Note: This past Saturday, NCLR joined the Women’s March on Washington as an official partner. We were honored to join the throngs of supporters who descended on the nation’s capital to march for women’s rights, but also for immigrants’ rights, LGBT equality, income equality, and a fair economy. There were a number of NCLR staffers who joined the march, including Brenda Gonzalez Ricards, our California Regional Director. Below are some of Brenda’s thoughts about her experience, as well as social media highlights from this weekend’s event.
By Brenda Gonzalez Ricards, California Regional Director, NCLR
When a work meeting was scheduled in our nation’s capital a few days after the Women’s March on Washington, I decided to arrive to the city early to participate in what I knew would be a historic event. I booked a red-eye flight and arrived in DC at 10:00am, the exact time the rally for the March began on Independence Avenue.
With my pink poster in hand, I walked a mile to join the growing sea of pink beanies worn by women, men, and children from the across the country.
Words matter. It’s a fact that has been highlighted in this election and its aftermath, as the Latino community, immigrants, and other minority groups have been the target of divisive and hateful rhetoric that has not ceased after polls closed on Nov. 8.
That’s why we joined the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and other organizations this week to call for President-elect Donald Trump to protect and defend all Americans and condemn the violence and hate.
“President-elect Trump needs to reassure—or at the very least address—the fears of the communities of which he will now be president,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía in a press conference that unveiled two important reports published by the SPLC. The reports document the concerning pattern of hate incidents and bullying cases that have occurred across the country in the days after the election.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Photo: Sen. Sessions official Senate website
Almost two weeks have passed since Election Day, and the president-elect is in the midst of the transition process, deciding who will be in his Cabinet and among his top advisors. Traditionally, presidents have wide latitude when it comes to choosing their cabinets, but Donald Trump’s selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to serve as the Attorney General is one selection that we cannot support.
“We believe that any president should have broad latitude in appointments within their administration,” said NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguia. “However, the combination of the pivotal role the attorney general has over so many issues of concern for our community and Sen. Jeff Sessions’ egregious track record on those issues makes it impossible for us to support this nomination.”
By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
At a time when we’re being assaulted by new levels of hate, intolerance, and bigotry in our political campaigns, an important new book, Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority, points the way toward a more inclusive, just, and fair society. Written by Steve Phillips, a veteran social justice activist and founder of PowerPAC+, Brown is the New White argues that a “new American majority” composed of progressive people of color and Whites is already a demographic reality. He cautions correctly, though, that this potential alliance is not yet a political reality. That would require—and is still awaiting—an affirmative effort to be mobilized and realized by increasing “cultural competence” and making wiser electoral investments.
Phillips’ book makes several critical contributions to public discourse on the subject. Through rigorous analysis of the country’s changing demographics, Phillips shows that the combined potential voting power of progressive people of color and Whites is already an effective working majority. He carefully studies Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Arab Americans, demonstrating that they share many common interests with each other and with many White Americans.
HB2 protestors sit on the steps of the North Carolina Museum of History during the Moral Monday rally in Raleigh. Photo: Nathania Johnson
You can now count NCLR as one of the many businesses and organizations protesting North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law known as HB2. This week we announced that NCLR would be canceling its Northeast/Southeast Regional Leadership Convening scheduled for this October in Raleigh. Instead, we’ll be moving our meeting to Miami, a city where no such discrimination has been codified into law.