A weekend story out of Arizona is another vivid image added to this tapestry of Trumpism.
According to a report from the Arizona Capitol Times, that stellar class of people who tend to be Donald Trump’s most ardent, immovable supporters gathered on Arizona’s capitol grounds and displayed the kind of behavior that makes actual conservatives and good people of every stripe want to put as much distance between their species and whatever those things are, as possible.
“Supporters of President Donald Trump singled out dark-skinned lawmakers, legislative staffers and children at the Capitol on Jan. 25 as they protested congressional efforts to pass immigration reform, according to staffers of the Arizona Legislature and two Democratic legislators, AZ Capitol Times reported. “Waving large flags in support of Trump while standing between the House and Senate buildings, the protesters, who were also armed, asked just about anyone who crossed their path if they ‘support illegal immigration.’”
One of the individuals who got the MAGA treatment was Rep. Eric Descheenie.
So why was he singled out?
Descheenie is a Navajo, and as such, he’s the last person they need to be hectoring.
“I’m indigenous to these lands,” Rep. Descheenie said. “My ancestors fought and died on these lands. I just told them, ‘Don’t ask me that question.’”
Descheenie wasn’t the only one.
Lisette Flores and Selianna Robles, legislative staffers, were attempting to make their way to a local Farmer’s Market for lunch and ran into the same idiocy.
“We’re walking back, and they start yelling again, ‘Get out of the country.’ At that point, they pointed to Lisette, called her an illegal, and said, ‘Get out, go back home!’” Robles said. “But they pointed at Jane (Ahern), who works for the House, and they said, ‘No, you can stay.’”
Again, Flores and Robles – wrong shading.
Ahern – proper shading (white).
“They assume things about you. There’s not much we can do,” said Robles, an Arizona native raised in the town of San Luis. “We work for the state, we’re public servants, and we’re just here to do our job.”
Apparently, there were police officers on the scene, and either they were instructed to stand down or they didn’t see a real threat. Whatever the case, it left a bad taste in the mouth of some members of the state Senate, who called the response “unacceptable.”
“I can tell you that the Democratic staff who were yelled at by the protesters and called illegals definitely felt harassed and were not satisfied with the response,” Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs (D-Phoenix) wrote in a letter to Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler).
“They did not feel safe,” Rep. Hobbs noted.
I can understand that. Even if law enforcement were in the area, if they were told to stand down or otherwise chose not to act and the taunts had turned violent, what then?
“This is a public place. When armed protesters aggressively go after members, staff and visitors, there needs to be a response that ensures the safety of everyone involved,” Rep. Hobbs wrote. “I have seen instances here at the capital (sic) when peaceful protesters with a different agenda were surrounded by many more law enforcement officers with a much more aggressive response.”
She’s expressing valid concerns.
Republicans who are not acknowledging or addressing this should know that this incident (and others like it) will be jackhammered into the national narrative, not just for midterms, but in 2020, as well.