Left-wing pundits reacted angrily to President Donald Trump’s speech in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, accusing him of racism for defending the “West.”
Peter Beinart, writing in The Atlantic, asserted: “The West is a racial and religious term.” He added: “To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.”
Therefore, he said, Trump’s speech was racist, because some Europeans are Muslim, and some nations that have embraced democracy or modernity are outside the West’s geographic boundaries. “India is the world’s largest democracy. Japan is among its most economically advanced nations. No one considers them part of the West,” he noted.
In addition, Beinart also claimed that Trump’s statement that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” a climax of the speech, “only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia.”
Beinart’s commentary drew some ridicule on Twitter, with historian Niall Ferguson calling it “a masterclass in willful misreading of a speech,” and conservative Charles C. W. Cooke adding: “Trump finally makes a full-throated defense of NATO—is that code for “white people” too?—and this is the response? We’ve lost our minds.”
Noted. One can’t talk about—or praise—“the West” anymore without being a racist. https://t.co/D8Gno4UN6M
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) July 7, 2017