'Send Him Back': Virginia Democratic Party Leaders to Boycott Historic Legislative Session if Trump Attends

Virginia Democratic leaders announced that they will boycott a special legislative session later this month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the state's legislature amid reports that President Donald Trump will be in attendance.

In a joint statement from Democratic leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Delegates, joined by the Democratic caucus chairs of each chamber, party officials announced they "will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance."

"The current President does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the western world," the statement continued. "We offer just three words of advice to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation: 'Send Him Back.'"

In referencing Trump's earlier racist suggestion that four Democratic women of color currently serving in Congress "go back" to the "crime infested places from which they came," despite them all being United States citizens, the Virginia Democratic leaders are drawing a line in the sand over the president's increasingly reckless rhetoric.

At a rally Wednesday night, Trump presided over another racist admonition when his supporters chanted about Representative Ilhan Omar, "send her back." The president stood silently at the podium for nearly 15 seconds and gazed into the crowd as their cries quickly consumed the arena.

Some Republican representatives softly distanced themselves from both Trump's rhetoric and the behavior of his supporters at the rally in Greenville, North Carolina. But Democrats, incensed at what they see as a deliberate campaign of racial invective, have moved to take more concrete action.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn Trump's "racist comments" from recent weeks. Just four Republicans joined a united Democratic front in passing the symbolic resolution in the House.

The announcement from the Virginia Democrats marks just the latest action from Democratic officials to delegitimize bigoted rhetoric emanating from the White House.

Mamie Locke, the Democratic caucus chair of the Virginia Senate who signed onto the joint statement, wrote on her Twitter feed that, through his attacks on female Democratic representatives, "Donald Trump is sharing [his] 2020 platform."

Locke contended that Trump's use of "division and dissension" and his "hits on minorities, people of color, women [and] LGBTQ" people are designed to "distract from his lack of engaging in policy debates and his bad decisions."

"Stand with our sisters in Congress," she proclaimed. "Trump's attacks are a continuation of his racist, bigoted, xenophobic and sexist attacks on women and people of color."

President Trump And First Lady Melania Depart White House For New Jersey
U.S. President Donald Trump walks out of the White House before departing July 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty