Trump and Clinton Address Their Plans for Minorities

By AHMET AKDAG
On October 24, 2016

Photo courtesy of Mr. Sean Elliot, Wikipedia

When it comes to matters involving minorities such as Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants and the LGBTQ community, there is a clear difference between the positions held by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Clinton has managed to gain most of the support of minority groups compared to Trump, who has been struggling to improve his standing with minorities. Some of the statements made on the topic, especially by Trump, have created significant controversy among the various communities, which have motivated them to take action and boost their participation in the election.

“We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall,” Trump reiterated on Aug. 31 in a speech he made in Arizona regarding immigration.

The idea of building a wall along the border has been a core part of his platform. However, some members of his Hispanic Advisory Council began to withdraw their support of Trump.

Jacob Monty, Houston attorney and member of the council, said, "What I heard today was not realistic and not compassionate."

Trump still retains a small number of Hispanic supporters, especially those who agree with his views.

The Hillary Clinton campaign website states that “in her first 100 days, Hillary Clinton will put forward a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that includes a pathway to full and equal citizenship.”

This has been a major debate point between the two candidates.

“I want to get everybody out of the shadows. Get the economy working and not let employers like Donald exploit undocumented workers which [not only] hurts them but also hurts American workers,” Clinton said during the third presidential debate, further emphasizing her commitment to protecting illegal immigrants.

This has led to growing support from the Latino community, even from those registered as Republicans or Independents. The Together for America group was launched to bring these people together in support of Clinton.

“You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed -- what the hell do you have to lose?" Trump had said in Michigan on Aug. 19 in an attempt to reach out to African Americans for support.

President of the Mississippi NAACP, Derrick Johnson, gave a press conference regarding the speech saying that Trump “clings to the hateful and intolerant rhetoric of this country's shameful history – a history that we know all too well.”

“We need to come together to get incomes rising with a higher minimum wage, to invest in neglected communities ... to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people, to fight for a criminal justice system that actually delivers justice, and to make sure all kids have good schools and good teachers no matter what zip code they live in,” Clinton said in her keynote speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Clinton and the Democratic party receive the strongest support from the black community and have solidified it with the help of President Obama, who has appealed to the community to choose Clinton.

“One of my first acts as president will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam – which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community,” Trump said in an August speech on radical Islam.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, rebuked his speech by saying “Donald Trump obviously views millions of ordinary American Muslims not as fellow citizens who contribute to this great nation, but as foreign intruders who must be treated with suspicion and whose constitutional rights may be curtailed.”

CAIR has also been working on mobilizing Muslim voters across the country, reminding them of registration deadlines and providing voter registration help.

“The Muslim community knows that the stakes in this election could not be higher. From proposing to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, to attacking a Muslim Gold Star family whose son sacrificed his life for our country, to suggesting we monitor Muslim communities and places of worship,” Clinton said in regards to Trump’s proposed policies on Muslims.

This was released in response to an endorsement by the Emerge USA PAC which supports candidates that support civil rights and the rights of minorities. Clinton is not without criticism from Muslims though, as her past support of military engagement in Muslim countries and the support of Israel has led to some degree of backlash against her.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” Trump said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, which has garnered him some support from the LGBTQ community.

However, despite being one of the few minorities he has had success with, the Log Cabin Republicans who represent the most influential group of LGBTQ Republicans have refused to endorse Trump. They consider Trump the most pro-LGBTQ Republican candidate in history, but they disagree with his choice of advisers and support of legislation that the group opposes.

“As president, I'll fight for the rights of transgender people, because no one should be harmed or mistreated for being who they are.” Clinton said in a CNN Op-Ed in June.

Clinton has managed to receive significant support from LGBTQ communities and has constantly stated her plans to pass legislation that would protect them from discrimination. However, some LGBTQ members have been wary or critical of Clinton due to her previous opposition to gay marriage or some statements she has made in the past. With the polls showing significant support for her though, it is clear that a large number of the LGBTQ community trusts her.

Many of the minorities have strongly favored Hillary Clinton either due to opposition to Trump’s policies or even just opposition to Trump in general. There is some suspicion of Clinton due to her past actions or statements, but the support for her is overwhelming. According to polls, African Americans are the least likely to support Trump. While Hispanics and the LGBTQ community have also sided with Clinton, these two groups are relatively the most supportive of Trump.

Overall, minorities have been predominantly mobilized in support of the Democratic candidate, which is not unusual due to the Democrat party’s status among minorities. A unique aspect of the election, however, is Trump’s status as being one of the first Republican presidential candidates to openly give a statement of support for the LGBTQ community.

aakdag@ramapo.edu

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