Diversity Candidate? Trump’s No Voice for Diversity - Higher Education


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Diversity Candidate? Trump’s No Voice for Diversity

by Emil Guillermo

Poor Melania Trump, trounced in the media because her RNC speech had a few lifted lines from a Michelle Obama speech.

Emil Guillermo

Emil Guillermo

Yet, when it came to diversity, they were lines I would have liked to have heard from her husband in his acceptance speech last week.

I call it the “litany of diversity,” where a politician ensures in a blunt, no-nonsense list that his entire audience is included in his vision, his “plans.”

But it was only the maligned Melania, in her accented voice, who listed off what has become an obligatory roll call in any modern political speech.

“Donald intends to represent all people, not just some of the people,” Melania said. “That includes Christians, and Jews, and Muslims. It includes Hispanics, and African Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class.”

Present and accounted for.

It doesn’t mean the candidate doesn’t care about the rest of us. But it takes away any sense of ambiguity.

What did The Donald say?

Lines like, “We cannot afford to be politically correct anymore,” which pretty much let me know.

Diversity for Trump is anything that puts him and those who look and act like him first.

He remedies that by saying straight out to all, in an act of bullying beneficence, “I am your voice.”

He wants to be the country’s executive ventriloquist. And he wants us to be his dummy.

Because Trump knows better.

“Nobody knows the system better than me,” he said pausing to feign humility, as if to say, “Come on, I know what I’m doing.” But then came the punch line. “Which is why I alone can fix it.”

Here’s where you turn over your bodies and let him speak for you.

His speech had a pretense of inclusion, the way he mentioned Blacks and Latinos, especially young ones in education. But can you trust the leader of a party that espouses small government and weak public schools to spend what’s necessary to equalize educational opportunities?

More distressing was when he linked crime with terror, and domestic crime with the undocumented, scapegoating them for any rise in crime.

“We don’t want them in our country,” Trump said.

There was one soft spot Trump showed. He loves the LGBTQ, adding the Q during the speech from his prepared remarks. Though he could have added the inclusive LGBTQIA (the I-A for intersex and asexual).

Maybe Trump has more LGBTQ friends than other Republicans, who are anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-gay, and generally bigoted on the topics. Just ask Trump VP nominee Mike Pence.

Another late-minute add to Trump’s speech was a nod to higher ed.

In the section where he promises the repeal of Obamacare, fixing TXA and rebuilding the military, Trump throws in a last-minute line.

“We’re going to work with all of our students, who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off these young people just starting out in their adult lives,” Trump said to applause that was somewhat tepid versus the other issues he listed off. “Tremendous problem.”

No real details. Unlike Hillary who has battled and transformed her notion with Sen. Bernie Sanders in the campaign.

And she wants students from families making $85,000 a year or less paying no tuition as soon as possible.” Trump didn’t mention details in his last-minute ad-libbed remark.

And Hillary has mentioned a $25 billion fund to support HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.

The Republicans had a chance to show they were about a big tent future. Back in 2000, when George W. Bush was nominated in Philadelphia, the GOP at least tried to show good faith.

They had the O’Jays singing “Love Train.”

Sixteen years later, the GOP has nominated the whitest, most autocratic, fear-mongering sounding candidate whose vision of America is all doom and gloom.

When the Democrats meet this week in Philadelphia, judging from the intro of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as Clinton’s running mate this past weekend, the contrast will be stark.

Spanish-speaking Kaine is Univision ready. He makes Trump look silly on the issues, and Pence look pulseless.

Kaine is no Sanders. But he’s an Obama moderate who will defend and attack effectively. He’s a perfect running mate.

Hillary just has to nod with approval and not have to hog the camera as Trump did the RNC.

The DNC should be different.

And no adjustment to your set is necessary. The political world is full of color.

Voters should know immediately the party of diversity.

Journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo writes on race and politics at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

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