FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 4, 2016
Gebe Martinez, email@example.com, 703-731-9505
Betsy Harbison, firstname.lastname@example.org, 407-782-9268
WASHINGTON — Tony Schwartz, who coauthored “The Art of the Deal” with Donald Trump, and national leaders from the Muslim, civil rights, and immigrant communities on Tuesday called for an end to the politics of division that has whipped up fear and hate of immigrants and communities of color.
With the Nov. 8 election only five weeks away, the organizations called on all candidates and office-holders to break their silence and condemn the political rhetoric that has unleashed prejudice and hate across the country, and urged voters to demand unity and renewed efforts toward racial healing.
Joining Schwartz were Marielena Hincapié, executive director of National Immigration Law Center – Immigrant Justice Fund (NILC-IJF); Linda Sarsour, cofounder and director of MPower Change; Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Cristina Jimenez,cofounder and director of United We Dream Action; and Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and organizer of Coalition Against Hate.
Schwartz coauthored Trump’s biography by closely observing him, and began speaking out against Trump after watching the businessman call Mexicans criminals and rapists during the first speech of his presidential campaign. Since then, Trump’s divisive rhetoric has only become more heated.
Schwartz announced today that he will donate approximately $55,000 to the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund, and he challenged Trump to do the same.
“I felt especially motivated to give the royalties I earned from ‘The Art of the Deal’ to the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund for their work in coalition with organizations that not only fight against discrimination and division, but also for something beyond their own immediate constituencies. Never in my lifetime has this country been more polarized, and never has the need for reconciliation, understanding, and acceptance of differences been more important,” Schwartz said.
“I’m here today because I believe that the appeal to fear and prejudice that we’ve seen during this campaign—to narrow self-interest at the expense of our collective shared interest—puts the future of our country at risk,” Schwartz added.
“We will not stand by and watch our country’s values of equality, fairness, and freedom be taken hostage,” said Hincapié. “While each of us represents particular constituencies, we are joining forces because the future of our country is at risk. We stand together for all Americans.”
Sarsour, a leading advocate in the Muslim community, said, “This election has been about Muslims without Muslims. The proposals to ban Muslims, register us in databases, spy on our religious institutions, along with the rise of hate crimes against Muslims has emboldened us to ensure unprecedented turnout in key swing states. We will send a strong message against hate in November and recommit to the important work ahead post-election.”
Henderson, of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, noted Trump’s proposals would deny basic rights to the communities that are fighting back. “This is a man who made his political debut by popularizing the racist birther myth as a way of denying the legitimacy of our nation’s first Black president. This is a man who, in advance of the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, has actively encouraged his supporters to intimidate voters on Election Day in ‘certain areas’ of Pennsylvania,” Henderson said. “We will not let this presidential campaign take us back to our nation’s darkest days.”
Jimenez added that communities of color feel the impact of Trump’s “law and order” vision of the world. Her own brother was accosted by the police who, under the guise of “stop and frisk,” detained him when he was only 12 years old.
“Whether along the border or in our cities, Trump’s vision of ‘law and order’ is one where people of color, black men, immigrants, and women have no power and are kept living in fear at the barrel of a gun. But I have a message for Donald Trump and the immigration agents who crave the unlimited power he’s promised them: We are here to stay. In Homestead, Florida, a city crawling with immigration agents, my friend Juan Carlos is organizing for justice. In North Carolina and New York and New Mexico and Houston and Colorado, immigrant youth and people of color are stopping deportations, staring injustice in the face, and saying, ‘aquí estamos y no nos vamos’—‘this is our home, and we are here to stay.’ We are ready to fight, and you know what else? The millions of voters in our communities are going to vote.”
Nogales, of the Coalition Against Hate, said the communities must respond to the lasting harm created by the hate speech, and the coalition will hold accountable political leaders and the news media that advances misinformation and bias.
“Together, the Coalition Against Hate will meet with news media network executives to make sure that our voices are heard over the rhetoric that misinforms, prejudices, and energizes those who would commit violent hate crimes,” Nogales said. “It is infecting our workplaces, classrooms and homes, and we are joining groups that represent women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and people of every faith and walk of life to say enough is enough. It’s high time we restore a civility to our public discourse that accurately represents and respects all people.”
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