Joint Statement on Week 1 of Trump Presidency’s Impact on Communities of Color
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Elana Needle, 201-248-9724
January 27, 2017 | Email: [email protected]
With the brush of a few pen strokes, the first week of the Trump administration waged unprecedented and wholesale attacks on various communities of color through legislative action. A week ago, during his Inaugural address, President Trump said, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.” By signing various Executive Orders, President Trump has proven that his administration is, in fact, taking power from the people. Through the excessive use of executive edict, and the repeated lies about voter fraud, he is acting more like a monarch than a president.
President Trump also stated, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families… There should be no fear.” Yet, each word he has uttered and action he has taken in office has been divisive, amplifying regulatory attacks on women, immigrants, Native Americans, other communities of color and stoking already heightened and increasingly violent Islamophobia and other hate related crimes.
The WKKF “America Healing Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative,” is a unique partnership of 12 leading national organizations all dedicated to racial equity and racial healing. As racial equity Anchor Organizations, we have been long-term partners with the Kellogg Foundation in exposing structural inequities and barriers to opportunity in communities, remedying them and helping heal racial wounds. We recognize the detrimental impacts that these policies will have on our communities, and all communities of color.
Below WKKF Anchors remark on the need for solidarity, community building and resistance. The Anchors strongly believe in dismantling the false narrative surrounding the belief in the racial hierarchy permeating America’s history and current reality. To create a true multiracial democracy where all children can thrive, we must demolish this belief system which buttresses structural racism and exacerbates racial inequity.
“In this presidency of ‘alternative facts,’ we must stay vigilant and move beyond shock. The evidence is clear; the recent statements about voter fraud have no basis in fact, but instead are touted to cast a narrative to further restrict voting rights. While this distraction is conjured up, there is a broader threat looming,Trump’s efforts to build an exclusionary America. His constant verbal and twitter attacks on communities of color are now being pushed into policy through wrongheaded immigration policies. As the case was before Trump and in generations prior, the hard work of expanding access to the ballot continues boldly through resistance in the streets, the courts, the legislatures and in the media.”
-- Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project national office
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
“Our nation was founded by immigrants who sought freedom from persecution. Families from all over the world came to our nation to start anew and to have the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and future generations. Our nation was built on the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants -- involuntary and voluntary. We at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum denounce the Administration’s plans that will gravely harm not only immigrant communities, but our nation. We stand on the principle that no person should face discrimination based on their racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds, no matter which country they come from.”
“This week’s actions by President Trump threaten to destroy our foundation as a free society. In its first few days, this administration has decided to attack a number of America’s values including religious freedom, women’s health, and climate equity. We’re also witnessing the president continue his unsubstantiated and dangerous claims of voter fraud, further threatening our democracy at a time when we must instead ensure every citizen has access to the ballot box and confident that their vote will count,” said Heather McGhee, President of Demos. “Today we must stand up and say that this - the dismantling of all the hard-won progress our country has made over decades - will stop here and now.”
Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
In less than a week since Donald Trump was inaugurated, he has signed a set of executive orders and memoranda that represent the new administration’s attempt to institutionalize and legalize exclusionary policies based on extreme Islamophobia, that stoke fear against and threaten our immigrant communities, that display a deep disregard for the tribal sovereignty and lives of Native Americans, that represent draconian efforts to control and limit the rights of women around the world, and that reveal the pursuit of an energy policy that runs directly counter to what is needed to pull our living planet back from climate-change disaster. These are attempts to change the rules of the game. Our institutions, imperfect as they are, are being attacked. Our check and balance system is being attacked and many of our political leaders in the Republican and Democratic establishment are not rising to the occasion. We may have different strategies and actions, but we must continue to place demands on our government to protect all people and we must remain unrelenting in resisting laws and forces that marginalize, expel, and threaten the safety and security of our fellow sisters and brothers.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
“In stark contrast to the myth of widespread voter fraud is the proven reality of voter suppression. A number of federal courts across the country have determined that certain states enacted voting restrictions that discriminated against Black and Latino Americans, as in Texas, or, worse yet, were written with the specific intent to suppress the Black vote, as in North Carolina. Voting restrictions … weaken our democracy and themselves cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of our electoral processes,” said Cornell Williams Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “If President Trump is serious about strengthening our democracy, he should demand that Congress send him a bill to restore Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, such as the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015. And he should acknowledge the widespread voter suppression taking place in this country while rejecting the myth that ‘voter fraud’ justifies blocking access to the ballot box for millions of Black and Latino voters.”
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
“Indian Country has spoken loud and clear that we are not against development, but our legitimate rights as sovereign governments to be heard in the permitting process cannot be ignored. Tribal involvement is necessary to ensure that infrastructure projects benefit our communities without harming our lands, waters, and sacred places.” - NCAI President Brian Cladoosby
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
“President Trump’s executive actions are based on unfounded fears and the well-documented lie that immigrants are more likely to be criminals. As a nation, we are better than bigotry, hate and xenophobia. NCAPA firmly stands with immigrants and refugees and Muslim Americans -- all of whom are an integral part of America. Many in our communities are targeted because they are considered ‘un-American,’ and we will not stand by while our communities continue to be attacked, said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang
National Council of La Raza
“Rather than provide real solutions, President Trump has decided to trigger greater chaos and fear, set in motion a mass deportation force, bully cities that refuse to indiscriminately persecute immigrant communities, and waste billions on a wall. None of these actions will fix anything, but will devastate our economy and the social fabric of our community, “ said NCLR President and CEO Janet. Murguia. “While the president that there is no room for prejudice in patriotism, his actions today are all about building a wall of intolerance.”
PICO National Network
“Retaliating against local communities because they refuse to follow immoral policies is part of an emerging pattern of President Trump not only bullying people who dare to disagree with him, but isolating and further marginalizing people who are different than him,” said Eddie Carmona, campaign director for PICO National Network’s LA RED campaign. “Such behavior is inconsistent with the long-held notion that America is a place of opportunity for all.”
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
“These executive orders are also an attack on the rights of local communities to work towards equality. It is our responsibility to not just march in the streets, but to challenge these divisive policies in the courts, to check irresponsible executive power and to preserve the rule of law.” -- Phil Tegeler, Director of Poverty & Race Research Action Council
"The executive orders signed this week mark the beginning of a sweeping, reckless assault — the likes of which we have never seen — on the values that unite us. Our country was founded on principles of freedom and inclusion, and we are stronger, safer, freer when we come together. However, each order finds a new way to divide us: singling out entire groups of people based on how they look or where they come from, turning away refugees, building useless and expensive walls. This makes our nation less secure, less free, less united -- and it will have a devastating impact on people who will now fear for safety in their daily lives."
-- Rinku Sen, Executive Director of Race Forward