WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes penned an op-ed in The Hill focusingon Monday’s presidential debate and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s lack of understanding on the issues facing minority communities.
Trump shows Disregard for Minority Communities in First Debate
During last night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump had an opportunity to repair his relationship with the Latino community by repudiating – or at least retracting – many of the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino comments which have been part of his stump speech for the past year. Trump failed to make any such effort. In fact, his stated positions on topics such as racial profiling underscore his racist views of minority communities.
Specifically, Trump began to characterize the residents of black and Latino communities as living in hell. His frequent misogynist and racist comments were also brought up when Clinton referenced his previous comments regarding Miss Universe Alicia Machado, calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Trump went on to attribute violence in inner cities to immigrants and proposed stop-and-frisk techniques to ensure law and order in communities with high crime. As ruled by U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin stop and frisk is a form of racial profiling, an overtly racist law enforcement tactic that has been held unconstitutional.
While it’s true that there are challenges that affect diverse neighborhoods, it is insulting to our culture to equate being poor with living in hell. Anyone that knows the Latino culture knows that we are a hardworking, law-abiding, intensely patriotic community with strong family values. The U.S.’ many minority communities work hard to make a better life for themselves and their families, in turn rejecting Trump’s America, where being poor and a minority render you a rapist and a drug dealer.
In contrast, we applaud Secretary Clinton for her effort to address some of the issues that impact minority communities. She condemned stop and frisk, noting that it is an ineffective tactic which enables racial profiling and fails to reduce high crime. Clinton also made the point that stop and frisk primarily targets African Americans and Hispanic males, producing further mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities. She clearly understands that race continues to be a significant determinant in how a minority is treated by our criminal justice system, from initial contact with law enforcement through incarceration.
Clinton also understands that this country needs to increase efforts to restore trust between communities and police. As part of that effort, she supports better police training, an end to private prisons, and effective and reasonable gun control. Finally, we appreciate Clinton standing up for all women and minorities when she effectively held Trump accountable for his comments regarding Alicia Machado.
At last night’s presidential debate, the bar was set very low for Trump in that he only needed to appear presidential and skim over the issues that impact minority communities. Needless to say, he failed to meet even the lowest of expectations. Trump revealed yet again his core views which are based largely on hatred and bigotry, principles which will do nothing but further divide and isolate this country.