Excerpt from: CREDO Action
With only months to go in the presidential primaries, it seems more and more inevitable that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee.
Trump is a fascist demagogue whose campaign is rooted in racism, fear-mongering and hate. He explicitly demonizes and dehumanizes immigrants and people of color and has been inciting his supporters to commit acts of racist violence.
With Republican leaders denouncing Trump’s hateful rhetoric only when it’s at its most extreme, and otherwise promising to support him if he’s the nominee, it also seems inevitable that Trump will have the full weight of the Republican Party behind his candidacy — but there’s no reason that corporations should line up to sponsor Trump’s divisive and bigoted platform at this summer’s Republican National Convention (RNC).
Our friends at ColorOfChange have been leading an effort to keep Coca-Cola from sponsoring the RNC. More than 57,000 CREDO members have contributed their signatures to the 360,000 collected urging Coca-Cola to refuse to sponsor Trump’s hate. This week, thanks to our collective pressure, there was a major breakthrough in that fight.
The New York Times published an article Wednesday highlighting corporations’ increasing nervousness around sponsoring a Trump-led convention, and reported that Coca-Cola will not give additional donations to the convention committee.1 This is a big step forward, and now is the time to keep the pressure on. Coca-Cola has still not withdrawn its initial $75,000 pledge to the convention, and there are still many other sponsors reconsidering their support.
Can you add your voice to ramp up the pressure on Coca-Cola and other corporations today?
Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. He has claimed that Muslims hate America and proposed banning Muslims, including U.S. citizens, from entering the United States.
This kind of rhetoric is part of a long history of using racism to shift the blame for the problems facing poor and working class white people in America onto African-Americans and immigrants. And while Trump is certainly standing on the shoulders of decades of Republican efforts to use race-baiting and dog-whistle politics to stoke and amplify white voters’ racial resentments and anxieties, he is taking that strategy to a new, more dangerous, level.
When protesters taking a stand against Trump’s fascist bigotry have interrupted his rallies, Trump has explicitly and repeatedly demonized the protesters and incited his supporters to respond with violence:
- Trump asked supporters in Iowa to “knock the crap” out of anyone “getting ready to throw a tomato,” and promised to “pay the legal fees.”2
- As a protester was being escorted out of an event in Michigan, Trump defended violence, saying from the stage: “All right get him out and try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it.”3
- In North Carolina, Trump celebrated a group of supporters attacking a protester as “a beautiful thing,” suggested that treating protesters “very rough” like “in the good old days” was the most effective way to stop activists from protesting in the future, and bemoaned that protesters “get away with murder because we’ve become weak.”4
- In Missouri, Trump apologized to supporters for the slow pace at which protesters were being removed from the rally, saying the reason it was “taking so long is because nobody wants to hurt anyone anymore” and that “our country has to toughen up.”5 At the same rally, he marginalized the protesters as dangerous others, saying, “These people are bringing us down. Remember that, they are bringing us down… These people are so bad for our country you have no idea folks. You have no idea. They contribute nothing, nothing.”6
Donald Trump absolutely has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants, no matter how hateful. But it would be irresponsible and dangerous for corporations like Coca-Cola to promote that hate by sponsoring the Republican convention this summer. Can you help keep the pressure on?
Tell Coca-Cola: Pledge not to sponsor a Trump-led Republican convention.
Violence spawned by Trump’s hateful rhetoric has not been limited to his rallies. In August, two brothers from South Boston ambushed a 58-year-old homeless man as he slept outside. They targeted him because he was Latino. One of the brothers said he was inspired in part by Trump. In response, Trump said, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”7
This month, Khondoker Usama, the student body vice-president of Wichita State University, and a Latino friend were verbally abused and then attacked by a man who told them, “Hey you brown trash, you better go home” and then shouted, “Trump! Trump will take our country from you guys!” as he beat them up.8
Recently, Trump threatened that if he gets the most votes of the Republican candidates, but does not get the Republican nomination, there would be “problems like you’ve never seen before.” At the same time that he threatened widespread unrest, he again attempted to distance himself from violence, saying “I think there would be riots… I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.”9
Trump’s extreme rhetoric is only getting worse. Just yesterday, he suggested that women should be punished for having abortions if Republicans are successful in their attempts to ban abortions and roll back Roe v. Wade.10
It seems impossible that a corporation with any sense of civic responsibility would want to be associated with Trump’s dangerous and divisive brand.
- Tell Coca-Cola: Pledge not to sponsor a Trump-led Republican convention.
- Tell Coca-Cola:
“Ensure that Coca-Cola does not help provide a platform for Donald Trump’s harmful and bigoted rhetoric by pledging not to sponsor the Republican National Convention if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee.”
Go to the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for pushing back on hate today,
Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman, “Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention,” New York Times, March 30, 2016.
Dara Lind, “The problem with violence at Trump rallies starts with Trump himself,” Vox, March 13, 2016.
German Lopez, “Don’t believe Donald Trump has incited violence at rallies? Watch this video.,” Vox, March 12, 2016.
Ezra Klein, “Donald Trump’s ideology of violence, Vox, March 12, 2016.
Sara DiNatale and Maria Sacchetti, “South Boston brothers allegedly beat homeless man,” Boston Globe, August 19, 2015.
Justin Wm. Moyer, “‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ attacker allegedly yelled as he beat Hispanic man, Muslim student,” Washington Post, March 14, 2016.
Maggie Haberman, “Donald Trump Warns of ‘Riots’ if Party Blocks Him at Convention,” New York Times, March 16, 2016.
Nia-Malika Henderson, “Why Trump’s abortion comments scare Republicans,” CNN, March 31, 2016.
© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.