Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez called President Donald Trump “explicitly racist” on Tuesday night after leaving before the chief executive finished his first State of the Union address.
In a statement released shortly after Trump completed his remarks, Gutierrez said, “I was hoping to get through my life without having to witness an outwardly, explicitly racist American President, but my luck ran out.”
The representative could be seen heading out of the president’s address near its conclusion, as Republican members of Congress were chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A. …”
Some Democrat lawmakers patted him on the back as he left.
The timing of his departure caused social media to light up with speculation that the Republicans’ outward expression of patriotism was too much for the Democrat to bear.
Gutierrez’s spokesman later told reporters that the chanting and the congressman leaving were not connected: he was trying to get out of the chamber early to participate in a Univision interview.
In his statement hammering Trump, Gutierrez recounted that he was born in 1953 when “separate but equal” was still the law of the land in the U.S.
“I am proud of the progress the United States has made as a nation on issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and many other areas where we have advanced,” he said but believes Trump is reversing gains made.
The Illinoisan cited the president’s alleged “s—hole” nations remarks and the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last fall.
“I was hoping for some sort of apology on Puerto Rico, but I heard nothing,” said Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent and lived there during his high school years.
“Puerto Rico is a metaphor for how this President sees all Latinos and people of color: he does not see us as his equals and he does not see us as fellow human beings,” the congressman claimed.
“If you look at how the President has treated Puerto Rico, you have to conclude that he just doesn’t care and probably thinks of Puerto Rico as just another sh–hole country,” Gutierrez stated.
The liberal Democrat apparently could not resist poking fun at Trump regarding the ongoing Russia investigation.
“Even though I disagreed with almost everything he said, for Trump, the speech was clear and well-delivered,” Gutierrez said. “Whoever translated it for him from Russian did a good job.”
First elected to Congress in 1992, the 64-year-old announced in November that he plans to retire at the end of his current term.
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, dismissed the notion on Wednesday that Trump is racist.
“President Trump is not a racist. I know that for sure,” she told Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto.
King added, “He wants all of America, regardless of skin color, to be better. That is definitely not racist.”
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