Diversity & Discrimination

Issues ››› Diversity & Discrimination
  • Trump's Anti-Semitic Speech Came From Breitbart, The Alt-Right, And Alex Jones

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s October 13 speech pushed the conspiracy theory that the media, corporations, and “global financial powers” such as banks are, in concert, harming America and working with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to defeat him. This claim -- which several journalists noted was an anti-Semitic dog whistle -- comes from the white nationalist “alt-right” movement, which includes the website of Trump’s campaign CEO, Breitbart News, and radio host conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

    During the speech at a rally in West Palm Beach, FL, Trump claimed that there was a “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” He also claimed that Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers” and that the election may be “in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system.”

    Multiple journalists noted that the speech played on old anti-Semitic tropes. As Politico’s Eli Stokols explained, “The hints of anti-Semitism were strong.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the president of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted, “.@TeamTrump should avoid rhetoric&tropes that historically have been used [against] Jews & still spur #antisemitism. Lets keep hate out of [campaign].”

    The speech was reportedly co-written by Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News who took a leave of absence to work as Trump’s campaign CEO. Bannon has bragged that Breitbart News is “the platform for the alt-right” -- a rebranded white nationalist movement that is opposed to immigration and embraces racism, sexism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-Semitism.

    With Bannon at the helm, Breitbart News has peddled anti-Semitic rhetoric, which has continued since he left. In May, contributor David Horowitz wrote a piece calling The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.” In September, Breitbart writer Matthew Tyrmand called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist” who was “on the warpath against the rising populist forces doing electoral damage to her establishment friends and allies across the world,” adding, “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” In August, former Breitbart writer Ben Shapiro accused the website of embracing “a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.” And as The Daily Beast noted, Bannon, through Breitbart, “did a lot to normalize the racist, anti-Semitic world of the alt right.”

    Bannon has also personally been accused of anti-Semitism. His ex-wife claimed that while they were looking for schools to send their children to, Bannon asked the director of one “why there were so many Chanukah books in the library,” claimed he asked her if it “bothered” her that another school they visited “used to be in a Temple,” and claimed he did not like another school because of “the number of Jews that attend.” She added that Bannon “doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews.”

    Trump has also enjoyed the staunch support of white nationalists, who have celebrated his stance on immigration and rhetoric against Muslims and Hispanics. In July, they lauded his tweet that appeared to show an anti-Semitic image featuring, as described by The Huffington Post, a picture of Clinton “over a backdrop of $100 bills with a six-pointed star — the Jewish Star of David — next to her face,” with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” on the star. White nationalists claimed “The Leader” Trump was “dog-whistling” with the tweet and that he was exposing “filthy Jew terrorists.” They also praised Trump’s hiring of Bannon, saying that “Breitbart has elective affinities with the Alt Right.”

    Trump’s speech also paid a homage to the language of radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones frequently invokes “globalists” as the villains behind the various conspiracy theories he discusses on his radio show. He believes that a New World Order of global elites is working behind the scenes to rule the world through an authoritarian government and eliminate 80 percent of the world’s population. Trump has courted Jones and his audience, appearing on Jones’ show in December and praising his “amazing” reputation. Trump also pushed a “globalist” dog whistle at his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. The Washington Post’s Robert Costa in August noted that the Republican Party base is increasingly under the belief that “the Republican establishment” and Hillary Clinton are “globalist[s].”

  • “It’s Time For Us To Be Afraid Again”: Charlotte Observer Investigates Anti-LGBT Discrimination In North Carolina After HB 2

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    A Charlotte Observer special report investigated the extent of anti-LGBT discrimination in North Carolina in the wake of the state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB 2), finding that LGBT people have “for years been subjected to bullying, harassment, discrimination and sometimes violence” and that HB 2 “heightens fear in North Carolina.” The piece included interviews with scholars and advocates who say the law, which was passed in March, “has given people permission to hate.”

    As the controversy over North Carolina’s HB 2 continues, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has defended the law -- which, among other things, prohibits localities from enacting nondiscrimination provisions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity -- by saying that he isn’t aware of any examples of anti-LGBT discrimination in North Carolina.

    But the major special report from The Charlotte Observer found 59 people in 50 counties who had been subject to verbal slurs, threats, and even physical assaults because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The paper included reports on each person, an interactive map and videos -- which demonstrate that while McCrory and HB 2 proponents say the law “protects public safety,” the LGBT victims of bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence “say otherwise.”

    In addition to noting years of discrimination against LGBT people, the Observer reported that since the passage of HB 2, “transgender residents said they feel as if they’re being watched.” The paper also spoke with two women -- neither of whom is transgender -- who also reported “being harassed at a restroom” due to their gender expression. The Observer also pointed out that 14 years of FBI crime statistics show that LGBT people were “targeted at higher rates than any other minority group in the country.”  

    From the October 12 Charlotte Observer special report

    Public records and interviews across the state suggest that targeting of LGBTQ residents is so commonplace that many take it for granted as a sad – and sometimes dangerous – fact of their lives.


    Gregory Herek, a psychology professor at the University of California-Davis who is an expert on anti-gay violence, said HB2 sends a broad symbolic message: “It’s conveying to people in the state who are LGBT that they are not full citizens.”

    The new law, scholars and advocates believe, has given people permission to hate.

    Three weeks after HB2 was adopted, someone responded to a sign critical of the governor by leaving a note on an Asheville woman’s car: “Burn in Hell, nasty faggot! I ♥ HB2!' "

    The next day in Charlotte, instead of tipping a waitress who is lesbian, a group of female customers at Zada Jane’s in Plaza Midwood left a Bible verse, Leviticus 20:13, which holds that sex between two men is “an abomination” punishable by death.


    Said Josh Burford, assistant director for sexual and gender diversity at UNC Charlotte: “It’s time for us to be afraid again.”

  • Trump Breaks Spanish-Language Media Silence With Fluff Interview On Telemundo Station

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump broke his silence of over a year with Spanish-language media by talking in Florida to Telemundo51’s Marilys Llanos. However, Llanos failed to press Trump on issues that concern Spanish-language audiences, including allegations that he violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba and his record of disrespecting women, which includes allegations of sexual assault.

    On October 12 Trump sat down for an exclusive interview while campaigning in Florida with a local Telemundo station. The clip was published on Telemundo51.com on October 13:

    The friendly interview was conducted in English while Llanos dubbed his answers in a Spanish-language voiceover and included color commentary like, "The interview took place on board of the candidate’s plane, valued at $100 million.” Llanos asked Trump about his tweet promising to reverse President Obama’s executive order aimed at normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba, and he responded by stating that he knows many Cubans because “as you know, I own Doral,” a municipality in Miami-Dade County, FL, where Trump has real estate investments. In this line of questioning, Llanos failed to ask the candidate about a Newsweek report that a company controlled by Trump could have violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

    Despite asking Trump how he planned to win the female vote, Llanos gave him a pass by letting him posit that the reason he would do well with women is because “more than 50 percent” of the people turning out to his Florida rallies were women. Llanos did not press the candidate on a 2005 video that surfaced recently in which Trump brags about being able to “do whatever” he wants to women because he’s “a star.” The most recent allegations against Trump, the accusations of two women who came forward to accuse him of sexual assault published by The New York Times, had not been revealed at the time of the interview.

    Trump hadn’t done an interview with Spanish-language news shows since sitting down with Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart in June 2015. After being confronted for his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, Trump had been actively ignoring repeated requests to sit with any of the networks, specifically Telemundo and Univision. In response to repeat requests for an interview from Univision's Jorge Ramos, Trump published the anchor’s personal information and mailed him a request for a campaign donation.

    It's not just Spanish-language media Trump has ignored; amid a storm of bad press, the candidate has sought refuge with friendly media -- like the Fox News bubble -- and softball interviewers, avoiding networks where he might get hard-hitting questions. But his dismissal of Spanish-language media has been particularly extreme, and after being ignored for so long, their audiences deserve better than sycophantic interviews.

  • Fox News Plays Defense For Trump By Ignoring Michelle Obama’s Powerful Speech

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    CNN and MSNBC aired a powerful speech from first lady Michelle Obama condemning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's "painful," "demeaning" attacks on women, which include allegations of sexual assault and video evidence that he "has bragged about sexually assaulting women." But Fox News completely ignored the appearance, instead playing interference for Trump by discussing political strategy with Trump ally and Fox contributor Newt Gingrich.

    On October 13, Michelle Obama torched Trump for his verbal attacks on women and for the allegations that Trump sexually assaulted several women, calling his "sexually predatory behavior" not "something that we can ignore." The first lady said Trump's alleged behavior has "shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted."

    Both CNN and MSNBC aired the full, heartrending remarks.

    On Fox News -- an outlet that has called into question the legitimacy of Trump's accusers, has an ugly history of sexual harassment in its own building, and has long worked to discredit and victim-blame sexual assault survivors -- the appearance went unaired. Instead, the network aired a discussion with Trump ally Newt Gingrich, who offered his advice for Trump to handle the fallout from the sexual assault allegations.

    Fox has a pattern of ignoring appearances that cut against its own narrative, including several of the speeches made during the Democratic National Convention.

  • Hannity’s Trump Defense Is Dead. What Will He Do Now?

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    For the last three nights, Fox News’ Sean Hannity has defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was caught on a hot mic bragging about sexual assault, by saying that while the comments were shameful, they were only “words,” compared to the “actions” of the Clintons.

    What will he do now that numerous women have come forward to accuse Trump of assaulting them in the exact fashion the nominee boasted about?

    Hannity’s response to the release of a tape of Trump bragging in 2005 that he can “grab” women against their consent because he is a “star” has been to concede that the comments are indefensible, but to argue that they are just  “words.” After making this initial dismissal, the Fox host pivots to contrasting the Trump tape with accusations of sexual assault that Bill Clinton has faced. Here’s what he said on his October 10 show:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): So going into last night's presidential showdown, there was a media firestorm over comments that Donald Trump made over 11 years ago. Look, nobody is going to defend what Donald Trump said. They shouldn't.

    But here's the thing. Last night, we watched the debate, and those moderators needled and repeatedly pressed Donald Trump over his words from over a decade ago while completely ignoring the actions of Hillary Clinton and her husband against women that accused the president, the former president, of rape, sexual harassment and public shaming.

    Now, here's the difference in all of this. Trump said offensive things, and he apologized, said he was sorry and embarrassed, while the Clintons actually did them and never apologized.

    Hannity made similar, but briefer, comments on his October 11 and October 12 broadcasts.

    Trump already had a lengthy history of engaging in sexual harassment, and he had been accused of assault before  -- which Hannity’s comments ignored. But last night, several women came forward and reported that they had been sexual assaulted by Trump, triggering a firestorm of coverage that Hannity will not be able to avoid. And Trump’s campaign has responded to these accusations by seeking to undermine the women’s stories -- stories about the very sorts of “actions” Hannity has accused the Clintons of perpetrating.

    Tonight, Hannity is scheduled to interview three of Bill Clinton’s accusers. He was also scheduled to interview Trump himself, but apparently the campaign canceled that meeting.

    Now that Hannity’s Trump defense has dissolved, what will he do? Have we finally reached a point where even Hannity is no longer capable of defending Trump?

  • Fox Business Pushes Absurd Conspiracy Theory That Hacked Emails Prove Hillary Clinton Is “Bigoted”

    Fox’s Stuart Varney Thinks It’s “A Big Deal” That Someone Sent Unsolicited Racist Emails To Clinton’s Campaign Chair

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Right-wing radio host and political commentator Stacy Washington used Fox Business’ Varney & Co. to push a debunked lie about the contents of stolen emails released by WikiLeaks in an attempt to paint Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as a racist.

    Washington’s baseless allegation originated with an October 8 post by discredited right-wing blogger Jim Hoft, who claimed in a post titled “WIKILEAKS BOMBSHELL: Racist Hillary Trashes African Americans” that a trove of stolen emails to and from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed the Democratic nominee to be a bigot. The blog links back to the WikiLeaks document in full, but it highlights only a single out-of-context section in which an undisclosed author claims African and Muslim immigrants, among others, are less “successful” than others “irrespective of circumstances.” From Hoft’s The Gateway Pundit:

    Hoft falsely claimed that the author of the racist email is Hillary Clinton, but clicking on the link to WikiLeaks clearly shows that the author was an unidentified person using the Netherlands-based email address orca100@upcmail.nl. On February 21, the user sent this unsolicited racist email to Podesta’s publicly listed email address at the Georgetown University Law Center, along with at least two dozen seemingly random reporters and bloggers. The email is clearly racist, but it was also not written or solicited by Podesta, much less by Clinton. All of these facts were outlined very clearly in an October 11 blog post by Wonkette publisher Rebecca Schoenkopf, who described receiving similar emails herself “from loons” (emphasis original):

    The super-racist email was from “orca100@upcmail.nl.” It sent screeds to Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta and a shitload of HuffPo bloggers. (Really, it was spam TO John Podesta. He’s in the “to” field! He did not send it! He is also not from the Netherlands!) If you check the tipline at wonkette.com, you will see a lot of emails just like it! From loons!

    The obvious falsity of Hoft’s claims was not enough to stop Washington from making the case that the email proves Hillary Clinton is “bigoted” against the African-American community. During the October 13 edition of Fox Business’ flagship morning news program, Washington falsely claimed Clinton “actually emailed people saying that blacks aren’t good immigrants.” Host Stuart Varney agreed, wondering aloud why “a big deal” wasn’t made out of this transparent falsification of the stolen emails’ contents.

    Watch the entire spectacle here:

    STACY WASHINGTON: [Clinton] also said in the WikiLeaks reports that -- of her emails -- that she actually emailed people saying that blacks aren’t good immigrants, because no matter what country they emigrate into, they don't do well.

    STUART VARNEY (HOST): I saw that. I thought a big deal would be made of that because you don't say things like that. But that’s what was said. I thought it would be a headline, but it wasn't. Last 20 seconds to you, Stacy.

    WASHINGTON: You know, Stuart, it’s not true. If you look at Haitians, and people from the actual continent of Africa -- the many nations there -- they do extraordinarily well here in the United States. Her comments are those of someone who is bigoted. Everything she accuses others of, it’s really her.

    VARNEY: Stacy Washington, I’ve got a feeling you’re going to be back on this program because we like you.