Race & Ethnicity

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  • Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host At The RNC

    James Edwards Celebrates Going “Mainstream” By Appearing At RNC With “All-Access” Media Credentials

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Several members of Congress and a Trump campaign official gave pro-Trump interviews to white nationalist leader James Edwards and his “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool during the Republican National Convention. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Edwards pointed to his attendance at the convention as evidence that he and his radio program are going “mainstream.”

  • These Five Reports From The Republican Convention Show How Badly The Trump Campaign Is Fumbling Latino Outreach

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    1. Univision’s Enrique Acevedo’s Tweet:

    Enrique Acevedo, who anchors Univision’s late night daily news show Edición Nocturna, commented on Twitter on the contrast between the Republican convention of 2000, which featured both a Latino theme and Mexican Ranchera singer Vicente Fernández performing on stage, and this year’s convention, which featured Trump’s favorite anti-immigration sheriff Joe Arpaio. Translated from Acevedo’s July 21 tweet:

    “16 years ago, the Bushes invited Vicente Fernández to sing at the Republican convention. Today Trump brought Sheriff Arpaio. Progress?”

    2. The New Yorker: GOP “Has Taken Steps” That Appear To Suppress “The Latino Vote.”

    A July 20 report on the Republican convention in The New Yorker highlighted a side event put together by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in which Republicans defended their stance on stricter voter ID laws. According to The New Yorker, these laws “appear to be suppressing the Latino vote,” a point that is backed up by studies. According to The New Yorker, members of Hispanic media spoke out to debunk the myth that voter fraud is “overwhelming,” with one noting that in decades of reporting, she had never “found that situation”:

    In the background of the discussion was an issue that runs deeper than Trump: for all its talk of reaching out, the Republican Party has taken steps that actually appear to be suppressing the Latino vote. The Party has tried to pass stricter voter-ID laws across the country, even though studies have found that fraud is exceedingly rare and the laws have a disproportionate effect on minority turnout. (A recent study found that Latino turnout is 10.8 percentage points lower in states with strict photo-ID laws.) Lori Montenegro, a Telemundo correspondent, questioned whether voter fraud was being hyped by Republicans, saying, “I haven’t found evidence that there has been an overwhelming fraud.”

    Daniel Garza, who served in the Bush Administration, disagreed. “Well, I come from the Rio Grande Valley,” in South Texas. “It happens.”

    “That’s one place,” Montenegro said.

    Maria Hinojosa, the host of “Latino USA,” on NPR, spoke up. “I just want to second Lori in saying that, in twenty-five years, in all of my reporting, I have never found that situation.”

    3. Univision.com: The Trump Campaign Is The First In 20 Years Without A Spanish-Language Communication Team.

    According to Univision.com, Univision News’ efforts to reach the Trump campaign for comments always go unanswered, in part because Donald Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee in 20 years not to have a specialized Spanish-language communications team. The July 20 report explains that George W. Bush was the first to hire a spokesperson for Hispanic media, and that both John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 followed his lead.

    4. The Hill: Spanish-Language Signs Meant To Represent Hispanics Had Grammatical Errors.

    The Hill reported on July 21 that the signs written in Spanish that were “being waved at the convention” by attendees had grammatical mistakes. They read “Hispanics para Trump,” failing to translate “Hispanics” and using the preposition “para” instead of the correct one, “por.”

    5. Fusion: “When You Photoshop White People Out” Of Republican Convention Pictures, “There’s Hardly Anyone Left.”

  • Aided By Right-Wing Media, Anti-Choice Groups Are Hijacking Black Lives Matter For Their Own Agenda

    How "#UnbornLivesMatter" Ignores Communities That Lack Reproductive Health Care Access

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    Following the shooting deaths of two black men -- Alton Sterling and Philando Castile -- and the targeting of police officers in several U.S. cities, anti-choice groups have attempted to hijack the vocabulary of Black Lives Matter to attack access to reproductive care.

    Since the movement’s inception, the phrase “black lives matter” has been a grass-roots response to issues of race, policing, and structural violence against non-white bodies. In reaction, anti-choice groups have attempted to co-opt Black Lives Matter activists’ rhetoric by promoting their own phrase, #UnbornLivesMatter, to spread misinformation about abortion and its accessibility for women of color.

    Salon’s Amanda Marcotte described the discrepancies between those on social media “talking about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile” and those tweeting with the hashtag #UnbornLivesMatter, many of which “focused on shaming liberals for believing there are more important things to worry about than women terminating unwanted pregnancies.” Marcotte traced the development of #UnbornLivesMatter and concluded that “while the hashtag surge was organized by a bunch of right wing fringe sorts, the grim fact of the matter is that this undermining, race-baiting language has trickled up to the more mainstream anti-choice movement.”

    Indeed, even before #UnbornLivesMatter’s recent prominence, anti-choice groups have long alleged that higher abortion rates among black women reflect an attempt by Planned Parenthood to explicitly target black communities.

    Clinic escort Pearl Brady told Vox that protesters “often target young women of color,” and patient advocate Amanda Patton said they shout things like: “‘Black babies’ lives matter!’” In a longer essay, clinic escort Lauren Rankin described the moment when two regular clinic protestors began using the language of Black Lives Matter to harass patients:

    But about a month ago, something changed. Two of our regular protesters—both men, neither of whom are Black—turned up at the clinic, megaphone, Bible, and camera in tow. Nothing unusual about that. But from the back of their crossover vehicle, they pulled out two new signs, both featuring a Black infant. The signs read:

    “Black life matters.”

    “Hands Up, Don’t Abort!”

    I felt paralyzed for a moment, genuinely stunned. My mind raced. Did they really just go there?

    [...]

    These two men have spent the better part of the last two years of their lives screaming at women who enter an abortion clinic. They and their hate-group (and I use that phrase deliberately) have filmed patients and companions as they enter the clinic, without their consent, and plastered those videos across the internet. These men associate with known anti-abortion terrorists, who have threatened violence against abortion providers.

    And yet, they feel perfectly comfortable appropriating a grassroots, progressive movement for racial justice in order to further shame Black patients and their partners. These men parade these signs specifically to target and harm Black women who have abortions. These men are accusing Black women who have abortions of perpetrating racial genocide, of inflicting systemic violence against their own children.

    These men are despicable, and they’re not alone.

    Right-wing media figures have amplified and repeated claims of a racist rationale behind the provision of access to abortion care. For example, frequent Fox News commentator and former GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that Planned Parenthood engages in racist population control by placing “most of their clinics in black neighborhoods.” Beyond this, Carson has also criticized Black Lives Matter for supposedly excluding the black lives “eradicated by abortion.”

    Rush Limbaugh has made similar arguments on numerous occasions, alleging that “Planned Parenthood [is] doing the job the [Klu Klux] Klan could never finish” and that supporters of the reproductive health organization endorse the abortion of “60 percent of black babies.” Limbaugh has even stated that “the original goal of Planned Parenthood was to abortion various minorities out of existence.”

    Right-wing media have also frequently attacked the Black Lives Matter movement itself. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has labeled Black Lives Matter “a hate group” that wants police officers dead. Similarly, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera referred to Black Lives Matter activists as “a bunch of troublemakers” who were “attracting a lot of attention to themselves.”

    According to a March 2016 fact sheet from the Guttmacher Institute, women of color do experience higher rates of unintended pregnancy and more frequently elect to abort. Think Progress’ Kira Lerner explained that these numbers actually reflect “the difficulties that many women in minority communities face in accessing high-quality contraceptive services and in using their chosen method of birth control consistently and effectively. A similar racial disparity exists for other health measures including rates of diabetes, breast and cervical cancer and sexually transmitted infections.”

    Women of color are particularly vulnerable to the loss of a provider safety net when Planned Parenthood clinics are forced out of communities. According to Planned Parenthood’s associate director of global communications, Lori Adelman, “Planned Parenthood is often the primary health care provider for Latinos and African Americans in this country.”

    Black women are among the most adversely affected when access to Planned Parenthood and similar reproductive health care providers is denied. The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda reported that “black women have more than double the unintended pregnancy rate of white women,” which is particularly concerning given “the risk of death from pregnancy complications was nearly three and a half times higher for Black women than for white women.”

    Renee Bracey Sherman wrote after the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby -- which enabled certain classes of employers to deny contraception benefits to their employees -- that because of these higher rates of unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality, “when employers deny access to birth control, they are actually putting Black women’s lives in danger.”

    In June 2016, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that Texas’ anti-choice law HB 2 was an “undue burden on abortion access.” In an amicus brief filed during the case, advocates outlined the disparate impact of anti-choice restrictions on women of color. They explained that “African-American women have been denied access to necessary reproductive healthcare services disproportionately” and this has impacted them “in numerous, measurable, and profound ways.”

    Despite this disparity, anti-choice legislators have frequently invoked the language of racial equality to push their own agendas.

    For example, in a speech demanding greater abortion restrictions, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-KS) attacked members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for condoning higher rates of abortion in black communities. He said: “There is no one more hopeless and voiceless than an unborn baby, but [the CBC’s] silence is deafening. I can’t hear them. Where are they standing up for their communities, advocating and fighting for their right to life?”

    In Missouri, Rep. Mike Moon (R-MO) stole language from Black Lives Matter to promote his All Lives Matter Act -- a fetal personhood law which would enforce the scientifically unfounded belief that life begins at conception. Meanwhile, women have already been prosecuted for having miscarriages and stillborn births and for making attempts to self-abort, using laws that make actions taken by a pregnant person on her own body a criminal offense. For women of color, however, such laws also perpetuate harmful racial stereotypes.

    As Christine Assefa wrote for Feminist Wire, Moon’s bill “suggests that the state of Missouri codify into law the assertion that Black women are killing their own children, are incapable of making decisions about their own bodies, and cannot control their sexual desires.” She continued that these codifications “perpetuate historical, violent, and harmful stereotypes of Black women that reveal the deeply-rooted relationship between race and sexual politics."

    Beyond criticizing Moon’s bill, other reproductive justice advocates echoed these concerns about the hijacking of Black Lives Matter rhetoric to attack access to reproductive care.

    Planned Parenthood's director of constituency communications, Alencia Johnson, told Salon, “To appropriate the Black Lives Matter movement in the midst of the brutal tragedies too many in the black community face from state violence is repulsive.”

    Pamela Merritt, a co-director of the direct advocacy group Repoaction, argued that efforts by anti-choice groups to “to appropriate the language of Black Lives Matter are just the latest example of that movement's long history of pandering to their conservative and often racist base by insulting Black women and dismissing Black activism.” She concluded that this was particularly reprehensible when the “same movement is silent when Black children are shot and Black women are raped by police officers.”

    In a July 12 article Think Progress’ Laurel Raymond summarized the concerns of reproductive justice advocates about the rising popularity of phrases like “unborn lives matter”:

    "Black lives matter" provides a resounding answer to an unheard question: In the face of disproportionate policing and black deaths that are often unpunished and ignored, do black lives matter? Yes, they do. When other groups co-opt the phrase, they shift the focus away from this aspect of criminal justice -- and thus deemphasize the bigger problem at hand.

    "Unborn lives matter" goes one step further: not only does it derail that focus, but it also puts the primary blame on black women for choosing to have abortions. Anti-abortion rhetoric focused on black women argues for them to have that control over their bodies taken away from them -- even as black women take to the streets to protest for control of their bodies from the police.

     

  • To Latinos In Media, Trump’s Nomination Speech Sounded “Disgusting” And “Apocalyptic”

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Latinos in the media denounced the speech Donald Trump delivered when he officially accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, condemning the candidate’s hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric, referring to the speech as “disgusting,” noting it contained “fearmongering” and “divisiveness,” and criticizing him for linking immigration and terrorism.

  • White Nationalists Love Trump’s RNC Speech: “Couldn't Have Said It Better,” “Couldn’t Be Happier”

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    White nationalists leaders are heavily praising Republican nominee Donald Trump’s “awesome” convention speech. The pro-white racists said they “couldn't have said it better” and “couldn’t be happier.” They also praised Trump for focusing on the “negative effects” of immigration and using “codewords” that appeal to whites. 

  • "RNC Contact" Gave White Supremacist And Virulent Misogynist A Convention Pass

    White Supremacist Used Pass To Broadcast Live For A Racist Program

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Matt Forney, a pro-Trump white supremacist who claims women “want” to be “raped” and “beat[en],” attended the second day of the Republican National Convention with a guest pass and reported live from inside the convention arena for a racist radio program.

    The white nationalist movement and adherents like Forney have been celebrating the Republican convention and nominee Donald Trump. They’re attending his convention and other campaign events and have used Trump and the RNC to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. The Trump campaign has had a series of troubling interactions with the white nationalist movement, including giving a white nationalist radio host press credentials, failing to condemn their support, and retweeting them.

    Forney has claimed that “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go” and argued that America needs “strict black control.” He’s also written misogynistic pieces claiming that women want to be raped and beaten and shouldn’t be educated.

    Slate's Michelle Goldberg profiled Forney in the series "Better Know an RNC White Supremacist" and wrote that he "says he’s been gratified by the way the Donald Trump campaign has made his views less taboo." 

    He wrote a July 20 piece headlined “The Alternative Right Infiltrates the Republican National Convention.” Forney claimed he received “guest credentials” from an unnamed “RNC contact” and was able to attend the convention on July 19. At one point, Forney says he was “invited to sit with the Hawaii delegation on the floor and observe the action up close.” He added that he “filmed several portions of the vote count for” a white nationalist show.  

    Forney retweeted a picture of himself with a July 19 guest pass. He also tweeted pictures of himself “Sitting with the Hawaiian delegation on the floor of the RNC,” and shots from other spots around the convention.

    Forney reported live from the RNC for the white nationalist program Red Ice Radio, which is hosted by Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the program “a racist online radio broadcast” and “white nationalist.”

    Red Ice Radio promotes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denialism. Its YouTube videos include “David Cole - The Truth Behind the Gates of Auschwitz,” “Jim Rizoli - What Really Happened at Auschwitz?,” “Eric Hunt - The Shoah: The Biggest Hoax of the 20th Century?” and “Ole Dammegard - Making Critical Thinking Illegal: Questioning the Holocaust.”

    During the July 19 broadcast, Palmgren said that Forney is “inside in the convention center right now.” Forney then briefly described what was currently happening at the convention and broadcast live images of the proceedings. (Forney’s broadcast appeared to have some technical difficulties.)

    Forney previously held a fundraiser “to help me cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this month” with Red Ice Radio and made his “goal with a total of $2,639.88 in donations, exceeding my original goal of $2,500.”

    Forney has written that blacks and Muslims “can’t be trusted” and must be brought under control, "Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S.," “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head,” and Jewish and Mormon people “work to undermine their host cultures.” Here is a sample of his white supremacist writings:

    • “White men built America, and without them, America will die.” [MattForney.com, 4/5/16]

    • “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head. If I get married and have a family, it'll be with a white woman.” [Twitter, 7/9/16]

    • “White people can handle their guns. Blacks and Muslims can't. Bring them under control and end the violence. #PrayForFlorida #Orlando.” [Twitter, 6/12/16]

    • “The Amarillo incident is more proof that we need strict black control and Muslim control, not gun control. #prayforamarillo #prayfortexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Blacks and Muslims have proven that they can't be trusted. Black control now, Muslim control now. #Amarillo #PrayForAmarillo #PrayForTexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Mormons are white Jews: belligerent subversives who despise ‘Gentiles’ and work to undermine their host cultures.” [Twitter, 3/20/16]

    • “Jews support gun control because their limp wrists make it impossible for them to shoot straight.” [Twitter, 2/8/16]

    • “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Whites don't shoot cops. Blacks do. Bring blacks under control and the violence will end. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S. An occupying army. And our politicians let them in by refusing to enforce our laws. #MAGA #SanJose.” [Twitter, 6/3/16]

    • “#PaulLePage is right. What, you think the old white liberals of Maine are selling heroin? It's blacks and Latinos.” [Twitter, 1/7/16]

    • "Let’s just be honest: everyone hates blacks." [alternative-right.blogspot.com, 1/3/15, via Slate

    He regularly writes virulently anti-women posts. His website includes posts with headlines like “How to Beat Your Girlfriend or Wife and Get Away with It.” Forney advocates “weekly whippings,” claiming: “Since most girls want to be spanked, it’s extremely unlikely that she will ever consider your weekly whippings to be ‘domestic violence.’ Even if she doesn’t like the sting of your palm, her sense of shame will keep her from reporting you to the police.”

    Other headlines include: “Why Feminists Want Men to Rape Them” (“Here are the reasons why feminists want to be sexually assaulted, and why they’re working around the clock to aid rapists”); “Hurt Your Wife to Show Her You Love Her”; “The Case Against Female Education”; “The Myth of Female Intelligence”; “Who Cares What Women Think?”; “The Inevitability of Female Submission”; “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem”; and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved.”

    Forney is also anti-gay and uses his Twitter account to call opponents “faggot.”

    The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey wrote that “Forney is a professional Internet troll” and can contend for “most-hated man” on the internet:

    Matt Forney: Forney, a blogger and member of the Valizadeh school, proudly crowned himself the most-hated man on the Internet after his argument “against female self-esteem” went viral last fall. Forney is a professional Internet troll, and has actually published a book to that effect. Publishing blog posts with titles like “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved” is, apparently, a profitable enterprise.

    Forney is strongly supporting Trump for president. He explained that he’s voting for Trump because “Trump’s presidential campaign is the closest America will come to redemption, the last triumph of nationalism before the left swamps us with hordes of barely literate foreigners who will vote them into a permanent majority. I’m not going to sit back and pretend that both parties are identical when one of them is presenting a clear alternative to decay and decline.”

    He also wrote a piece headlined “How Donald Trump Is Inspiring A Masculine Renaissance In America.” He explained that “his unabashedly masculine personality has (in the words of my friend the Bechtloff) been an injection of testosterone directly into the nation’s bloodstream.”

    Radio host Alex Jones also reportedly received a “special guest” credential for the convention. Jones believes numerous toxic conspiracy theories, including that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job by the government.

    White nationalists have been regular attendees at Trump events.

    BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray reported that white nationalist leader Richard Spencer also had received “a credential for the convention but wouldn’t say how he’d gotten it, only saying he has ‘friends in high places.’ But he said he had continually been running into self-identified members of the alt-right around Cleveland. ‘The alt right is here,’ he said.”

    Vice News reported that white nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach, who has been supporting Trump outside the convention, said “he personally knows several other members of his group who are Trump delegates and currently on the convention floor.” American Freedom Party leader William Johnson was picked as a convention delegate but resigned following criticism.

    White nationalist radio host James Edwards attended a February Trump event and was given press credentials by the campaign. VDare founder Peter Brimelow attended a rally in November. Heimbach and his allies previously engaged “in pushing and shouting match with African American counter-protesters at [a] Super Tuesday Trump rally,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center noted