Last week the Coalition Against Hate released the discriminatory records of individuals who have been raised as potential appointees or senior staff in a Trump administration with deep ties to racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The Coalition urges Donald Trump to eject known extremists from his inner circle, such Senator Jeff Sessions, Representative Mike Pompeo, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Laura Ingraham and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The coalition, comprised of more than 40 diverse organizations representing millions of Americans, also urge Senators from both sides of the aisle work together to ensure that hate and division are not allowed in mainstream American politics, and block confirmations of Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Mike Pompeo. The coalition will be looking for balanced coverage from the media on Trump’s inner circle that includes their bias against Americans of different races, ethnicity, faiths and sexual orientation.
“This is a bipartisan call to action. History will remember who stood against hate and bigotry, and who looked the other way,” stated National Hispanic Media Coalition’s president & CEO and Coalition Against Hate member, Alex Nogales. “We must fight to protect the safety of all Americans. We call on everyone from the grassroots to the U.S. Senate to peacefully but forcefully oppose this dangerous return to mainstream racism. We call on the media, in particular, to expose the fake news phenomenon and avoid normalizing racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
“Biased individuals will result in biased policy. It is that simple,” said Corey Saylor, director of the Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “No realistic vision of a united America includes Presidential appointees who favor racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
“At a time when our country is in need of healing, the President-elect’s appointees so far indicate that he intends to turn the divisive and hateful rhetoric of his campaign into policy,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “We will not stand for a government that seeks to disenfranchise aspiring Americans, women, the LGBTQ community, and communities of color.”
“Hate is anti-American,” said Heidi Beirich, intelligence project director at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “With his appointments, the Trump campaign has made manifest the terrible ideas that he campaigned on–—nativism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and others. If our President Elect doesn’t change course, then the hate he has unleashed in the last year will continue to flourish and at the highest levels of American politics. We call on all elected officials to pushback against hate in the mainstream and to forcefully oppose any Trump appointees who represent these anti-American values.”
Read their records below:
Senator Jeff Sessions
Donald Trump has selected Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. Attorney General. In 1986, the U.S. Senate blocked Sessions’ appointment to a federal judgeship due to testimony from his former colleague about his persistent racist rhetoric.According to that testimony, Sessions used the N-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.” He has acknowledged that he concurred that a white civil rights lawyer was a “disgrace to his race” and reportedly called a Black attorney “boy” and told him to “be careful what you say to white folks.” We urge the Senate to block his confirmation. In 2006, Sen. Sessions gave a speech on the Senate floor stating “almost no one” from the Dominican Republic coming to the U.S. had skills that would benefit the country.
Representative Mike Pompeo
Trump has tapped Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo has an inconsistent record with Islamophobic remarks and must be scrutinized closely. He broadly accused American Muslim leaders of “silence” in response to terror attacks hundreds of them have actually condemned; this so-called silence, he said, makes “Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts.” Yet he urged people in one speech last year to differentiate terrorists from regular Muslims, saying “there are many Muslims of good will.” He has described the Guantanamo Bay prison as a “perfect facility” for interrogating terrorists, and he has called CIA torture “within the law.” We urge the Senate to reject Mike Pompeo.
Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn
Trump has chosen retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn to serve as his national security advisor. On Twitter, Flynn has spread anti-Semitism and Islamophobia by, for instance, retweeting that “fear of Islam is rational.” He has also promoted the work of an author who writes that “diversity is white genocide” and stated that Islam is a “political ideology,” not a religion, and is “like cancer.” The national security advisor does not require Senate confirmation, but we call on Donald Trump to rethink his decision.
Other Trump insiders with deep ties to racist movements must also go. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was the chief executive of a website he called “the platform for the alt-right,” a white supremacist movement, and he led an anti-Muslim smear campaign against the founder of Chobani yogurt. He has received praise from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Chairman of the American Nazi Party, Rocky J. Suhayda.
Trump’s short-list for press secretary reportedly includes Laura Ingraham, who has a long history of hate profiteering. Ingraham infamously stated that Mexican immigrants “have come here to rape and murder our people.” She has compared same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest, suggested that people should wear diapers instead of sharing restrooms with transgender people, and that the U.S. should only accept Christian refugees.
Kansas Secretary General Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach, Trump’s immigration advisor, has made waves for his recent plans to build a Muslim registry. Kobach’s history in extremism extends well beyond Islamophobic sentiment. He has worked for a racist hate group whose stated purpose is to reduce the number of people of color in the U.S., was behind Arizona’s racial profiling bill, SB 1070, has likened LGBT people to pedophiles, and is a birther.
The Coalition Against Hate is comprised of faith groups, civil rights organizations and other non-profits that represent millions of Americans. Its mission is to #breakhate by elevating the voices of the impacted and holding purveyors of hate speech accountable, and its members include: