While many of his fellow Democrats opted to boycott President Trump’s appearance at the Jamestown 400th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D-Fairfax) took another approach: he interrupted President Trump’s speech.
Samirah said “Mr. President, you can’t send us back, Virginia is our home!” while holding signs that read “Deport Hate” and “Reunite My Family.”
Samirah then took to Twitter, where he said he interrupted Trump’s speech because “nobody’s racism and bigotry should be excused for the sake of being polite. The man is unfit for office and unfit to partake in a celebration of democracy, representation, and our nation’s history of immigrants.”
“The fact that the racist-in-chief, who so openly stokes hate against immigrants, was even invited to this event is insulting to Virginians and insulting to the history of our Commonwealth’s democracy,” Samirah said in a statement.
Samirah wasn’t alone in his opposition to Trump’s presence at Jamestown. Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus announced Monday evening that they would boycott Tuesday’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of representative democracy, saying the Jamestown event would be “tarnished unduly” by Trump’s presence.
“It is impossible to ignore the emblem of hate and disdain that the President represents,” the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said in a statement. The group said Trump “continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric.”
In his own statement, Samirah expanded on his criticism of Trump’s racist rhetoric and controversial policies.
“We have to remember that his rhetoric translates directly into policy. He cages kids. He separates families. He bans Muslims. He deprives people of the human right of seeking asylum,” Samirah said. “And it doesn’t end at the border. He is cutting food stamps, taking away healthcare and environmental protections, giving billions of dollars in handouts to the obnoxiously wealthy, and enabling a systematically-racist criminal justice system.”
Samirah said he was confident his constituents would rather see him “stand up and be heard than sit down, be polite, and passively accept the presence of a man who has sowed fear, division, and hate from the highest office in the land.”