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Trump May Win If You Don't Vote

Only one candidate directly addressed the coalition of Black, Latino and white citizens who elected Barack Obama twice — Donald Trump.

Only one candidate directly addressed the coalition of Black, Latino and white citizens who elected Barack Obama twice — Donald Trump.

We are facing the choice between two flawed candidates, but one of them is a monster.

Donald Trump exploited customers, contractors, business partners, wives and the man who was sent to Vietnam in his place when he cheated the draft board. It appears to me that he cheated the IRS — I cannot believe that anybody who could declare a $1 billion net operating loss doesn't get an immediate investigation. He got away with it. He's a conman — his core support is from undereducated white people who are angry because they correctly perceive their quality of life is declining. The sad fact is that a middle-class living is no longer possible from barely skilled labor.

His thinly veiled racist, white supremacist and exploitive message is that "it's not your fault" — it's the fault of the Muslim-noncitizen-Black president and his friends, the undocumented Latino workers and Muslims. He talks about Black neighborhoods being a disaster, ignoring self-earned improvements and a decades long decline in crime — despite being exploited by the perpetual "war on drugs." It's not about Black neighborhoods; it's about painting Black people as being savages, Latinos as being subhuman rapists and Muslim American citizens as being a terroristic threat to the United States.

It's also about women being in the workplace or politics as equals. His message is very clear — if you're powerful enough, you can grab them by the pussy!

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In Trump's world, making America great again is about reversing the clock. But the decline in economic reality for lower middle-class white people is due to better competition, just like the lower quality white baseball players were forced out of the major leagues as better skilled Black and Latino players began to play after Jackie Robinson (and Branch Rickey) broke the color barrier.

There's no reversing the clock — we all know that. Just like there's no stuffing the Jim Crow genie back into the bottle now that there's a video on cell phones and we can document law-enforcement injustice, beatings and killings.

There is one place where the clock is reversing, however: indications are that Black and Latino voter turnout is not going to be as strong as it was four or eight years ago. I can understand why.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, is weak. She almost lost the primary to a septuagenarian socialist senator from a state with only 600,000 residents — not what you would call a strong power base.

If you look at her policy page, you will not see much to excite you. She ignored the lessons learned in the last two presidential elections and did not directly address the coalition of Black, Latino and progressive white voters who elected Barack Obama twice.

At our fall event, I had author Steve Phillips talk about his book "Brown is the New White." I strongly recommend you read it — no matter how this election goes, the future of our country is well described in his phenomenally researched and documented book.

But the future is in the hands of that diverse coalition, which describes the future demographics of our country.

We will have another chance to do a better job in four years, but for right now — I beg you to go out and vote for Hillary Clinton. Take a friend with you. I've never endorsed a candidate before, but this is an emergency.

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We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

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We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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REUTERS

Last week we had a popular story about a stupid diversity trick done at a Hyatt* event that involved Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

A Hyatt diversity "expert" poured chocolate syrup into a glass of milk and as a demonstration that diversity is at the bottom, stirred the milk and chocolate together and said it's much more delicious mixed together. The governor "played along" by drinking the chocolate milk.  He (and Hyatt) were playing at respecting Black History Month.

It is a stupid diversity trick because the chocolate syrup is heavier than milk, which is why it's at the bottom of the glass. Black people are at the bottom of most organizations due to racism. Women are not fairly represented because of sexism. It has nothing to do with gravity. Racism and sexism are purposeful human failures.

More insulting than the childish milk demonstration, the guest of honor was inappropriate for Black History Month — Gov. Rauner has been very critical of NFL players taking a knee. He said the players are "disrespecting the foundations of our country."

He's either a racist or profoundly ignorant (or both).

The foundations of our country are white men killing soldiers for the rights of white men, including the right to enslave Black people. In 1775, in Lexington, Mass., white men picked up rifles and shot to death soldiers of their country (we were a British colony) in protest.

The soldiers were marching to seize armories that had elected rebel colonels. At the time, a "well-regulated militia" included all men under 55 — weapons of war, gunpowder and bullets were stored in local armories, not at home. The reason for the armories was attacks by Indians who wanted their land back.

The Battle of Lexington was the start of the American Revolution. It was so important at the time that the Second Amendment to our Constitution is, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (Well-regulated, as in troubled children should not be able to buy assault rifles and nobody should have high capacity magazines.)

Black NFL players took a knee to protest injustice in law enforcement and our criminal justice system, which is (and always has been) predatory on Black Americans by any measurement.

The movement was started by Colin Kaepernick after he viewed this video of Patrick Harmon being shot three times in the back after being harassed for not having a tail light on his bicycle. Please take a moment and watch the last 31 seconds of Patrick's life. Think about the last words on Earth that he heard: "I'm going to fucking shoot you." The video inspired Kaepernick to take a knee. If you read up on him, he is a very thoughtful man; his philanthropy since the obvious collusion of NFL owners ended his career is inspiring.

So, who is more "respectful of American heritage" — the Black players risking their careers to bring awareness of the racial injustice in our legal system, or Gov. Rauner drinking a glass of stupid chocolate milk? And how frightfully ignorant and/or racist are most white Americans, including Gov. Rauner, for thinking that this nonviolent protest is somehow disrespectful?

What could possibly be more in keeping with the best ideals embodied in our Constitution than bringing attention to something so un-American, so disgraceful as our racist criminal justice system.

Having a man like Rauner at a Black History Month event is just clueless. Performing chocolate milk stunts in 2018 is foolishness. People in authority going along with stunts is insulting. I'll bet Patrick Harmon would agree.

Finally, the senior executives at Hyatt have proven that chocolate milk diversity stunts don't work; here's their executive team: 73 percent white men. No women, Blacks or Latinos in P&L positions, women segregated to the traditional roles of corporations that have failed at diversity, the lawyer, marketing  and HR positions (the one Black person out of 11 people pictured). I can imagine the CEO paternalistically saying, "Here are our gals." How 1973 of them. Have some chocolate milk little lady.

So, another Black History Month ends, and we've made insufficient progress.

*Hyatt does not participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition.

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