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Trumper’s xenophobic tweet about Afghan refugees backfires and causes outpouring of empathy

Trumper’s xenophobic tweet about Afghan refugees backfires and causes outpouring of empathy

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With President Biden’s decision to hastily withdraw U.S. forces from the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan comes the question of what to do with the tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who now fear that remaining in their native land could lead to deadly reprisal from the Taliban. The only moral answer is that we have to resettle these brave men and women who fought and bled alongside American forces inside the United States. To do anything less would be a betrayal of the cruelest kind.

Not surprisingly though, the usual Republican xenophobes are already shouting that we shouldn’t accept these refugees, echoing the same tired and racist arguments about “demographic changes” that they always toss around. Nativism is so deeply embedded in the core of the GOP now that members of the party that started the War on Terror in the first place are boldly suggesting that we turn our backs on the Afghans who helped fight it. They are morally bankrupt on a fundamental level and seemly solely interested in pandering to the worst instincts of the conservative base.

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Yesterday, Newsmax’s Steve Cortes, as odious and ignorant a talking head as one is likely to find anywhere in the right-wing discourse sphere, tweeted the now-famous photograph of hundreds of Afghans loaded into a U.S. plane as it fled Kabul. He asked his followers to raise their hands if they’d be happy to have that plane land in their town.

The not-so-subtly racist implication was that nobody could possibly want these refugees in their town. Perhaps Cortes wouldn’t because he sees them as somehow less than human, but countless Americans appreciate the sacrifices these Afghans have made and would be happy to call them neighbors.

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Thankfully, not all of us are ghoulish psychopaths like Cortes and instead of agreement with his xenophobic agenda, the tweet prompted an outpouring of empathy from Twitter users who said they’d be thrilled to have the Afghans in the photo settle nearby and contribute to their communities.

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