On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted a racist attack against “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen”, claiming that they “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all)” and telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

By adding that he was certain that “Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements”, it’s a safe bet that Trump was referring to freshman congresswomen: New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib. These four newly elected officials known as “the Squad” have made headlines for activist progressive policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. This has led to some friction with more moderate Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though Trump’s attacks provided a good excuse for the party to table their own drama and circle the wagons.

As many were quick to point out, there’s no non-racist read of Trump’s rhetoric. “Go back where you came from” is one of the oldest racist tropes in the books.

Political differences aside, telling four women of color that they don’t belong in the U.S. hearkens back to some of the U.S.’ ugliest legacies. Of the four, only Omar, a Somali-American refugee who legally came to the U.S. with her family when she was 14, was born overseas. Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican descent, Pressley is African-American and Tlaib is Palestinian-American.

Many Christian leaders agreed and took to Twitter to not only condemn Trump’s attack, but also call on their fellow Christians and elected leaders to take a stronger stance.

David French, National Review Senior Writer

Alan Cross, writer

Bree Newsome Bass, activist

Austin Channing Brown, author and speaker

 

Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear did not address Trump by name but tweeted a quote from writer Rebecca McLaughlin that appeared to address the controversy.

O. Alan Noble, author

Carlos Rodriguez, activist

Robert Ellsberg, author