#AM_Equality Tipsheet: August 14, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC condemns white supremacist rally; calls on Trump to personally denounce domestic terrorism.



The Human Rights Campaign joins our partners to condemn in the strongest of terms the racism, hatred, and violent extremism that was on display from white supremacist groups in Charlottesville.

It has never been more clear that all of our fights -- against racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-semitism, Islamophobia and more -- are inextricably linked, because we have a common oppressor. We stand in solidarity with those targeted by these white supremacist neo-Nazis -- in Charlottesville and around the country.

We know that this kind of hatred is not new. But we also know that Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and their administration have consistently appealed to and relied on  the darkest and most hateful elements of society for their own cynical political gain. We have seen the results of regressive policies and rhetoric unfold for months. And in Charlottesville, the politics of hate erupted into a brazen act of domestic terrorism.

A group of radical right-wing extremists emboldened and energized by Donald Trump’s very intentional and reckless rhetoric, marched through the streets of Charlottesville -- many in his name -- for the purposes of inciting terror, and innocent Americans lost their lives. In the hours that followed, fair-minded Americans from every political persuasion condemned the day’s horrific events and the hate that motivated them. Except Donald Trump.

For generations, the American people have looked to the president of the United States to be a unifier in times of discord; to be a healer in times of pain; and to boldly condemn the bad in the name of the good.

The fact that Donald Trump would refuse to personally condemn white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the so-called alt-right and domestic terrorism is beyond the pale. It is a stunning failure of moral leadership. And every single American today should question whether Donald Trump is fit to serve as president of the United States.

This is a man who has criticized his own attorney general more harshly than he has white supremacists. That isn’t bringing America together -- it is cowardice.

Bigotry must never be met with silence or half-hearted rebukes. There are no two sides to this, as the president has implied.

As we send our condolences to the friends and families of those whose lives were taken standing up to hate and violence, we also join other civil rights organizations and call on the Justice Department and the FBI to leave no stone unturned, to commit to this domestic terrorism investigation at the highest levels, and throughout every agency.  No one in this administration should hinder this investigation in any way.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-semitism and Islamophobia are all long-standing barriers to real freedom and equality across our country. And we cannot allow our President to tolerate and exacerbate this kind of bigotry. We stand in locked arms with civil rights groups demanding that Donald Trump, Mike Pence and every politician confront this violent extremism, and to rid the administration of those individuals who have long fueled this kind of hatred in America.

Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) joined major civil rights and faith leaders yesterday in a unified call for Trump to personally and directly disavow white supremacists and the act of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. They also called for the ouster of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, who have ties to extremist, white nationalist groups, and asked Congress to establish a bipartisan oversight committee on hate crimes and white supremacy. Read more from Jasmine Lee at CNN and Michael K. Lavers at the Washington Blade.  

  • New this morning -- ABC’s The Note: “Trump’s silence on white nationalism is deafening”. Read Veronica Stracqualursi’s report at ABC.
  • And from NBC’s First Read, “Trump’s Charlottesville Response Was A Failure of Presidential Leadership”. More at NBC.
  • “When the President is Un-American”: Writes Paul Krugman (@PaulKrugman) in today’s New York Times,  Trump is “is so deeply alienated from the American idea that he can’t even bring himself to fake it. We all know that Trump feels comfortable with white supremacists, but it’s amazing that he won’t even give them a light tap on the wrist.” Read more at the New York Times.
  • “Everyone’s hearts are aching”: ABC News reports on vigils across the country held in the wake of the deadly events in Charlottesville. More at ABC.

MUST WATCH MONDAY: The mother of Charlottesville domestic terrorism victim Heather Heyer says she was “passionate about justice for everyone and fairness and fair treatment and you better be able to explain to her why something was true and not true and why it had to be that way.” More at MSNBC.

TRUMP ADMIN POISED TO ROLL BACK ACA’S LGBTQ PROTECTIONS IN HEALTH COVERAGE: This Obama-era Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidance prohibits most insurers from discriminating on the basis of sex -- including gender identity -- when providing health coverage. More from The Hill.

AG JEFF SESSIONS WANTS TO LEGALIZE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST TRANSGENDER INMATES: In a federal court filing, the Department of Justice indicated  that it may reevaluate Obama-era policies requiring prisons to allow inmates to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. More from BuzzFeed.

ALARMING REPORT -- MURDERS OF LGBTQ PEOPLE IN 2017 ALREADY SURPASS LAST YEAR’S TOTAL:  The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program reported that 33 LGBTQ people have died this year in hate-violence-related homicides, compared to 28 in all of 2016. More from BuzzFeed.

ICYMI -- NETROOTS NATION HIGHLIGHTS FIGHT TO #StopMarkGreen: The panel, “Inside the Successful Campaigns to Pressure Trump Officials to Step Down,” featured HRC National Press Secretary Stephen Peters (@StephenPeters2). When Trump announced Green as his Army Secretary nominee, HRC and its allies exposed his deep and shameful anti-LGBTQ record and rhetoric, and the danger he posed to LGBTQ service members and their families, forcing Green to remove himself from consideration. Watch here.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

A.M. Equality