Outside Reagan Library during GOP Debate, advocates call for an end to attacks against blacks, immigrants and working families.
Los Angeles – A diverse coalition of more than 40 local and statewide California organizations rallied outside the GOP Presidential debates on Wednesday to protest racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric used by several of the candidates.
“The G.O.P. has increasingly shown to support a platform of hate and racism against immigrants and other communities of color in their efforts to appeal to the most extremist views in the Republican Party,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW). “Today we’re taking a stand. The anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-worker rhetoric of the G.O.P. and of its leading candidate, Donald Trump, is not welcome in Southern California!”
The daylong action on September 16 began with a morning press conference McArthur Park. Marchers then boarded buses for the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, where 15 candidates participated in two debates hosted by CNN.
These protestors—including faith, immigrant, civil rights groups, students, and labor unions—were united by the goal of holding Republican presidential candidates’ feet to the fire to get them to stop using racially intolerant rhetoric about immigrants and other communities of color.
Community, faith, labor, student, and civil rights leaders and immigrant families spoke about the anti-immigrant, anti-working family rhetoric language used by Donald Trump, other candidates and certain media outlets.
Speakers noted that as the GOP frontrunner, Trump has had an outsized influence on the racist rhetoric employed by Republican candidates in this election cycle. As his overheated language has grabbed headlines, and other candidates have followed with insults and mis-truths about immigrants and the Black Lives Matters movement, among other issues of importance to people of color.
Rally supporters called on the candidates to show respect for racial equality and the contributions of immigrants and other working people.
“As an African-American, it pains me that candidates like Donald Trump are allowed to dominate our political debate in the media,” said Kawana Anderson, a security officer in Los Angeles and a member of SEIU USWW. “From his birtherism propaganda against the President to his inflammatory rhetoric against immigrants and his most recent comments attacking the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s a tragic reflection of the G.O.P.’s slate of candidates running for the highest office in the nation.”
Earlier in the week, more than 62 organizations signed a letter to CNN calling on the network to stop the hate in the presidential debate and to ask the candidates to pledge to engage in a civil discourse about immigration, immigrants, and working class families. These groups are encouraging people to distribute and discuss this letter using the hashtag #NoHateDebate. A copy of the letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/1JXRs1c
“I am not an anchor baby,” said Kenia Castillo, a sophomore at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, who was also given the honor of swearing in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2013. “I am a hardworking young woman who will one day run for office and win. On that day, with all the readers of my humble words as witness, I’ll invite you, Mr. Trump to swear me in.”
Rally is sponsored by: L.A. County Federation of Labor, CHIRLA Action Fund, SEIU, SEIU-USWW, FIRM, Community Coalition, UNITE HERE, Black Workers Center, KIWA, Carecen, MFV, Teamsters Local 396, and others.
Follow the discussion at #NoHateDebate & #DebateWhatMatters
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