OAV to Trump: Washington State Rejects Hate
OneAmerica Votes is multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. We are optimistic about the future, and we believe that immigrants and refugees play a vital role in making our communities, our state and our nation great. We fight to strengthen our democracy, to grow civic engagement in immigrant and refugee communities and communities of color, and we fight for justice.
Donald Trump and his rhetoric stand in stark contrast to what we stand for. That’s why on May 6th, one day before Trump visited Lynden, WA to hold a rally in advance of the May 24th Washington primaries, we organized a press conference with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Muslim, Latino, immigrant and women community leaders with a clear united message: Washington State rejects hate.
The next day, Trump was in Lynden, WA. For months, Trump’s campaign has attacked Latinos, Muslims and women calling us rapists, criminals, slobs and worse. We were there with a broad coalition of leaders from all over Washington State. With activists from UFCW 21, Washington CAN, Fuse Washington and an array of allies we responded to Trump’s hateful narrative with one of peace and unity.
Inside the venue, Donald Trump delivered a familiar message to his supporters – one of divisiveness, xenophobia and fear. In his 20-minute address, he attacked Syrian refugees, immigrants from Latin America and Muslim-Americans, appealing to his audience’s darker instincts.
Outside, more than 1,000 dedicated activists had a different message: one of hope, compassion, unity and respect. With signs, chants and a large inflatable elephant, these leaders delivered a counter-narrative that rang through the streets of Lynden: Washington State rejects hatred and xenophobia, and when it comes time to cast our ballots, we’ll vote for our families.
The diverse crowd of women, students, immigrants and activists of color, bore a stark contrast to the Donald Trump supporters gathered across the street. These activists entreated all to reject a fear-based narrative. “Love Trumps Hate!” they chanted, to the steady rhythm of drums.
As the 2016 campaign continues and anti-immigrant rhetoric grows more incendiary, our communities are responding by building power, registering our friends and families to vote and fighting hate wherever we see it. And come November, we’ll vote for our communities, our families, and our children.