Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from HCDP’s issue paper on Equality. For the complete article and to see papers covering many more issues, please click here or on the Issues button above.
By Bob Gatty.
Horry County Democrats fully endorse the Democratic Party vision that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to make the most of life. That message is especially important when nearly half of the American people believe our president is actually a racist.
Opportunity should not be limited by race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status. Equality means the ability to live a dignified life, with access to decent education, competent health care, and meaningful employment at fair wages.
Equal opportunity is inextricably linked to human rights.
We advocate for and support efforts to:
- Prohibit discrimination based on race, education, or economic circumstances
- End prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- Eliminate barriers preventing disabled persons from full participation in society
- Ensure our criminal justice system is fair and equitable for everyone
- Put an end to modern day slavery – human trafficking in labor and the sex trade
Democrats oppose discrimination of all forms. Period.
It seems that every day we read about incidents where white people, often women, have called the police reporting people of color for doing the most mundane things: waiting in a Starbucks, touring a college campus, sleeping in a college dorm room or grilling in a public park. In each incident, after being questioned by the police, the people of color were released with no charges filed.
The fact that no charges were filed in any of these cases isn’t surprising, nor is it surprising that there’s been a marked increase in the number of such incidents, particularly given the nationalist fear mongering and racism stoked by the Trump administration in the language, tone and tenor of remarks about people of color.
In public remarks and tweets, Trump lost no opportunity to vilify people of color. The mostly black NFL players taking a knee in protest of social injustice and police brutality are “sons of bitches.” Immigrants (he says Hispanic MS-13 gang members) are “animals,” and people from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa come from “shithole countries.”
Meanwhile, Trump defended white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville in August last year, saying the group included “some very fine people.”
The message the president is sending very clearly is that people of color are unwelcome. What we see consistently from the highest levels of our government is an attempt to relegate people of color to second-class citizenship and dehumanization.
Horry County Democrats condemn this attitude, which is feeding latent bias that Trump is cynically leveraging to generate support from his “base.”
What to Do?
Let’s work within our families, our schools, our churches, our community organizations to first recognize, and then confront and discuss these concerns. Take a leadership role. And when you spot incidents of such bias, call it out.
Let’s find a path forward for the betterment of our entire community.
And let’s replace those office holders who do nothing at best, and who encourage prejudices at worst, with men and women of good conscience who will work on behalf of all people. We must end discrimination in all forms. Period.