After Donald Trump was elected president on November 8, there were calls to those who opposed him to give the president-elect a chance; to wait and see what decisions he made before protesting. And not even a week after the election, President-elect Trump hired white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
Before joining the Trump campaign Bannon led the conservative news website Breitbart. He used the site to promote his bigotry, calling it the "platform for the alt-right movement."
You say alt-right, I say white supremacy.
If everything you've been seeing about Bannon (including our overview of his history of bigotry) hasn't been enough, he was recently endorsed by both the KKK and the American Nazi Party.
Bannon is dangerous, and he cannot be allowed to become one of the most powerful people within our government.
Here's what you can do to keep him out:
Call your representatives. Follow this link, type in your zip code, and you'll find your congressperson. Calling is typically more effective than emailing or tweeting, so call their office directly and tell them you strongly oppose Bannon's position in the White House. Here's the catch: Trump doesn't need any kind of congressional approval for who he hires as his advisors. But it's not unprecedented for presidents, or president-elects, to withdraw candidates because the American people voiced their disapproval. Don't underestimate the power of a phone call; if enough senators and congressman denounce Bannon, as motivated by their constituents, Trump will have to address it.
Call Paul Ryan. The Speaker of the House is the third in the presidential line of succession after the vice president, making him one of the most powerful people in the country. Ryan already has a bad relationship with the president-elect, but he has done nothing to denounce the hiring of Bannon. Call Ryan at his main office in Washington D.C. to tell him that as the House Speaker and as a leader of the GOP, he has a responsibility to make sure the American people's interests and safety are taken into account in the hiring of presidential advisors. The same goes for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Sign the petition from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is an organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry around the country by monitoring hate groups, teaching tolerance in schools, and filing lawsuits against acts of prejudice and injustice. Shortly after the announcement of Bannon's position, the SPLC launched a petition titled, "Stephen Bannon has no business in the White House," calling on Trump to renounce Bannon. "Mr. Trump, during your victory speech, you pledged to be a president for 'all Americans' and to 'bind the wounds of division' in our country," the petition says. "If you mean what you say, you must rescind your appointment of Bannon." Sign the petition to show your support.
Don't let the media normalize Bannon's appointment. Some news organizations are burying the lead, acting as if Bannon's history of bigotry isn't a story, while others are just referring to him as "controversial." Bannon is a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semite, and calling him anything else is offering false information to your audience. If you see a news organization doing this, call them out. Contact them on social media, email their employees, or call their offices, but let them know that we cannot afford to sugar-coat a man as dangerous as Bannon.
Donate to organizations speaking out against Bannon. You can support organizations who have openly stood against Bannon so far, like the SPLC. A number of Jewish organizations have immediately shared their disapproval including the Anti-Deffamation League, which works to prevent anti-Sematism, and T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, which brings together rabbis to combat human rights violations. Donations keep these organizations running and allow them to do important work, including working to keep people like Bannon out of positions of power.
For those of you taking to the streets: make this a focal point of your protest. There is a long list of things to protest currently, but this is an issue that deserves immediate attention. Make signs specifically condemning Bannon. Signs get photographed for media outlets, and if they see this as a main issue they have to report on it. Make people notice and force them to address the serious consequences of Bannon as White House chief strategist.
It's only been a week since Trump was elected and we're already seeing worst-case-scenario type situations. We cannot let this progress any further; we must take action to show the president-elect we won't allow an administration built on hate and fear.
Screenshot via YouTube
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