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Trump’s Year of Hate and the Backlash He’s Inspired

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A year ago today, Donald Trump (R) descended an escalator in Trump Tower and announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency by spewing a mouthful of hate.

As Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reflects in a statement today: “Throughout the past year, Trump has made abjectly racist statements – calling Mexican immigrants ‘rapists;’ saying a U.S.-born judge of Mexican ancestry cannot sit in judgment of Trump; and doubting a Muslim judge could be fair. Don’t forget, Trump started his rise in the GOP as a ‘birther’—claiming that President Obama was not born in America.”

In Ohio and across the United States, Trump’s campaign has inspired acts of hate, including a recent assault in Cleveland. Earlier this month, Henry Slapnik threatened his African-American neighbor’s grandson with a knife, shouting racial slurs and referencing Donald Trump. Slapnik, in a hateful and profane statement to police officers, said “The RNC will take care of them, Donald Trump will fix them because they are scared of Donald Trump.”  This racist, Trump-inspired crime is just one example of many, which America’s Voice has been documenting in the Trump Hate Map here.

Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman, has criticized some of Trump’s comments, but continues to support him for president.

Still, many Ohioans oppose Trump’s ugly vision for America and are standing up against it.  Concerned Ohioans, organizational leaders, citizens, and aspiring Americans sent a letter to Portman and the Republican National Committee, demanding that they denounce Trump, stating that “this type of rhetoric is not welcome in our state.”

Last week, Ohio Against Hate announced a new effort to “stand up to hate, bigotry, and division in our communities and at the voting booth” by organizing the largest-ever statewide voter canvass on July 16th, just before the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Today, People For the American Way launched a Spanish language ad campaign in Ohio as well as other states, denouncing “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.”

One year later, Donald Trump’s candidacy has had a corrosive effect on our national discourse and community cohesion.  There’s no denying that.  He has emboldened racists and encouraged their hate crimes.  He’s also inspired a backlash among decent Americans who think Trump is taking our country backwards.  We will work together in Ohio and across the nation to make sure that Donald Trump loses in November,” said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice.  “Other Republicans like Rob Portman need to take care.  They are supporting the campaign of a real racist, and voters will judge them on this in November as well as the years to come,” Tramonte concluded.