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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Beatty Calls on President-Elect Trump to Reconsider Bannon Appointment

Nov 15, 2016
Press Release

Beatty Calls on President-Elect Trump to Reconsider Bannon Appointment

WASHINGTON, DC - Today U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) signed on to a letter calling on President-elect Donald J. Trump to immediately rescind the appointment of Stephen Bannon to White House Chief Strategist. The letter, spearheaded by Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) and backed by more than 100 Democratic Members of Congress, urges Trump to follow through on his promise to “bind the wounds of division” and to “come together as one united people.”

“Our country is divided, and it is paramount we all work together to find common ground,” Beatty said. “Following the presidential election, President-elect Trump indicated his desire to do the same. Yet, his actions now run counter to his claims.” Beatty continued, “Stephen Bannon has made a career of dividing and siloing people who think, look or act different than him by using provocative and baited language. It is incumbent on Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment as White House chief strategist and select an individual committed to the endeavor to understand the interests of all Americans.”

As Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Bannon has repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, sexism and racism. 

The full text of the letter can be found below. 

Dear President-elect Trump:

Immediately following your victory, many Americans were optimistic and hopeful that you would take the steps necessary to unify our country following the divisive and contentious election.  In your election night speech you said, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.  It is time for us to come together as one united people.”  Unfortunately, your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country.  As elected representatives of millions of Americans from diverse backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to appoint Mr. Bannon to White House Chief Strategist.

Since the election there have been a number of incidents across the country in which minorities, including Muslim Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Jewish Americans, have been the targets of violence, harassment and intimidation. Mr. Bannon’s appointment sends the wrong message to people who have engaged in those types of activities, indicating that they will not only be tolerated, but endorsed by your Administration.  Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated by the Trump Administration and your appointment of Mr. Bannon only exacerbates and validates their concerns.

As the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism. During an interview last summer, Mr. Bannon bragged that Breitbart was “the platform for the alt-right,” a movement that upholds White Nationalism while strongly rejecting diversity in any form. Under Mr. Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has referred to a leading Republican who opposed your election as a “Renegade Jew,” suggested “Young Muslims in the West are a ticking time bomb,” declared that the “Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage,” and praised the alt-right as a “smarter” version of “old-school racist skinheads.”

Disturbingly, leading white nationalists like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke, American Nazi Party Chairman Rocky J. Suhadya, Richard Spencer, Peter Brimelow, and Brad Griffin have praised the news of Mr. Bannon’s appointment.  We believe it should concern you that civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, are widely opposed to Mr. Bannon’s appointment.

We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon’s appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one. As one of your top advisors, the White House chief strategist will help set the tone for your administration. The person in this role must be prepared to serve the interests of all Americans, not those of a select few.

Once again, we strongly urge you to rescind this appointment immediately and build a diverse White House staff who are committed to the core American values of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

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