5 Facts You Won’t Hear During Trump’s Speech Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Donald Trump will address a joint session of Congress. He’s likely to repeat “alternative facts” that have marked his administration. Below are truths you’re unlikely to hear during the address.

The Muslim ban harms Americans
 Rather than making America safe again, the now-overturned Muslim ban has harmed families like those of an Iranian-American man, who learned his brother would be deported because of the executive order. Fanning the flames of Islamophobia, the order made communities of color more vulnerable to personal attacks, hate crimes and vandalism, threatening their safety. Hate incidents, particularly those targeting communities of color, have increased in the days following the 2016 election.

Voter Fraud is a Myth 
 Donald Trump’s baseless claim that widespread voter fraud, to the tune of 3 million illegally cast ballots, cost him the popular vote is just that: an “alternative fact.” In a press release, the National Association of Secretaries of State, (the organization that represents 40 of the nation’s chief state election officials), said, “we are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump.” Studies have shown that voting by non-citizens is extremely rare. Nevertheless, the myth is Trump’s tactic to make the case for laws that will make it harder to vote for people of color, like photo ID requirements.

“Law and order” policing has historically failed
The War on Drugs caused a proliferation of the “law and order” policing approach in communities of color that criminalizing even the lowest level offenses using the broken window theory. Police departments increasingly used Containment Policing practices like stop and frisk and “jump outs” to assert control in particular neighborhoods. These policies and practices that targeted Black and Brown people and an unchecked racist policing culture fueled the country’s mass incarceration crisis. Recent high profile shooting deaths of Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald and Walter Scott by law enforcement further demonstrate the deadly and inherently racist nature of the posture toward communities of color. These failed policies and practices have eroded confidence and trust. President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing highlighted lessons learned from the law and order approach.

School Choice through Vouchers and Charters Won’t Provide Education Equity
The truth is that even in cities like New Orleans that have aggressively replaced traditional public schools with charters, large achievement gaps still exist between students of color and their white counterparts. In states like Michigan, where almost 80% of charter schools operate for a profit, chartering and school voucher programs produced some of the nation’s worst-performing and least accountable schools for Black students. Research has shown that concentrated poverty and racial isolation are key factors districts must address. It also should be noted that charter schools fare no better in addressing the school-to-prison pipeline than traditional public schools. We need to invest in high quality public education for all students.

Black and Brown communities are the future of America. And the future is already here.
 The slogan “Make America Great Again” should be known for what it is, the rallying cry of white supremacy. The hard fact for many to swallow is that America is at a demographic tipping point. It’s estimated that by 2044, non-whites will be the majority. The browning of America is already upending the two major political parties and impacting the composition of our nation’s public institutions. The health, wealth, and liberation of communities of color will be critically important to the future of our country.

For more commentary on the new administration, what it means for the movement for racial justice and where we go from here, join Advancement Project and Voto Latino for our own #StateOfRace discussion tomorrow via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/AdvancementProject/

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