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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Civil rights rhetoric hollow in Trump's address to Congress

Trump's meeting with two Kings doesn't prove he'll be tough on civil rights.
Black History Lives!

Trump:"... tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains to be done."

Pres. Trump's first words spoken at last night's Address to Congress ring hollow, in my opinion. Since he began his remarks touting the importance of civil rights, he should have focused on the importance of the Black History curriculum being taught in schools by qualified teachers. He should have used this opportunity to discuss how he was going to move his agenda forward on education and economic gender equality and against institutional racism. He should have limited his remarks to these bullet points instead of going off on a tangent!

He cracked open the door to what could have been a grand and memorable civil rights speech, but instead squandered his opportunity.

Before his speech, Trump could have met with leading civil rights organizations, which could have included The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The National Urban League, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Action Fund, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

He has not met with the Congressional Black Caucus.  He excluded Black Women from important meeting on workplace issues. I don't see many non-whites in his administration. He offered a known racist, Sessions, as Dept. of Justice head. He met with HBCU presidents, but the group was segregated from the rest of university heads who are white. His meeting with black leaders didn't include the most notable ones from NAACP, AME Church; black historians, educators, and economists; or present day civil rights activists.

He did not reference "Killed by Police," or Flint water crisis, or mass incarceration of people of color, or voting rights, or discrimination in the courts, high unemployment of black and brown youth, and lack of affordable housing.

"The most common legal application of the term civil rights involves the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and residents by legislation and by the Constitution. Civil rights protected by the Constitution include Freedom of Speech and freedom from certain types of discrimination...Civil rights legislation comes into play when the practice of personal preferences and prejudices of an individual, a business entity, or a government interferes with the protected rights of others. The various civil rights laws have made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. Discrimination that interferes with voting rights and equality of opportunity in education, employment, and housing is unlawful." (

Let's see how he will move forward on protecting our civil rights and who he will confer with next to move his civil rights agenda forward. I'm praying for him.

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