ACLU Triggered By Trump’s Frequent References To ‘America’ In State of the Union (And Other Highlights From Tuesday)

Printed from:

The American Civil Liberties Union’s biggest complaint about President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech?

Trump mentioned the word “America” too many times.

In a sharply-worded statement crafted in response to Trump’s address, ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir pointed out that Trump “said the word ‘America’ more than 80 times in his speech” and claimed that he and others still “hear and feel how exclusionary that ‘America’ is, with policies that have harmed so many vulnerable American communities.”

A CBS News poll found that 75 percent of Americans responded positively to Trump’s speech, while 80 percent answered that the speech conveyed an effort to unite Americans.

Shakir singled out Trump’s immigration plan, claiming it “would hold DREAMers hostage to his demands for a harmful border wall and an even larger mass deportation force.”

“We are at this crossroads because of the president’s deeply destructive ideas fomented by his nativist allies and divisive rhetoric,” Shakir added. “We will continue to stand up for these young immigrants and ensure they continue to contribute to our country. We cannot let America’s DREAMers be deported.”

Shakir’s reference to DREAMers — the clever acronym for the Obama-era Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act — appeared to be a response in part to Trump’s reference to “dreamers,” a segment of his speech that generated some of the loudest applause Tuesday night.

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American dream,” Trump said. “Because Americans are dreamers, too.”

While the ACLU appeared to be triggered by the president’s frequence references to America, other progressives appeared to react negatively to additional portions of Trump’s speech — including U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), who was caught on camera fleeing the event after a “USA” chant broke out:

Gutierrez later released a statement in which he took a few shots at the president.

“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.”

Added Gutierrez, who is Puerto Rican:

“I was hoping to get through my life without having to witness an outwardly, explicitly racist American president, but my luck ran out.”

Trump also appeared to draw cold stares from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members remained seated and stoically silent while others cheered the president for pointing out that African-American unemployment has reached all-time low numbers during his first term in office:

The members who did attend Tuesday night’s speech were all clad in kente cloth to protest remarks Trump allegedly made in private, in which he questioned efforts to bring in more immigrants from “—-hole” countries over more developed nations.

Cameras also caught House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) frowning and remaining unmoved when Trump offered a call to “summon the unity we need to deliver,” a remark that drew a polite clap from even Trump nemesis Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).


And while the CBS poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans saw Trump’s remarks as an effort to unify a divided nation, the Washington Post — following a massive backlash from liberal social media users — elected to change its State of the Union headline at the 11th hour:



Media personalities also appeared to be unnerved by Trump’s remarks. MSNBC’s Joy Reid apparently was disturbed by Trump’s mentions of church and family:


Lastly, according to a Daily Caller tally, Trump used the word “we” 129 times Tuesday, compared to the 29 times he used the word “I.”