Today I will be casting my vote to stop Donald Trump and my hope, my prayer is everyone who hears this will not only join me, but encourage everybody they know to do the same thing.
In spite of everything we now know about the man, every vulgar and offensive statement Donald Trump has ever made, every bigoted and dangerous policy proposal, every lie and contradiction, and the glaring reality that he simply doesn’t have any relevant experience with domestic or foreign policy, he continues to be competitive in the polls – even leading in several of them up until today.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Donald Trump is not doing so well IN SPITE of his racism, sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia, NO! He’s doing so well BECAUSE OF THEM. If anyone among us ever thought that white supremacy was a small fringe part of our society, Donald Trump has clearly proven us wrong.
Even though tens of millions of Americans have made it abundantly clear that Donald Trump has offended and even frightened them, he continues to be competitive and I’ll be honest with you, I’m very concerned.
I’m not in to fear mongering. We don’t have exaggerate the threat of Donald Trump to get people out to the polls – because if all Donald Trump does is keep a few of his campaign promises – we’re all about to have some very real problems.
Need I remind you that Donald Trump is publicly advocating a national stop and frisk policy where law enforcement officers can target and search people simply because of how they look or where they are. Right here in New York stop and frisk was banned because MILLIONS of black folk and other people of color were targeted for no reason other than the color of their skin and it did nothing to make this city one bit safer. With the largest police unions all endorsing Donald Trump, he could seriously begin to put some of the worst policies on racial profiling that we’ve ever seen into effect.
Need I remind you that Donald Trump has publicly advocated a ban on all Muslims from entering this country? Now maybe it’s the case that only a small percentage of you who are listening to us this morning practice Islam, but I need you to understand two things about this proposed ban. First and foremost, banning anyone from entering this country based on some type of religious test is a constitutional violation of the First Amendment which grants us freedom of religion. Secondly, banning one group of people today would only make it easier to ban another group of people tomorrow.
Martin Niemoller was a Christian Pastor who spent 7 years of his life in Nazi Concentration camps because he was so outspoken against Adolph Hitler. You may have heard a version of his most famous quote before. It’s one of my favorites and it’s all about the power of speaking out against problems that you think aren’t your own –because really they are. It says this:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Today we must get out and vote to stop Donald Trump not only because his policies would be directly dangerous to us, but because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. His policies against Muslims, and Latinos, and other immigrants of color may not seem to be about you, but I promise you that if we don’t stop him, you are next.
To be frank, I’m absolutely embarrassed that this commentary is even necessary. For most of my life, Donald Trump has been little more than a national joke – a punchline – a gaudy, bombastic billionaire, a reality TV star. He only became real in politics when he began a several years long campaign to convince people that President Obama himself was a secret Muslim who was actually not even born in the United States. That was his claim to political fame and it’s disgusting. He’s disgusting. He’s dangerous and dammit, we gotta vote. And my final thought is this – wherever you are, make the time, and join me, join Jay Z and Beyonce, join Bernie Sanders, join Michelle and Barack Obama, in stopping Donald Trump.