On Saturday morning, Donald Trump posted a new, angry Twitter thread attacking the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Maryland rep Elijah Cummings, who has been highly critical of Trump’s border policies. In the tweets, as The Inquisitr reported, Trump described Cummings congressional district — which includes parts if the city of Baltimore, and is one of the wealthiest majority African-American districts in the country — as “rat and rodent infested.”
In the Saturday Twitter post, after defending conditions in which migrant detainees are held at the southern border as “clean, efficient & well run,” Trump then wrote, “Cumming (sic) District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
But Virginia Commonwealth University behavioral scientist Caroline Orr responded to Trump on her own Twitter feed, stating, “Trump only uses the word ‘infested’ when he’s talking about (People of Color [sic]). Look at his tweets.”
According to The Cambridge English Dictionary, the word “infested” describes “animals and insects that carry disease… being present in large numbers.”
Trump’s use of the word “infested” is seen by critics as a way of stating in not-so-subtle fashion that in his mind, people of color are analogous to disease-carrying animals and insects, as a roundup of criticism by Time.com documented.
As The Trump Twitter Archive shows, Trump has used the words “infested,” “infest,” or “infestation” eight times in tweets, five of them since his inauguration in 2017. Each time, he has used the word when lashing out at persons or groups of people who are either of African or Latin American descent.
In addition to Saturday’s attack on Cummings, who is himself African-American, Trump also took to Twitter on January 14, 2017 — just six days before his inauguration — to launch a verbal assault on Georgia rep John Lewis, a civil rights leader and former associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In one tweet on that day, Trump described Lewis’s district as “crime infested.”
Lewis represents Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes large areas of the city of Atlanta and is 58 percent African-American, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In a second Twitter post on the same day, Trump described all “inner cities in the U.S.” as “crime infested.” The term “inner cities” is generally used to refer to urban areas largely populated by black and other minority residents, according to The Urban Institute.
In an April 18, 2018, Twitter statement, Trump referred to sanctuary cities in California — cities that do not actively cooperate with federal deportations of Mexican, Central, and South American immigrants — as “crime infested & breeding.”
In a June 19, 2018, Twitter post, Trump’s accused “Democrats” of wanting “illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country.” Trump also referred to “an ‘infestation’ of MS-13 GANGS in certain parts of our country,” in a July 3, 2018, Twitter post.
More recently, on July 14 of this year, Trump posted to Twitter attacking four Democratic women of color in Congress, demanding that they “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” as The Inquisitr reported.
And going back to 2014, Trump posted to Twitter, referring to “Ebola infested areas of Africa,” saying that Americans who visit these “infested” areas to provide aid would “bring the plague back to U.S.”