminds us of parallels in Israel/Palestine. We are reminded that one of the those attacked, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, was born in the U.S. to Palestinian refugees, ethnically cleansed from their homeland when Israel was created.
IPMN stands in full support of the four Congressional Representatives attacked by the president and all those Americans who share their identities; they stand at the intersection of gender, racial and ethnic injustice and we cannot stay silent and legitimize and normalize the language or the attacks.