The United States is not a racist country, but its president, Donald Trump, is using race for political gain. A series of recent Twitter messages aimed at four liberal female lawmakers of colour have been widely criticised as racism , a claim the American leader has rejected. But whether he is intentionally using such language to appeal to supporters for re-election next year, or genuinely believes what he says, is unclear. What is certain, though, is that diversity has always fared the nation well and is necessary for its continued success. Trump claimed the women “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and then suggested they “go back”. Of the four, three were born in the US, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being of a New York Puerto Rican family, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, African-American, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan born to Palestinian immigrants. The fourth, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, was a child when she arrived in the US as a refugee from Somalia, and is one of two Muslim congresswomen. Intentionally or unwittingly, the president has created a controversy that mixes race, gender and religion, issues that helped him win the presidency in 2016. He has long been accused of holding racist views; his bid for office was launched on a false assertion that his predecessor, Barack Obama , the first African-American to be elected president of the US, was not born in the country. His efforts to curb illegal migration have focused on allegations that Mexicans and others from Latin America are criminals. While his trade war with China is of a different nature, restricting and barring from the US Chinese students, academics and researchers on grounds that they are a perceived threat has unquestionably racist overtones. But while Trump has won support from voters for such views , they do not represent the opinions of the majority of Americans, surveys and evidence showing sensitivity to racial bias. Americans are arguably more tolerant now than ever before. The backlash against the president’s latest outburst and the relative silence of his supporters is proof of that.