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Trump wins presidency with lowest minority vote in 40 years

Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in at least 40 years, a Reuters review of polling data shows, highlighting deep national divisions that have fueled incidents of racial and political confrontation.

Trump was elected with 8 percent of the black vote, 28 percent of the Hispanic vote and 27 percent of the Asian-American vote, according to the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll.

Among black voters, his showing was comparable to the 9 percent captured by George W. Bush in 2000 and Ronald Reagan in 1984. But Bush and Reagan both did far better with Hispanic voters, capturing 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively, according to exit polling data compiled by the non-partisan Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

And Trump’s performance among Asian-Americans was the worst of any winning presidential candidate since tracking of that demographic began in 1992.

The racial polarization behind Trump’s victory has helped set the stage for tensions that have surfaced repeatedly since the election, in white supremacist victory celebrations, in anti-Trump protests and civil rights rallies, and in hundreds of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist movements.

The SPLC reports there were 701 incidents of “hateful harassment and intimidation” between the day following the Nov. 8 election and Nov. 16, with a spike in such incidents in the immediate wake of the vote.

Signs point to an ongoing atmosphere of confrontation.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a white separatist group that vilifies African-Americans, Jews and other minorities, plans an unusual Dec. 3 rally in North Carolina to celebrate Trump’s victory.

Left-wing groups have called for organized protests to disrupt the president-elect’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

And a “Women’s March on Washington,” scheduled for the following day, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to protest Trump’s presidency.

American politics became increasingly racialized through President Barack Obama’s two terms, “but there was an attempt across the board, across the parties, to keep those tensions under the surface,” says Jamila Michener, an assistant professor of government at Cornell University.

Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric “brought those divisions to the fore; it activated people on the right, who felt empowered, and it activated people on the left, who saw it as a threat,” she added.

That dynamic was evident last week.

When Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the Broadway musical “Hamilton” in New York on Friday, the multi-ethnic cast closed with a statement expressing fears of a Trump presidency. A far different view was on display the next day as a crowd of about 275 people cheered Trump’s election at a Washington conference of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group with a strong anti-Semitic beliefs.

“We willed Donald Trump into office; we made this dream our reality,” NPI President Richard Spencer said. After outlining a vision of America as “a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” he closed with, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!”

DIVISION BREEDS CONFRONTATION

Though Trump’s election victory was driven by white voters, his performance even among that group was not as strong as some of his predecessors. Reagan and George H.W. Bush both won the presidency with higher shares of the white vote than the 55 percent that Trump achieved.

The historical voting patterns reflect decades of polarization in American politics, but the division surrounding Trump appears more profound, says Cas Mudde, an associate professor specializing in political extremism at the University of Georgia. These days, he adds, “people say they don’t want their children even to date someone from the other party.”

Indeed, voters’ opinions of those on the opposite side of the partisan divide have reached historic lows. Surveys by the Pew Research Center showed this year that majorities of both parties held “very unfavorable” views of the other party — a first since the center first measured such sentiment in 1992.

And the lion’s share of those people believe the opposing party’s policies “are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being,” the center found.

That level of division has spurred activists on both sides of the political divide to take their activism in a more confrontational direction.

In the wake of Trump’s victory, protesters on the left took to the streets by the thousands in cities across the country, in some cases causing property damage.

Much of the agitation was motivated by a belief that Trump’s administration will foster racism and push the courts and other political institutions to disenfranchise minority voters, says James Anderson, editor of ItsGoingDown.Org, an anarchist website that has promoted mass demonstrations against Trump’s presidency, including a call to disrupt his inauguration.

Meanwhile, John Roberts, a top officer in the Ku Klux Klan affiliate planning the December rally to celebrate Trump’s election, says the group is committed to non-violent demonstrations, but he sees Trump’s election as likely to bring a new era of political conflict. And much of the strife, he says, will be centered around racial divisions.

“Once Trump officially takes office, there is going to be a boiling over at some point in time,” Roberts says. “Who knows when that’s going to be, but it’s not going to be pretty.”

Asian-Pacific American Caucus at DNC podium

Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus stepped to the podium at the Democratic National Convention July 27 to endorse Hillary Clinton for president and talk about issues important to the AAPI community.

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California is the chair of the Congressional APA Caucus.

She led the group on the stage.

“Standing with me are my fellow Asian-American and Pacific Islander – or AAPI – Members of Congress,” she said. “Many of them, too, are trailblazers in their own right. And we are all proud to support Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.”

Her remarks continue:

“It wasn’t too long ago that if you saw an Asian Pacific American walking in the U.S. Capitol, you had to stop and do a double-take. But how things have changed. We now have a record number of AAPI Members of Congress – and most importantly, we are organizing and making our voices heard. We have gone from being marginalized to becoming the margin of victory in key swing states and districts all across our nation.

America needs a president who will fight for all of us – someone who rejects the hateful rhetoric that is too often used to divide us and believes that America’s diversity is our greatest strength. That’s why we’ve got to elect Hillary Clinton as our next President of the United States! When it comes to the issues most important to us, Hillary Clinton gets it.

On immigration reform, she gets it. So many families have been kept apart for decades by an incredibly long family visa backlog. Hillary will fight to clear that backlog so that millions of American families can finally be reunited with their loved ones. We’re with Hillary because she is committed to comprehensive immigration reform!

On education, she gets it. So many of our parents and grandparents sacrificed to come to the United States because they wanted their children to get a better education and live the American Dream. We’re with Hillary because she’ll make debt-free college available for all Americans.

On voting rights, she gets it. Today, almost 70 percent of AAPI adults are foreign born. Access to translated and absentee ballots is critical. We’re with Hillary because she will work with Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act and ensure fair access to the ballot box.

On making sure we have a diverse federal government, she gets it. We’re with Hillary because she will appoint an administration that looks like America.

And on safeguarding our civil liberties, she gets it. I am proud to have Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Mike Honda as members of our caucus. During World War II, both Doris and Mike were imprisoned in internment camps for no other reason than their ethnicity. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to see a problem with this part of our history. With Hillary Clinton, we know the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans will be protected!

Tonight, we are also grieving for our dear friend and colleague, Congressman Mark Takai from Hawai’i, who passed away last week at the age of 49 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Mark truly had the aloha spirit, and was deeply committed to advancing the priorities of the people of Hawai’i and our veterans. I will never forget the tears in his eyes when he learned about the Cancer Moonshot initiative. It gave him and millions of Americans hope that we will finally find a cure for cancer. In his memory, we’ve got to keep hoping – and fighting.

Hillary Clinton is the best choice for all Americans to move our country forward. Our caucus members reflect the diversity of America. And that is why we are proud to stand with her.

Delegates also heard from:

Sen. Mazie Hirono: I am Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawai’i, an immigrant and the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. I support Hillary Clinton because she is a lifelong champion for women, children, and families. With our help, she’ll fight for all families – including immigrant families – in the White House.

Rep. Madeleine Bordallo:  Hafa Adai. I am Congresswoman Bordallo from Guam, and I support Hillary Clinton because she understands the unique needs of the territories, and is committed to the Asia-Pacific rebalance. She is the strong leader we need to move forward as a nation.

Rep. Mark Takano : I am Congressman Mark Takano from California, the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress. As a proud “gaysian,” I support Hillary Clinton because she is a strong champion for LGBT rights. She will to fight to end employment discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Rep. Ami Bera: I am Congressman Ami Bera from California. As the only South Asian member of Congress, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I support Hillary Clinton because she is the only candidate that understands the complexity of the world and is prepared from day one to lead America.

Rep. Bobby Scott: I’m Congressman Bobby Scott from Virginia, the first Filipino-American voting member of Congress, and I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that each and every child deserves a quality, affordable education so that they can reach their full potential.

Rep. Ted Lieu:   I am Congressman Ted Lieu from California and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force reserve. I support Hillary Clinton because she’ll fight for our military personnel, veterans, and families. She will make sure that those who risked their lives for our country get the health care and the resources that they need.

Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan: I am Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands. I support Hillary Clinton because she believes that all Americans – including those in the Pacific Island territories – should have access to quality, affordable health care.

Rep. Grace Meng: I am Congresswoman Grace Meng from New York, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from the East Coast, and I support Hillary Clinton because she is the best candidate to bring Americans together and move our country forward! This election is so important, and Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders can make the difference. Our voting power has doubled over the last decade – we are now the swing vote in swing states like Virginia, Nevada, and also right here in Pennsylvania! And I call upon my fellow AAPIs to organize, to campaign, and to vote, so that we will be the margin of victory in 2016 and beyond! As our community continues to grow – and as we begin to see more AAPI candidates like Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Stephanie Murphy from Florida begin to run for higher office – it is critical that we elect a person who will make history for America and build a brighter future for generations to come. And that person is Hillary Clinton!

Earlier in the day, delegates had gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for an AAPI council meeting.

Obama strikes words ‘Negro’ and ‘Oriental’ from federal laws

Federal laws will no longer include outdated and offensive terms used to describe minority groups.

President Barack Obama signed a bill on May 20 striking the several terms, including “Negro” and “Oriental,” the White House said yesterday.

Those terms will be replaced with “African American” and “Asian American.”

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., introduced the bill to remove the offensive language in December. The bill passed the House in February and the Senate last week. No one in either chamber objected.

“I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for understanding that the time has come for our government to no longer refer to Asian Americans — or any ethnicity — in such an insulting manner,” Meng said. “Repealing this term is long overdue. ‘Oriental’ no longer deserves a place in federal law, and very shortly it will finally be a thing of the past.”

There was some pushback from the far right, with commentators on that end of the political spectrum falsely claiming that Obama had made it illegal to speak or write the obsolete words.

The language targeted by the bill had appeared in laws dating to the 1970s that attempted to define minorities.

In the Department of Energy Organization Act the phrases “a Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent” will be replaced with “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native.”

The same language changes will be made to the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976.

Opportunity study: Wisconsin worst in nation for black children

Amid rapid demographic changes, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows the nation has much ground to cover to ensure that all kids — especially children of color — are positioned to thrive. In fact, the report describes “a national crisis.”

By 2018, children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States. The Kids Count report from the Casey Foundation highlights serious concerns that African-American, Latino, Native American and some subgroups of Asian-American children face profound barriers to success — and calls for an urgent, multi-sector approach to develop solutions.

In general, states in the Rust Belt and the Mississippi Delta are places where opportunity for black children is poorest. African-American kids face the greatest barrier to success in Wisconsin, according to the study. The study ranked Wisconsin at No. 50 on the disparity between white children and their black peers in terms of education and poverty and other factors. Two other big problem states — Michigan and Mississippi.

The policy report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, unveils the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The data can assist leaders who create policies and programs that benefit all children and identify areas where targeted strategies and investments are needed.

“This first-time index shows that many in our next generation, especially kids of color, are off track in many issue areas and in nearly every region of the country,” said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. “Race for Results is a call to action that requires serious and sustained attention from the private, nonprofit, philanthropic and government sectors to create equitable opportunities for children of color, who will play an increasingly large role in our nation’s well-being and prosperity.”

The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood. The indicators were chosen based on the goal that all children should grow up in economically successful families, live in supportive communities and meet developmental, health and educational milestones. To compare results across the areas in the index, the indicators are grouped into four areas: early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context.

Overall, the index shows that at the national level, no one racial group has all children meeting all milestones.

Using a single composite score placed on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest), Asian and Pacific Islander children have the highest index score at 776 followed by white children at 704. Scores for Latino (404), American-Indian (387) and African-American (345) children are distressingly lower, and this pattern holds true in nearly every state.

“Race for Results provides a high-level but nuanced look at children in each racial demographic and some of the conditions that explain their circumstances,” said Laura Speer, associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation. “We see that where a child lives matters and that in nearly every state, African-American, American Indian and Latino children have some of the steepest obstacles to overcome. Our analysis also clearly demonstrates that growing up in an immigrant family can have a significant impact on access to opportunity.”

The report finds there are clear differences in the extent to which barriers to success exist for different subgroups of Asian children and for Latinos. Although Asian-American children scored the highest on the well-being indicators, children of Southeast Asian descent (Burmese, Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese) face barriers on the pathway to economic stability. For Latinos, kids from Mexico and Central America face the biggest barriers to success.

The report makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential:

• Gather and analyze racial and ethnic data to inform polices and decision making;

• Utilize data and impact assessment tools to target investments to yield the greatest impact for children of color;

• Develop and implement promising and proven programs and practices focused on improving outcomes for children and youth of color; and

• Integrate strategies that explicitly connect vulnerable groups to new jobs and opportunities in economic and workforce development.