U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the media as he is greeted by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during the G7 official welcome at Le Manoir Richelieu on day one of the G7 meeting on June 8, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada. Leon Neal / Getty Images
Leon Neal / Getty Images

Trump’s latest racist controversy sparks international criticism

Democrats were unrestrained in their criticisms of Donald Trump’s latest racist message, but as the Washington Post noted, their concerns were echoed abroad.

Lawmakers and commentators abroad expressed shock and disgust on Monday after President Trump targeted Democratic minority congresswomen in tweets over the weekend and told them to “go back” to their countries. […]

While Republicans largely avoided commenting on the president’s statements, lawmakers around the world did not.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the American president’s racist language as “completely unacceptable.” The two conservatives vying to replace her – Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson – both made similar criticisms.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters yesterday, “That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and the diversity of our country is actually one of our greatest strengths and a source of tremendous resilience and pride for Canadians. We will continue to defend that.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern added, “Usually I don’t get into other people’s politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him.”

These reactions from U.S. allies stood out for me, not just because it reinforces concerns about Trump being an embarrassment of global proportions, and not just because it belies his ridiculous boasts about the respect he enjoys on the international stage, but also because it helps capture the significance of the moment.

I’ve seen some suggestions that the Republican’s latest outrage will soon fade from view, to be replaced with several new outrages. A month from now, the argument goes, this will be forgotten.

I’m not so sure. Charlottesville was a uniquely heartbreaking moment in modern American history, and Trump’s abhorrent response to the deadly violence drew a series of international rebukes.

To my mind, Trump calling for congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from is effectively the sequel to Charlottesville.