I am sure that many ilw.com readers must have felt a sense of disappointment and letdown after watching the video of the December 11 Oval Office meeting with Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer regarding funding for the president's favorite Border Wall obsession.

I am not referring to Trump's constant ranting about "border security" and his relentless attempts to demonize brown immigrants, especially from Central America and the Middle East, as "criminals", "drug dealers", "gang members", "disease carriers" and "terrorists" while stating that he would be "proud" to shut down the government over the Wall issue. These demonizing threats are nothing new or unexpected. They are part of Trump's standard fare on immigration..

See, for example: Washington Post: December 12:

Trump cites French terrorist attack as he pleads for funding for his promised U.S. - Mexico border wall

But what is disappointing is the weak opposition from the two Democratic leaders at the meeting, both of whom focused on side issues without challenging Trump's basic premise that immigration in general, especially involving people who are not from his preferred "Countries like Norway" is inextricably tied up with crime and terror, which is obviously what he means when uses the phrase "border security".

If one accepts Trump's basic proposition that (non-white) immigration is inherently dangerous, then everything he says might make some sense, including his insistence on building a Wall - with all the associations with dictatorship, past and present, that this idea includes.

(Think: Warsaw Ghetto Wall during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Berlin Wall during the Soviet era and today's wall against immigrants by Hungary's dictator, Viktor Orban.)

It is discouraging and disheartening to see that the nation's two most powerful Democratic leaders failed to challenge Trump's fundamental posture of demonizing brown immigrants in general.

This is not to say that there is anything new about racial attacks against non-white immigrants as far as America's immigration history is concerned. See history professor Paul A. Kramer's January 22 op-ed in the New York Times:

Trump's Anti-Immigrant Racism Represents an American Tradition


Kramer writes:

"Public utterances like Mr. Trump's have and should inspire outrage, but we need to go deeper, challenging the racist views - both flagrant and soft-pedaled - that have long shaped America's immigration policy. And ee need to ask hard questions about the ways that racism has decisively, durably, shaped the immigration debate in ways that usually go unnoticed."

There is also a certain irony in the fact that while Trump was once again attacking immigrants on obviously racial grounds, the United Nations had just formally adopted an historic Compact upholding the human rights of immigrants everywhere in the world to protection against "racism, racial discrimination, violence, xenophobia and related intolerance".

Sadly and shamefully, according to The Guardian's December 10 report, the United States was one of the very few countries which actively opposed this Compact, which was ratified by 164 countries of the world.. See

UN states agree historic global deal to manage migration crisis


One can only hope that a more enlightened and courageous opposition to Donald Trump's race-based immigration policies than was shown by (presumed) House Majority Leader Pelosi and by Senate Minority leader Schumer in their December 11 meeting with Trump will one day soon move America closer toward the human rights spirit of the UN Compact and away from America's overtly racist immigration past - and present.