News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 30, 2016: In the days leading up to the U.S. Presidential debate of September 26, 2016, I was left speechless by the announcement from a group of black Haitian immigrants in Miami, and later Jamaican reggae singer Etana, that they were voting for the racist xenophobe who has sadly emerged as the Republican Party’s 2016 Presidential contender.
I could not believe what I was hearing or reading! How could any immigrant or person of color in their right mind support such an ignorant individual who has proven time and again that he is unfit to hold any elected office, much less the highest in the land, is beyond my comprehension?
As an immigrant to the U.S. since 1996, two of the major human rights issues of concern to me have become immigration and of course civil rights. Therefore, any candidate who wants my vote had better speak to my concern for comprehensive immigration reform and be inclusive in their vision, rhetoric and actions.
Donald Trump has proven time and again how he feels about immigrants, Hispanics, blacks, foreigners and Muslims. And this was way before he even decided to run for President.
So to the Haitians, Etana and any immigrant or black voter who wants to waste their vote on November 8th on a thin-skinned bully, with a limited vocabulary and knowledge of the world and who could not be more un-deserving and unfit to serve as a community board member much less President, here are 15 facts you may want to think about in the next 40 days. Hopefully, it will be 40 days of real reflection and will cause you to rethink your position.
1: Trump’s blatant racism dates back decades. When Trump was serving as the president of his family’s real estate company, the Trump Management Corporation in 1973, the Justice Department sued the company for alleged racial discrimination against black people looking to rent apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
2: In 1989, Trump took out full-page ads in four New York City-area newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty in New York and the expansion of police authority in response to the infamous case of a White woman who was beaten and raped while jogging in Manhattan’s Central Park – a case that triggered public outrage with the ads and led to the wrongful conviction of five teenagers of color known as the Central Park Five.
3: Then the New Jersey Casino Control Commission fined the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino $200,000 in 1992 because managers would remove African-American card dealers at the request of a certain big-spending gambler and send them to the back. A state appeals court upheld the fine.
4: Trump has also faced charges of reneging on commitments to hire black people. In 1996, 20 African Americans in Indiana sued Trump for failing to honor a promise to hire mostly minority workers for a riverboat casino on Lake Michigan.
5: Of course, there is the entire ‘birther’ movement against the US’ first black as he triggered support amongst the racists in America by spreading the racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore an illegitimate president. He also questioned the President’s religion.
6: And then there is the build up to the election. Trump began his Presidential campaign in May 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals” and insisting throughout his campaign he will build “a big beautiful wall” on the US’ southern border to keep the “illegals” out and make Mexico pay for it and he will deport all undocumented immigrants. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” Trump said of undocumented Mexican immigrants.
7: At a November campaign rally in Alabama, Trump supporters physically attacked an African-American protester after the man began chanting “Black lives matter.” Video of the incident shows the assailants kicking the man after he has already fallen to the ground. The following day, Trump implied that the attackers were justified. “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up,” he mused. “It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
8: Trump’s racial incitement has already inspired hate crimes. Two brothers arrested in Boston last summer for beating up a homeless Latino man cited Trump’s anti-immigrant message when explaining why they did it.
“Donald Trump was right — all these illegals need to be deported,” one of the men reportedly told police officers.
Trump did not even bother to distance himself from them. Instead, he suggested that the men were well-intentioned and had simply gotten carried away.
“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate,” Trump said. “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
9: In May, Trump implied that American-born judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over a class action against the for-profit Trump University, could not fairly hear the case because of his Mexican roots.
10: Then in July 2016, Trump called for barring all Muslims from entering the United States. By August, he was slamming the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army officer who died while serving in the Iraq War – a clear low point in a campaign full of hateful rhetoric.
11: And virtually every time Trump mentions a minority group, he uses the definite article the, as in “the Hispanics,” “the Muslims” and “the blacks,” blurring them into simple, monolithic entities.
Even when Trump has dropped the definite article “the,” his attempts at praising minority groups he has previously slandered have been offensive. Look no further than the infamous Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet: “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” As former Presidential candidate Jeb Bush summed it up: “It’s like eating a watermelon and saying ‘I love African-Americans.’”
12: Then there was Feb. 28, 2016, when Trump three times in a row sidestepped opportunities to renounce white nationalist and former KKK leader David Duke, who told his radio audience that voting for any candidate other than Trump is “really treason to your heritage.”
13: Trump has even stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-Semitic meme created by white supremacists.
14: He treats African-American supporters as tokens to dispel the idea he is a racist. At a campaign appearance in California in June, Trump boasted that he had a black supporter in the crowd, saying “look at my African-American over here.”
15: At the debate on Monday night, September 26th, Trump again found a way to blame immigrants. While immigration as an issue was unfortunately not brought up by moderator Lester Holt, Trump brought it in by blaming undocumented immigrants for crime. “We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they’re illegally here, illegal immigrants. And they have guns. And they shoot people. And we have to be very strong. And we have to be very vigilant,” he said. Of course this was to play to his extreme right wing, anti-immigration crowd.
The reality, as the CATO Institute pointed out this week with data, is that “immigrants prevent crime indirectly by simply committing far fewer crimes per person than native-born Americans.”
Then there is the fact that is often underreported – about 25,000 police officers, detectives and other law enforcement personnel were born in another country, according to the Census Bureau in 2014. And there are another nearly 6,000 immigrants working as firefighters, roughly 14,000 as correctional or probation officers, almost 70,000 working in private security, and nearly 700,000 in medical and health services, including nearly half of all diagnosticians and treating practitioners, CATO David Bier points out.
Let’s all make sure this November 8th, the immigrant vote combines with the African-American vote to Dump Trump and send him back to the pig sty he belongs!