NCLEJ Statement on Trump’s Failure to Denounce White Supremacist Racism

NCLEJ is outraged and disappointed by both this past weekend’s horrific events in Charlottesville and Donald Trump’s repeated refusal to place fault where it belongs—with white supremacists and neo-Nazis. His refusal to reject his white supremacist supporters only emboldens and encourages them – and we can anticipate much more violence. Even as we condemn Trump’s complicity, we must take care to avoid the assumption that rallies featuring Nazi and Confederate flags are the sum total of white supremacy in our country.

Just the same, we must be clear that Trump’s statements are simply symbolic of an administration that disfavors communities of color and immigrants in no uncertain terms. As this goes out to you, Trump’s administration is engaging in a full scale assault on fundamental civil rights—including restricting voting rights for people of color, eliminating workplace discrimination protections, and undermining attempts to eliminate racial bias in policing. The Trump administration’s actions make it exceedingly clear with whom it sides and it is not those for whom equal rights are still a dream not fully realized.

To this day, through economic inequality as well as overt racism, people of color are all too often restricted to living in only the worst neighborhoods, depriving generations of children of safe housing and quality schools. Workers of color continue to earn significantly less than their white counterparts. Domestic workers and farmworkers are not afforded the same legal protections as other workers because these occupations—which were in the past dominated by people of color and remain so today—were deliberately excluded from worker protection laws. Families of color are less likely to own their homes, and more likely to slip into poverty when experiencing a job loss. Black and Latino children are more likely to grow up in poverty than white children.

Economic justice is racial justice. It is not enough to simply condemn the white supremacists responsible for three deaths in Virginia this past weekend. We must also seek to eliminate the effects of racism—past and present—from our laws and our society. Until communities of color achieve economic security, our work is not done.

For more than fifty years, NCLEJ has fought to secure economic and racial justice for all. We will RESIST.