Tag Archives: Macy’s

Hispanic leaders bristling at GOP’s tepid response to Trump’s racism

Hispanic leaders are bristling at the largely tepid response by Republican presidential candidates to Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.

Several 2016 contenders have brushed off Trump’s comments while others have ignored them. Marco Rubio, a Florida senator who is Hispanic, denounced them as “not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive,” after declining for two weeks to address the matter directly. Another Hispanic in the race, Ted Cruz, said Trump is “terrific,” “brash” and “speaks the truth.”

It’s an uncomfortable moment for Republicans, who want more votes from the surging Latino population.

And it could be a costly moment if more candidates don’t go beyond their “Donald-will-be-Donald” response and condemn him directly, said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican who leads the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership.

“The time has come for the candidates to distance themselves from Trump and call his comments what they are: ludicrous, baseless and insulting,” Aguilar said. “Sadly, it hurts the party with Hispanic voters. It’s a level of idiocy I haven’t seen in a long time.”

So far, Trump has paid less of a political price than a commercial one.

The leading Hispanic television network, Univision, has backed out of televising the Miss USA pageant, a joint venture between Trump and NBC, which also cut ties with Trump. The Macy’s department store chain, which carried a Donald Trump menswear line, said it was ending its relationship with him. Other retailers are facing pressure to follow suit.

The NASCAR motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami. The CEO of a top NASCAR sponsor, Camping World’s Marcus Lemonis, had said he would not participate in the awards ceremony if it were held at a property owned by Trump, whom he criticized for “recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments … in regards to immigrants.”

In his speech last month marking his entry into the Republican race, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The businessman has refused to back down, although he insists his remarks were misconstrued.

“My statements have been contorted to seem racist and discriminatory,” he wrote in a message to supporters. “What I want is for legal immigrants to not be unfairly punished because others are coming into America illegally, flooding the labor market and not paying taxes.”

His original comments, though, did not make a distinction between Mexicans who came to U.S. legally and those here illegally.

His rhetoric may resonate with some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters, who have long viewed illegal immigration as one of the nation’s most pressing problems. But the 2016 contest brings opportunity for the party to make inroads with Hispanics, with several Latino candidates and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who has deep Latino ties and speaks Spanish, which he hasn’t been shy about using in the campaign.

Even so, Bush has said little more about Trump’s comments than that they were “wrong.”

“Maybe we’ll have a chance to have an honest discussion about it onstage,” Bush said while campaigning in Nevada, referring to Republican presidential debates.

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, is paying keen attention to how the candidates respond to Trump’s “xenophobic rhetoric.”

“We’re listening very, very closely, not just what candidates say but what they don’t say — the sins of commission and the sins of omission,” he said.

Among 2016 contenders:

• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Trump’s comments “wholly inappropriate.” But in a subsequent radio interview, he said Trump is “a really wonderful guy (who’s) always been a good friend.”

• Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said: “I don’t think Donald Trump’s remarks reflect the Republican Party.”

• Cruz said he likes Trump and thinks NBC “is engaging in political correctness” in breaking ties with him.

• Rubio said the next president “needs to be someone who brings Americans together — not someone who continues to divide.”

• Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former technology executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have been silent.

Not since the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush has a Republican presidential candidate earned as much as 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney got a dismal 27 percent in the 2012 contest against President Barack Obama.

Dump Trump: Macy’s flushes partnership with Donald Trump

Department store Macy’s Inc.  said on July 1 that it would end its business relationship with Donald Trump, becoming the latest company to sever ties with the real estate developer and TV personality after his comments insulting Latinos.

Macy’s said it would phase-out Trump’s menswear collection, which includes shirts, ties, cufflinks and suits and have been sold by the department store since 2004.

“Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion. We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form,” the company said in an emailed statement. “In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump.”

Macy’s joins a group of firms that have severed ties with Trump after he described migrants from Mexico to the United States as drug-runners and rapists in a June 16 speech seeking the Republican nomination for president.

Coinciding with Macy’s announcement, Trump issued a statement saying he had decided to terminate his relationship with the department store “because of the pressure being put on them by outside sources.”

Trump added that he was not happy that his products were being manufactured in China.

“While selling Trump ties and shirts at Macy’s is a small business in terms of dollar volume, my principles are far more important and therefore much more valuable,” the Trump Organization said in an emailed statement.

Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit on June 30 against Univision over the Spanish-language TV network’s decision to end its contract to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, which is co-owned by Trump.

Univision said last week it would not air the July 12 pageant because of what it called insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants made by Trump.

— via Reuters Media Express

Big brands celebrate LGBT Pride

As LGBT Americans commemorate June as Pride Month, many of the nation’s most recognizable brands are showcasing their support for equality through high profile LGBT-centered advertisements and social media promotions, according to a survey from the Human Rights Campaign.

In the past, most companies and brands rarely — if ever — used LGBT-specific themes in marketing or advertisements.

Today, businesses recognize that it is incredibly unpopular to be anti-gay, and in fact, now view a pro-equality stance as a way to entice the millions of fair-minded Americans who champion LGBT civil rights as an important issue, according to HRC.

Adding to this have been the phenomenal flops from opponents of equality who have attempted to curb corporate LGBT advocacy.

The so-called National Organization for Marriage, which advocates against equal rights for LGBT people, has undertaken multiple failed boycott campaigns in recent years against companies that support equality.  The group’s calls for boycotts against Starbucks and General Mills — after the companies endorsed marriage equality initiatives in Washington and Minnesota, respectively — had no lasting impact on sales. NOM’s calls to “Dump Starbucks” and “Dump General Mills” actually only emboldened the corporate giants to be more vocal in their support for equality, with the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz telling a disgruntled shareholder, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

Some of the more visible brands and their LGBT Pride campaigns:

• Marriott International made news with its #LoveTravels campaign featuring images of prominent LGBT spokespeople wrapped around hotels, in print ads and billboards, as well as widespread social media promotion. 

• Macy’s partnered with HRC to celebrate Pride Month, and will feature new HRC merchandise at select locations across the country.

• Apple continues to show its support for the LGBT community with a featured station on iTunes Radio, celebrating LGBT Pride through music. The iTunes Store is also offering a collection of LGBT-themed movies, apps, music, books, and more. Many Apple employees and their families will be marching in the San Francisco Pride Parade later this month.

• Honey Maid changed its profile picture on its social media platforms to a modified version of HRC’s logo featuring two graham crackers as the equal sign.

• Google has continued its tradition of adding a rainbow-colored border to its search bar when users search for LGBT-related terms like “LGBT” and “marriage equality.”

•Designer Kenneth Cole is raising awareness for LGBT equality with limited edition t-shirts featuring the red HRC equal sign logo inlaid with the text, “Unite The States of America … Support Marriage Equality for all of U.S.”

• AT&T has launched its second annual “Live Proud” campaign inviting users to create and upload their own memes in celebration of awareness, empowerment and pride.

• Nike has released a limited edition #BETRUE apparel line to celebrate the LGBT community.

• Levi’s launched a whole Pride Month collection devoted to celebrating over 30 years of support for the LGBT community. 

• General Mills is using Lucky Charms as the face of its Pride promotions, and launched a web video that encourages social media followers to tweet and post their reasons why they’re proud using the hashtag #LuckyToBe.

• Ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s shared Pride themed images on social media with the slogan, “Love Comes in All Flavors.”

•Nordstrom asked its LGBT and allied employees to share their thoughts on Pride Month in a photo montage on the store’s website. 

Clown died during Thanksgiving Day Parade

A clown suffered a fatal collapse in front of spectators at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Sixty-seven-year-old Robert Blasetti went into cardiac arrest as he made balloon animals at Sixth Avenue and West 39th Street on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Spokesman Orlando Veras said Macy’s was “saddened to report” that a parade marcher had suffered a medical emergency. He declined to say whether the man was a Macy’s employee.

Also, a civilian New York Police Department worker also became fatally ill during the parade. He suffered an apparent heart attack while hooking up a vehicle to be towed off the parade route at West 57th Street and Sixth Avenue. He also was pronounced dead at a hospital.