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“Deaf, Dumb And Blind”: Trump’s Convention Was The Whitest Thing On TV — His Electorate Will Be, Too

This year’s Republican National Convention was the whitest event on TV. While Donald Trump made sure to line up some minority speakers who could attest that he’s not a racist, despite his multiple attacks against minorities, the ethnic composition and themes of the convention attendees undermined that effort in a big way.

According to The Washington Post, out of 2,472 total delegates, only 18 were black, less than one percent. Latinos made up five percent of total delegates, though only three Hispanics made it on stage.

Even some Republicans were alarmed by the overwhelming whiteness of the convention. A group of minority Republicans sent out a letter to RNC chairman Reince Priebus expressing concern over “deficits” in the party’s engagement with non-white communities.

“We have watched in dismay as the presumptive nominee of our Party, the Party of Abraham Lincoln, has caused massive defection, disgust, and disinterest with comments and behaviors that are offensive to the very demographics we need to win this election,” they wrote in the letter.

The way some RNC attendees and speakers used their ethnicity in order to convince the public of Trump’s character was cringeworthy. Lynne Patton, the vice president of Trump son Eric’s foundation and a Trump family friend, talked about how the Trumps stuck by her through her drug issues, and how she’s proof that the Trumps don’t hate minorities.

“As a minority myself, I personally pledge to you that Donald Trump knows that your life matters,” she continued. “He knows that my life matters, he knows that LGBTQ lives matter, he knows that veterans’ lives matter, he knows that blue lives matter,” she said.

Ralph Alvarado, a state senator from Kentucky, was the token Hispanic, and aimed to bring Latinos into a party that has turned increasingly hostile against them.

“There have been comments that I can’t agree with,” Alvarado said before his speech. “There’s things that he said that none of us like to hear, obviously with the judge… I know a lot of those things come from frustrations.”  Yet he aimed to show Trump as someone who will build a wall, but will include “a big beautiful door on the front of that wall,” echoing Trump’s plan to deport 11 million people and allow “the good ones” back in to the United States.

Jessica Fernandez, a 31-year-old Cuban American delegate, found it hard to fit in to a crowd of mostly white, mostly older Republicans.

“Just look around,” she told the Post. “I’m a little unicorn.”

The Miami native was rooting for Marco Rubio during the primaries, but now she was “toeing the line for Trump,” despite the many friends and loved ones who told her not to attend the RNC, and that they could not support Trump.

“I just wish Trump would chill with some of the rhetoric,” she said.

But the rhetoric Fernandez wishes Trump would avoid fuels his campaign’s base, and the convention made that very clear.

During Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday, a message from a white supremacist was shown in the hall.

“Tonight I’m with you, I will fight for you, and I will WIN for you!” -Donald J Trump It’s time to start WINNING again!

The @Western_Triumph Twitter handle is pretty self-explanatory, but their use of hashtags like #AltRight, #ProWhite, #RaceRealist and #LoveYourRace further evidences their views on race. Apparently, Trump’s social media director didn’t see fit to check that.

The phrases that got the most cheers from the crowd also made clear what kind of party Trump supporters want. Any mention of the wall got them going. When Sabine Durden called undocumented immigrants “illegal aliens,” they went wild.

Infamous KKK leader David Duke expressed unwavering enthusiasm for Trump’s convention. Seeing the opening for white nationalism created by Republican candidate, Duke just announced that he plans to run for a senate seat.

The RNC also tried, unsuccessfully, to reach another demographic at the receiving end of Trump’s rhetoric – women. Trump saved his best card, his daughter Ivanka, for the feat.

“At my father’s company, there are more female than male executives,” Ivanka said. “Women are paid equally for the work that we do, and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out.”

While she discussed the gender pay gap, she denied it as the real issue creating wage discrepancy. Instead, she said motherhood is to blame, and promised her father would change labor laws and make childcare affordable. That hasn’t previously been in Trump’s agenda — did he read Ivanka’s speech? — and his campaign has not elaborated on this promise.

Ivanka is pretty, likable, and a great speaker, but the tone of the RNC completely dismantled her claims of a color- and gender-blind Donald Trump, at least as a candidate.

The racism present at the convention can only be matched by the misogyny it accompanied. Speakers and attendees over and over used Hillary Clinton as an excuse to voice centuries-old rhetoric against women.

Chris Christie’s speech, in which he had the crowd chant “guilty!” seemed like a trial against a woman who dared step outside her lines in the seventeenth century.

The Salem-style witch-hunt against Clinton was a major theme in the convention. Trump advisor and delegate Al Baldasaro, who was present at the convention, has repeatedly stated that Clinton should be shot for treason. An Ohio politician, not at the convention, said the same week that she should be “hanging from a tree,” a statement he later apologized for, unlike Baldasaro, who is now being investigated by the FBI for his remarks.

T-shirts with the words “Life’s a Bitch – Don’t Vote for One,” flew off the racks. Other hot items included a pin that said “KFC Hillary Special. Two fat thighs, two small breasts… left wing,” and a shirt with Trump riding a motorcycle, wearing a shirt that says “If you can read this, the bitch fell off,” showing Clinton falling off the bike.

What does Ivanka think about that?


By: Germania Rodriguez, The National Memo, July 22, 2016

July 23, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Republican National Convention, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Blocked By The GOP”: One Way To Help Close The Gender Wage Gap Is To Raise The Minimum Wage

This week, ThinkProgress’s excellent Bryce Covert wrote about a new report by the National Women’s Law Project about the relationship between the minimum wage and the gender pay gap. As the NWLP demonstrates, raising the minimum wage would help close the gender pay gap, because women are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage sectors such as food service, retail, housekeeping, and home health aides,

Raising the minimum wage is an important step in bringing economic justice to women workers. Consider the following:

— Contrary to what you might assume based on the recent mass freak-out by male Fox News anchors, we ladies are hardly the dominant sex in the workplace. In fact, we’re losing ground economically, and the gender wage gap is getting worse rather than better. Increasing the minimum wage would significantly remedy the situation.

— The NWLP points out that women of color, who suffer from racial discrimination as well as gender discrimination, make up a disproportionate number of minimum wage workers. So they, too, stand to strongly benefit from a minimum wage increase, in ways that would partially offset the effects of discrimination.

— Earlier research has shown that the declining real value of the minimum wage has substantially accelerated the trend in growing wage inequality in the U.S. generally, particularly among women. Increasing the minimum wage would help slow this trend.

— Finally, one of the chief benefits of the the minimum wage is as economic stimulus. In fact, it was originally instituted during the Great Depression not so much as a worker protection policy but as macroeconomic policy, to encourage economic growth. Low-wage workers tend to spend close to every penny they make, rather than save. The money they inject back into the economy then has a multiplier effect which revives the economy as a whole — meaning that the minimum wage benefits not just minimum wage workers, but everyone else.

So far, President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage, which he made in the State of the Union address earlier this year, doesn’t seem to have gotten out of committee. It’s one of the endless list of things in this country that is excellent policy and excellent politics, but is being blocked by the G.O.P. Lather, rinse, repeat. Will this story ever end?


By: Kathleen Geier, Washington Monthly Political Animal, June 8, 2013

June 9, 2013 Posted by | Economic Inequality, Economy | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Gender Pay Gap Is Alive And Well”: Facts About the Health Insurance Compensation Gap

Unfortunately the gender pay gap is alive and well: Women in the United States earned 77 cents for every $1 earned by men in 2011—an average of $10,622 in lost wages every year. Yet that earnings ratio actually understates the extent of women’s disparate treatment in the workforce because they also experience a health insurance compensation gap. Below are the answers to some key questions about this gap, as well as how the Affordable Care Act—the new health reform law—works to close it.

Q: What is the health insurance compensation gap?

A: Women are less likely than men to receive health care coverage through their employer and are more likely to have higher out-of-pocket medical costs. This results in a health insurance compensation gap on top of the wage gap.

Q: What is the difference between men’s and women’s access to job-based coverage?

A: Women are significantly less likely than men to have access to their own employer-based coverage. Less than half of women (48 percent) are eligible to get health insurance through their jobs, compared with 57 percent of men, in part because women are more likely to work for small businesses and in low-wage jobs. Although two-thirds of women between the ages of 18 and 64 have employer-based insurance coverage, only 38 percent of women are enrolled in an insurance plan they receive through their own employer,1 while 24 percent receive employer-based coverage as a dependent on their spouse’s or partner’s plan. In contrast, 50 percent of men receive insurance coverage through their own employer, and only 13 percent of men receive dependent coverage.

Q: What is the financial impact of the compensation gap?

A: The gap in health insurance compensation translates into women losing an average of $4,508 for single coverage and $10,944 for family coverage in employer contributions to health benefits each year. Given that two-thirds of mothers are either primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families, the compensation gap is a significant burden on the budgets of many American families.

Q: Where do women turn when they don’t have access to job-based coverage?

A: When working women cannot obtain employer-based coverage and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, they must turn to the individual health insurance market. Yet women often face discrimination in the individual market—they are charged more for coverage, denied coverage for gender-specific conditions, and sold plans that inadequately cover their health needs.

Q: How much more do women spend out of pocket on health care?

A: Even with employer-based coverage, women have higher out-of-pocket medical costs than men. Overall, women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more out of pocket than men on health care, in part because their reproductive health care needs require more frequent health care visits and are not always adequately covered by their insurance. Among women insured by employer-based plans, oral contraceptives alone account for one-third of their total out-of-pocket health care spending.

Q: How are women affected by the compensation gap?

A: The combination of being paid less than their male counterparts and having higher out-of-pocket medical expenses leaves many women struggling to pay their medical bills or trading off other necessities such as food, heat, and electricity to cover their medical costs. Fifty-two percent of women report delaying or going without needed care because of cost (not filling prescriptions or skipping tests, treatments, or follow-up visits), compared with 39 percent of men. Women also report higher rates of medical debt than their male counterparts. And one study showed that more than half of low-income women are underinsured, meaning they spend 10 percent or more of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs and premiums.

Q: How will the Affordable Care Act help reduce the health insurance compensation gap?

A: The Affordable Care Act institutes a series of reforms designed to drastically expand coverage and contain health insurance costs for all Americans. Many of the reforms enacted by the new health law have been and will continue to be especially beneficial for women, as they help resolve many of the problems outlined above. The health care bill:

  • Provides insurance premium assistance through income-based tax credits on a sliding scale beginning in 2014
  • Expands Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level—about $31,809 for a family of four in 2011
  • Allows young people to remain on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26
  • Ends discrimination that has left women paying up to 150 percent more for the same coverage purely because of their gender
  • Bans insurance companies from denying coverage to women through pre-existing condition exclusions Ensures that women receive vital preventive care at no additional cost—significantly including contraceptive coverage, which will eliminate one of the primary sources of women’s out-of-pocket health care spending
  • Mandates that maternity benefits be covered as an essential part of women’s health care
  • Caps co-pays and deductibles, which will help reduce the amount women pay in out-of-pocket expenses

Through these reforms that level the playing field for women in the health care market, the Affordable Care Act will help reduce the compensation gap that exacerbates the disparity between men and women’s earnings.


BY: Jessica Arons and Lindsay Rosenthal, Center For American Progress, June 1, 2012

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Women | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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