“Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities…Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ whether made by supervisors or co-workers.”

These statements are part of the guidelines prohibiting racial discrimination in the workplace established by the United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

So when Donald Trump told four Congresswomen of color “to go back to where they came from,” he was violating federal law, though I am sure he didn’t know it, or cared if he did.

It’s for sure his defenders don’t know it or care about it either because, like Trump, they don’t believe in the rule of law. If they do, then they obviously don’t believe in racial justice, they are not bothered by nationalism, and they have no concern for the dignity with which a President should conduct himself.

That said, as shameful as Trump’s tweets were, and as equally shameful as any defense of him is, there is actually a silver lining in this dark cloud that hangs over our nation.

We now know the 2020 presidential election is about one thing and one thing only…Donald Trump. He makes everything about himself, and this time we should agree with him.

The great divide among Americans comes down to this: You either support a racist President or you don’t.

It really is that simple.

There are many reasons why Donald Trump is a destructive leader, but his racism is most clearly the primary one because it is the cornerstone for most of the other reasons why he is.

The fact that we are even having this conversation points to the debasing effect he has already had.

Choosing to bring an end to his destructiveness in 2020 IS the challenge before us.

As George Conway wrote in a Washington Post op ed column: “What’s at stake now is more important than judges or tax cuts or regulations or any policy issue of the day. What’s at stake are the nation’s ideals, its very soul.”

From now until November 3, 2020, the only question that matters for voters is, do you support Donald Trump or do you oppose him?

If you support him, you are selling the soul of the country in exchange for some short term advantage you think he will give you.

That is not democracy in action. That is betrayal. People who vote for a demagogue are not exercising their constitutional right as a citizen.

They are using that right to destroy the Constitution that gave it to them in the first place.

Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear with his racist comments that he is the emperor who has no clothes, putting the spotlight on whether or not his supporters will stand with him and, thus, stand on the side of racism.

Claims to the contrary don’t matter. We all know what he tweeted was racist. We know his history is filled with examples of racist statements and discriminatory actions.

Some people who voted for him in 2016 knew this, but they convinced themselves he would be different if he got elected. In spite of his comments about Charlottesville, his Muslim ban, and his family separation policy, they have continued to hold out hope.

This week’s racist tweets dashed them to the ground. Deep down any sensible Trump supporter knows he is a racist. He has been all his life, but he has tried to hide it without realizing everyone else can see it as plain as day.

I compare him to people in my native Virginia who refused to use the word “Negro” in the early days of the civil rights movement, but who also knew the “N” word they had used all their lives was no longer acceptable so they used the word “Negra,” never understanding what the rest of us knew, that it was a racist term.

What Donald Trump said to the four Congresswomen was racist because he is racist. You would never say such a thing unless you were, period, and, thus, he pulled the rug out from under his supporters who have twisted themselves in every way possible to justify staying with him.

Republicans will try to make the 2020 election about other things, including the four women Trump disparaged, but at the end of the day it is about only one thing: Do you support a racist President and a racist political party that supports him, or do you oppose both?

As a nation we have many problems to solve, pressing problems, urgent problems.

But until Donald Trump is no longer President, we cannot do anything about them.

He makes everything about himself and that is precisely what 2020 should be about. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.