Michelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trump's racist tweets

Alessio Perrone

Former US first lady Michelle Obama appeared to weigh in on President Donald Trump’s racist attacks on four minority Democratic lawmakers, tweeting that diversity is “what truly makes our country great".

“Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all," she added. “We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.”

While Mrs Obama, who was the world’s most admired woman in 2019 according to a YouGov poll, did not directly reference Trump, her words appeared to echo Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America great again”.

The tweets appear to be a rebuke of Trump’s attacks on congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, who are all women of colour.

President Trump had tweeted last Sunday that the four lawmakers should “go back” to their home countries “and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

However, all four are US citizens and three were born in the United States.

Michelle Obama’s mention of those who “seek refuge” in the US appears an message of support to Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia but moved to the US as a child refugee almost three decades ago and is a naturalised US citizen. She and Mrs Tlaib are the only Muslim women in the US House of Representatives.

Trump has recently attacked Mrs Omar, tweeting that immigrants “should ‘go back’ to other countries”.

Just a few days later, Trump let his supporters chant “send her back” for some 13 seconds after he mentioned Ms Omar at a North California rally.

His actions have caused outrage among Democrats. Senator Bernie Sanders said Mr Trump was “the most dangerous president in the history of our country".

The Democratic-led House of Representatives responded to Trump’s attacks by voting largely along party lines to condemn his comments as racist.

The vote on Tuesday afternoon, which passed 240 – 187, approved a resolution saying “Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimised fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour”.