Race

Tags ››› Race
  • Exodus Of Minority Staffers Continue At RNC As GOP Embraces Trump

    Head Of Hispanic Media Relations Resigns Amid Trump's Latest Attacks On Latinos

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    The head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee, Ruth Guerra, announced her resignation amid reports that she was “uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump.” The announcement comes after a week in which presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump repeatedly attacked  the ethnic background of a U.S. District Court Judge, and criticized the first Latina governor in U.S. history, Susana Martinez.

    Trump has made insulting Hispanics a cornerstone of his presidential bid, including describing Latino immigrants as “rapists,”claiming that the Mexican government was intentionally sending criminals to the US, suggesting that Jeb Bush’s immigration views were shaped by his Mexican born wife, chalking up the beating of a Hispanic man by his supporters as them being “passionate,” and declaring “I love Hispanics” by tweeting out a picture of a taco bowl.

    Guerra’s resignation also comes a month after two high ranking African American’s resigned from the RNC. On March 31 NBC News reported that the RNC’s Director of African American outreach was leaving which was preceded by the resignation of the RNC’s Communications Director of Black Media.

    The New York Times reports:

    The head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee is resigning this month in what appears to be another indication of the lingering discomfort some party officials have about working to elect Donald J. Trump president.

    […]

    Ms. Guerra told colleagues this year that she was uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump, according two R.N.C. aides who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the difficulties surrounding the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.

    It is relatively rare for party staff members to leave the national committee in the midst of a presidential campaign unless they are going to work directly for the nominee.

  • The O’Reilly Factor Peddles Racist Myths About High Incarceration Rate For Drug Violations 

    Eric Bolling: “Maybe More Blacks Are Committing More Of The Same Crimes”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    During a segment on drug incarceration, Fox News’ Eric Bolling suggested the higher incarceration rates for African Americans are not about race, but instead because “blacks committed more of the same crimes.” From the April 22 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

    BILL O’REILLY (HOST): I feel very strongly that if my children were addicted to heroin and I knew who was selling them the heroin, I would not consider it a nonviolent action. How about you?

    ERIC BOLLING: No, I think you have to go hard on the drug dealers, distributors.

    O’REILLY: Even the punks on the street?

    BOLLING: Even the punks on the street. I don’t think it has anything to do with race, it has to do with what they are doing. They are providing access for kids, people to hurt themselves.

    O’REILLY: Why does the left see it differently and is trying to diminish the harmfulness of their actions?

    BOLLING: Well Russell Simmons tried to make it about race. He said more blacks are incarcerated than whites therefore --  

    O’REILLY: Well it's a big issue.

    BOLLING: Because maybe more blacks are committing more of the same crimes. It's still illegal to sell heroin. It's still illegal to sell opiates.

    O’REILLY: May not be much longer, Colmes, the way the trends are going in this country.

    According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, prison sentences of African American men were almost 20 percent longer than white men for similar crimes. The Wall Street Journal attributed the gap to judicial discretion, restored by the Supreme Court in 2005. In a September 2014 article, the Washington Post reported that, while whites and blacks use drugs at about the same rate, and whites are more likely to sell, blacks are “far more likely” to be arrested for sale and possession.

    Fox’s Bill O’Reilly has a history of campaigning against drug sentencing reform, despite the evidence that current laws target minorities. O’Reilly has previously stated that drug sentencing reform sends a message that drugs aren’t dangerous.

  • Washington Examiner: Conservative Reaction To Tubman On The $20 Highlights GOP Issues With African-Americans

    "The Episode Illustrates Some Of The Broader Challenges Facing Republicans"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    This week the U.S. Treasury announced a plan to add faces of women and civil rights leaders to U.S. currency, including replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 with Harriet Tubman. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently commented that this decision was "pure political correctness," before suggesting Tubman could go on the $2. Trump's comments echo some of those in right-wing media, who have called the decision "dumb" and a "travesty" and said that it "ensures [our] enslavement."

    An April 21 article by the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein pointed to Trump's comments as an example that "illustrates some of the broader challenges facing Republicans seeking to win over black voters": 

    When the U.S. Treasury Department announced that they were bumping Andrew Jackson off the front of the $20 bill to be replaced by Harriet Tubman, most conservatives and Republicans praised the decision. But not Donald Trump.

    Instead, Trump derided the decision as "pure political correctness" and suggested maybe Tubman appear on the little-used $2 bill instead. Trump's comments followed those of Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, who charged that the Obama administration "went stupid" with the decision to bump Jackson, supposedly picking a "completely unnecessary fight" that was "dividing the country."

    [...]

    Typically, I'd dismiss Trump as an outlier for his comments, but it's harder to do that given that he's the Republican front-runner who has won more votes than any other candidate. The episode illustrates some of the broader challenges facing Republicans seeking to win over black voters.

    [...]

    If resistance to Republicans among the black community cannot be explained by ideology alone, then, what else can it be attributed to?

    Another aspect is that for all the official efforts at black outreach among national Republicans, and attempts at racial sensitivity by elected officials, whenever the issue of race is in the news, there's always a Republican or conservative media figure somewhere saying something off-putting.

    What gets communicated to blacks is that a lot of Republicans are resentful toward them and dismissive of any complaints about modern day racism. When the Republican front-runner, instead of using the Harriet Tubman news as an opportunity to celebrate an American icon, takes the chance to slam "political correctness," it's one other incident that reinforces this impression.

  • Racial Justice Issues Ignored During CNN's GOP Debate Get Airtime During Democratic Debate

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    CNN's moderators asked two questions during the Democratic primary debate on the issue of racial justice in America, but the topic was noticeably absent during the network's Republican primary debate.

    During CNN's October 13 Democratic primary debate, moderator Anderson Cooper turned to Don Lemon, in order to "talk about issues of race in America." Lemon introduced a video question submitted via Facebook that asked, "Do black lives matter or do all lives matter?" Lemon noted that the question has previously been a stumbling block for some of the candidates on stage, and Cooper followed up by asking Secretary Hillary Clinton, "What would you do for African Americans in this country that President Obama couldn't?" The candidates' responses focused on institutional racism and urged reform on criminal justice, policing, education, jobs, and housing. In total, the debate dedicated nearly five minutes to discussing racial justice.

    In contrast, CNN's September 16 Republican primary debate did not include a single question on racial justice.

    The absence of questions addressing racial relations didn't go unnoticed. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote that "it was both fascinating and disappointing that race relations in America were not directly addressed" during the Republican debate despite the fact that "issues of race consume the news," and polls show it is among the top three most important issues facing the country.

    Following the Democratic debate, Huffington Post reported that race was one of several issues Democrats discussed in their CNN presidential primary debate that Republicans didn't, writing "the GOP contenders, however, have failed to utter the word 'black' even once during either of their debates."

    Media Matters compiled a list detailing the amount of time spent during the CNN Republican and Democratic debates on various topics:

    Methodology: Media Matters counted the time spent discussing each topic, counting from the beginning of the moderator's question on a given topic to the end of the last candidate's response on that topic. The time count only includes questions that were focused on the above topics and the responses given, it does not include discussions of those issues during opening and closing statements or responses addressing those issues during questions focused on other topics.

    Julie Alderman, Cydney Hargis, and Brendan Karet contributed research to this post