A panel billed as “Making Herstory: The women who are shifting the balance of power in Washington” at Netroots Nation in Philadelphia. Aimee Allison hosts Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Deb Haaland. (Photo by Mark Trahant)
Over the weekend a panel of progressive women of color in Congress — including Rep. Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico, talked about why they ran for office and what they hoped to do.
And that was apparently too much for President Donald J. Trump.
This is Trahant Reports.
A Saturday panel at Netroots Nation in Philadelphia included Haaland as well as Reps. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota.
Omar talked about her agenda. She said: “There is a constant struggle with people who have power about sharing power and we’re not in the business of asking to share that power, we’re in the interest of grabbing that power.”
And, as if to prove that very point, the President of the United States went on a racist Twitter rant Sunday telling progressive women to go back to their own countries.
“So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world … viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”
Of course the richest irony of all: Rep. Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, has a family history on this land that began with time immemorial.
Haaland said the work of Congress means being a voice for her constituents. She speaks for children who are incarcerated in those cages on the Southern border.
In his tweets, President Donald J. Trump did not single out any “progressives.” He later added that it was “sad” that Democrats were defending the progressive women.
The issue that defines the Republican Party of today is immigration. The president defended his policy on the border, including the caging of adults and children because they sought asylum in the United States.
Haaland said this what the United States does.
“My grandmother, when she was eight years old, was taken to boarding school over a hundred miles away from her community. And her father only got to visit her twice because his only mode of transportation was a horse and a wagon,” she said. “And so, and this is the thing, they took him to boarding school and you think they taught in math and science? No, They taught him how to iron clothes and clean churches and things like that. So it’s been happening for a long, long time. You have more control over people when you can separate them. You have control over children. When you can separate the children from their parents,” Haaland said. “It didn’t work then and it’s not working now.”
I am Mark Trahant.