Posted on February 25, 2016 in Action Alerts
The 2016 election cycle has seen an unprecedented amount of hateful rhetoric. Late last year, the Arab American Institute joined 45 other civil rights and community-based advocacy organizations to write to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz to express our deep concern regarding the divisive rhetoric used by some presidential candidates seeking America’s highest public office.
Citing ugly and dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric used by some candidates, we called on the national committee chairs to categorically reject this type of bigotry and to state on the record that it is incompatible with our country’s espoused values. We asked that they publicly speak out against those in their parties who promote bigotry and hateful rhetoric. While the Democratic National Committee responded to our concerns, the Republican National Committee did not.
Although the current leading Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, was once dismissed by some as purely entertainment, he has consistently ranked high in polling and has now won three out of four of the Republican primaries thus far.
Given the state of affairs today, we believe it is time that Chairman Priebus take a stand and condemn this bigotry by confronting it head on.
While he has previously said that he “doesn’t agree” with Trump’s rhetoric, Chairman Priebus has grown either dismissive or unresponsive to calls to denounce Trump’s hateful rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has only increased. From his announcement speech in June 2015 when he called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” to claiming Arab Americans were cheering on 9/11 as the World Trade Center came down, to calling for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States. He most recently re-told a dubious tale about a WWI General executing Muslim prisoners with "bullets dipped in pigs blood," and implied it was a tactic worthy of consideration.
Other Republican leaders and presidential candidates have taken a public stand against those in his party that wish to divide us and use hateful rhetoric for political gain.
We ask you to send the below letter to Chairman Priebus, and again ask that he categorically reject bigotry and state on record that it is incompatible with our country’s founding principles.