NationalPolitics

Protests, Uneasiness Continue Ahead of Trump Presidency

The fallout for African-Americans, Muslims, Latinos and other minorities over the election of Donald Trump as president has continued with ongoing protests around the nation.

Trump, the New York businessman who won more Electoral College votes than Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election, has managed to make matters worse by naming former Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist.

Bannon has been accused by many critics of peddling or being complicit in white supremacy, anti-Semitism and sexism in interviews and in articles published on Breitbart, the conservative news website he oversaw, ABC News reported.

President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, said Trump had “tapped into a troubling strain” in the country to help him win the election, which has led to unprecedented protests and even a push led by some celebrities to get the electorate to change its vote when the official voting takes place on Dec. 19.

A Change.org petition, which has now been signed by more than 4.3 million people, encourages members of the Electoral College to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton when the college meets in December.

When Americans vote to elect a president, they are in fact voting for a particular slate of electors, not the candidate, per se. The electors, selected based on which party’s candidate wins the most votes in a state, meet in their respective states 41 days after the popular election.

That’s where they cast a ballot for president and vice president.

In each state, except Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who wins the most votes is to receive all the state’s electoral votes.

Because some states are won by wide margins and others more narrowly, it’s possible for a candidate to lose the Electoral College vote even if he or she wins the national popular vote, which will likely be the case with Clinton this year.

Despite this, it’s unlikely that the Electoral College will reverse the election at its meeting next month, but petitioners remain hopeful.

However, the reality is that Trump appears intent on carrying out his pre-election plans of divisiveness.

Under Bannon, Breitbart has lauded the Confederate flag and taken aim at Jewish people and women. Bannon himself has made controversial statements about women and homosexuals, the New York Times reported.

“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) agreed.

“Elevating Steve Bannon to one of the highest positions in the White House installs a man with fringe and dangerous ideologies just steps from the Oval Office,” Booker said.

ABC News listed a slew of Bannon’s transgressions.

During a 2011 radio interview in which he spoke in support of conservative women, Bannon used a derogatory term for homosexual women while explaining why he thought liberals reacted so strongly against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

“The women that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children,” Bannon said. “They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England.”

While Bannon has contributed to Breitbart News as a writer, having penned at least 20 articles, he oversaw the website after founder Andrew Breitbart died in 2012. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has published a number of articles with inflammatory headlines, including:

  • “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew”
  • “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy”
  • “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews”
  • “Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?”
  • “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off”
  • “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage”
  • “Donald Trump Would Be the Real First Black President”

Bannon also acknowledged that the alt-right movement, which Breitbart champions, has appeal to white supremacists and anti-Semites, according to an interview he gave to liberal magazine Mother Jones at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Are there anti-Semitic people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely,” Bannon said. “Are there racist people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely. But I don’t believe that the movement overall is anti-Semitic.”

Elsewhere, Trump has settled on Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as his nominee to be the next attorney general, while former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is being considered for secretary of state.

In 1986, before Sessions became a senator, a Republican-controlled Senate rejected his nomination by President Reagan to a federal judgeship.

Several United States attorneys testified that he had made racist comments, including calling an African-American lawyer “boy,” and that he had been hostile to civil rights cases.

Sessions denied making most of the remarks, but apologized for once saying that he had thought the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he heard that some members smoked pot; he called it a joke.

“You’ve seen some of the rhetoric among Republican elected officials and activists and media” Obama said at a Nov. 15 news conference in Athens alongside Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “Some of it pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. And obviously, President-elect Trump tapped into that particular strain within the Republican Party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes to win the election.”

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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