To many, it felt like a threshold had been passed on Wednesday night at Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina. When the president brought up Minnesota Democratic representative Ilhan Omar, the crowd chanted, “Send Her Back! Send Her Back!” It was an echo of Trump’s twitter comments a few days prior that four American congresswomen—which also included the U.S.-born Massachusetts’s Ayanna Pressley, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib—should “go back” to their own countries.
While Trump supporters and critics alike have grown used to hearing such collective rage directed at former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, this was the first time that a person of color and an immigrant had been targeted at a rally by name. The hostile energy emitted by the majority-white crowd was notable, as was the satisfaction Trump radiated as he stood still, his signature smirk on his face, for a full 13 seconds as the chants washed over him.
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