By Doug Porter
California Republicans announced yesterday that Presidential candidate Donald Trump will be the keynote speaker at the state party’s spring convention, joining Ted Cruz and John Kasich at the Bay Area gathering later this month.
The Donald will address a lunch banquet on the opening day of the GOP gathering in Burlingame, on April 29. Kasich will speak that evening, followed by Cruz the next day. Needless to say, Trump slot is the most high profile.
The June 7th California primary will likely play a decisive role in the Republican nominating contest, with voters determining whether Trump can amass the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination.
Only 13 of the state’s bloc of 172 GOP convention delegates go to the candidate who collects the most votes statewide.
The rest go to the winner in each of the state’s 53 congressional districts — three delegates per district — ensuring that the candidates will spend time bouncing all over the state through primary election day. Expect to see major TV ad campaigns, paid for by SuperPACs.
Collateral Campaign Damage: Nasty Questions Haunt Schoolkids
A survey of two thousand educators by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program, finds that campaign rhetoric in 2016 GOP primary contests has led to increased bullying of “students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.”
While the SPLC survey wasn’t scientific–consisting of subscribers and on-line visitors self-identified as educators–the results were consistent with news accounts from around the United States.
More than 1000 of the responses included the name Donald Trump, despite the survey questions not identifying any candidates by name. Over 500 comments contained the words “fear, scares, afraid, anxious or terrified” to describe the feelings of minority students.
“My students are terrified of Donald Trump,” one teacher from a middle school with a big black Muslim population said in the online survey, the SPLC says in a press release. “They think that if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”
In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher said a Latino child – told by classmates he’ll be deported and blocked by a wall from coming home – asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?”
The SPLC reports some teachers claim students use the word “Trump” as a taunt while another teacher tells the online survey a fifth-grader declared to a Muslim student he was supporting Trump “because he was going to kill all of the Muslims if he became president.”
From Vocativ. com:
A teacher in North Carolina, the SPLC claims, said that Latino students at her school carry their birth certificates and Social Security cards to school with them because “they are afraid they will be deported.”
Trump’s rhetoric has led to bullying of immigrant and Muslim students, according to more than a third of the respondents. More than 40 percent of the teachers who responded to the survey said they were hesitant to teach anything about the election. “I try to not bring it up since it is so stressful for my students,” said a teacher in Arlington, Virginia, according to the SPLC.
“Schools are finding that their anti-bullying work is being tested and, in many places, falling apart,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello, author of the report. “Most teachers seem to feel they need to make a choice between teaching about the election or protecting their kids. In elementary schools, half have decided to avoid it. In middle and high schools, we’re seeing more who have decided, for the first time, not to be neutral.”
From Al Jazeera:
Last month, a group of mostly-white teenagers attended an inter-school basketball game at a mostly-Hispanic school in Indiana. The guest fans hoisted banners of Trump and ridiculed their Latino rivals by chanting “Build a wall”.
When questioned about this, and similar incidents elsewhere, Trump objected to being asked a “nasty” question.
Teachers warn that it is more than colorful campaign rhetoric. Trump’s demagoguery has real-world consequences that are leaving stains of racial tension in classrooms and workplaces across the melting-pot nation, they say.
Both the leading Republican candidates are seemingly campaigning with the idea in mind that they can win the general election by increasing turnout among white voters, namely the so-called “Reagan Democrats” and evangelicals.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows just how flawed this strategy is and, by inference, how delusional the campaigns are.
From Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:
First, Trump. Marvel at these findings: Trump is viewed unfavorably by 67 percent of Americans overall; 75 percent of women; 74 percent of young voters; 91 percent of African Americans; 81 percent of Latinos; 73 percent of college-educated whites; 66 percent of white women; and 72 percent of moderates…
…Now, Cruz. The Texas Senator is viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of women; 50 percent of young voters; 51 percent of blacks; 46 percent of Latinos (versus 32 percent who view him favorably); 65 percent of college educated whites; 56 percent of white women; and 55 percent of moderates. All of that is significantly better than Trump. But he’s underwater with all these groups, and Cruz’s struggles among college educated whites and women (particularly white women) lend some credence to the Democratic assessment that Cruz’s conservatism on social issues could prove crippling among key swing voter groups…
…Still, Cruz’s negatives don’t really rival Trump’s hideously awful numbers, which do suggest Trump could prove to be the “zombie nominee” that Republicans fear — potentially unstoppable in the primaries, but damaged beyond hope of repair for the general election. So it seems reasonable for Republicans to conclude that, even if nominating Cruz might weaken their chances at the White House, at least he might not unleash spectacular Trumpian levels of destruction at the level of the battles for control of the Senate and House.
UCSD Trumpians Chalk Up Hate
I’ve held off saying anything about the incident at UCSD last Friday, where graffiti was drawn by three to five hooded men on a sidewalk close to the Raza Resource Centro, used by Latino student groups to hold meetings and events.
Sometimes these incidents are faked by persons hoping to draw negative publicity towards the groups people assume are responsible. Then there is the question of free speech.
However, there’s also the historical context of racism at UCSD.
- The Compton Cookout: which invited students to a ghetto-themed party as a celebration of Black History Month.
- The N-word being used to describe critics of the Compton Cookout on student-run television.
- The two-year Justice Department investigation (and settlement) following incident where a noose was found and a KKK-style hood was placed on campus statue.
Both of my questions have been answered to my satisfaction: this incident was part of the campaign of intimidation being waged by neo-nativist Trump supporters around the country.
The chalked messages on the sidewalk included “build the wall,” “deport them all,” “Mexico will pay,” “Trump 2016,” and “Tritons 4 Trump.” This graffiti appeared the night before the university’s annual Triton Day, when new students are welcomed for a campus visit. I don’t think this was coincidence.
The University has condemned the incident. The campus Republicans simply denied they were not behind it, saying it was a free speech issue.
From the Union-Tribune:
The Facebook page for College Republicans at UCSD posted a comment Tuesday stating it was not involved in the incident but did not condemn the graffiti.
“While our club does not support any candidate in particular, we believe that freedom of expression is an integral part of our democratic process as it fosters the free exchange of ideas and allows individuals to develop their own views,” the post read.
“While our club as a whole may not agree with the views expressed this past weekend, we support everyone’s First Amendment right to speak their mind,” the post concluded.
This is only a free speech issue in a world where kids feel obligated to carry birth records to school for fear of deportation.
Trumpians on a Rampage
The hate coming from the Trumpians is even extending to members of the GOP who may or may not support their candidate.
Following a threat by longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone to make public the hotel room numbers of GOP Convention delegates who switch from Trump to another candidate, death threats, and threats against the families of partisans are being reported around the country.
The Indiana Republican party has decided to withhold releasing the names of their delegates in response to threats made over the weekend.
“You know traditional burial is polluting the planet. Tom hope the family is well. Your name and info has been given to me on a list that is about to go public. Good luck becoming a delegate, we are watching,” read a threat that Indiana’s 7th District Chairman Tom John posted to Twitter.
Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House says he’s received hundreds of threats following that state’s caucuses.
From ABC7 in Denver:
“All I can say is pray you make it to Cleveland. The fix is in and the American people will eliminate anyone who gets in the way…” the email reads. “It would be in your best interest to take a stand and support the American People and trump [sic] or you are done. Trump goes independent to ride the nation of scum like you. I would be hiding all family members…Just check out social media.”
On This Day: 1775 – The first abolitionist society in U.S. was organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president. 1912 – The Atlantic passenger liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and began to sink. 1,517 people lost their lives and more than 700 survived. 1930 – More than 100 Mexican and Filipino farm workers are arrested for union activities, Imperial Valley, Calif. Eight were convicted of “criminal syndicalism.”
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