President Donald Trump made waves on Monday at a White House event honoring border patrol agents.
The president singled out a Hispanic American Customs & Border Protection officer for his bravery. As the officer made his way to the stage, the president said:
Come here, you’re not nervous are you? Speaks perfect English.
You can watch it below:
WATCH: President Trump invites a border patrol agent to speak at a White House event honoring immigration officers: "Come here; you're not nervous, right? Speaks perfect English." pic.twitter.com/AuMBpGs1U4
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 20, 2018
The statement was promptly met with outrage, with many on social media pointing out what the statement implied.
Trump, calling an Hispanic looking-immigration BP agent: "Come here. You're not nervous, right? Speaks perfect English."
This is the thing that impressed Trump: not that he saved people from human trafficking.
That the brown guy could speak English.pic.twitter.com/m1qlJkF66J
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 20, 2018
— Charlie (@Charlieresists) August 20, 2018
Others pointed out that the president’s own English skills seem sub-par, despite his claims to have “the best words.”
@realDonaldTrump What would this President know about perfect English?
— mdw831 (@mdw8311) August 20, 2018
He spoke perfect English unlike the President who speaks gibberish.
— Climate Voter (@tmstreet) August 20, 2018
Too bad the *president doesn’t speak perfect English.
— Gina Bradbury (@screaminggina) August 20, 2018
This is hardly the first time the president has dropped the ball when it comes to interactions with people of color. He caught flack for a now-infamous Cinco de Mayo tweet during the 2016 campaign.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
He even began his campaign by insulting undocumented immigrants, saying in a speech:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Nor are his microaggressions limited to Hispanic people. Trump used a Navajo veterans event at the White House last year as an opportunity to take a jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), using the slur “Pocahontas.”
However, it wasn’t just the president’s insensitivity that cast a shadow over today’s White House event.