A group of multiracial millennials gathered outside the Republican National Committee's (RNC) headquarters on Thursday afternoon, demanding party chair Reince Priebus withdraw his support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and reject what they call "a 50-year strategy of using racism for electoral gain."
Under the banner #AllOfUs2016, the young people are seeking to show Republicans and the media alike: "America is for all of us. Our generation will fight for an America with liberty, freedom, and justice for all."
"I'm sick and tired of the Republican Party, a party of racists and billionaires, running our country into the ground," Anthony Torres, a 22-year-old Latino organizer living in Washington, D.C., told Common Dreams ahead of Thursday's action.
"A Donald Trump presidency," he said, "would normalize overt white supremacy, put my family and my communities in greater danger, and really threaten much of what you see our generation fighting for"—including climate justice, the movement for black lives, the struggle to end deportations, and what Torres described as "a real political revolution."
Just this week, added 25-year-old Waleed Shahid in an interview, vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence demonstrated how supposedly "mainstream" Republicans plan to address Trump's controversial campaign: "Look away, pretend it doesn't exist, and make excuses for it."
"What Mike Pence did at the debate," Shahid said, was show that "Republican leaders [are] getting in line to back his hatred."
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Thursday's press conference comes on the heels of a sit-in at House Speaker Paul Ryan's office last month, which saw several arrests as the same contingent called for Ryan to reject Trump and the GOP's "dog-whistle racism."
That message apparently fell on deaf ears, as Ryan's re-election campaign announced Thursday that he'll appear with Trump this weekend in Wisconsin. In a piece titled, "Paul Ryan Burns Final Shred Of Dignity, Will Campaign With Trump," the Huffington Post reported that "It's the first time the two will appear together since the Republican National Convention in July."
Shahid, who took part in the September sit-in, said Ryan's actions show he is "choosing votes and his party over the future of our democracy."
Both Ryan and Priebus, Shahid said, "actually know that Donald Trump is a huge threat to America, and a huge threat to American democracy, but they're too afraid and too selfish to do anything about it."
"Paul Ryan and the Republican Party always talk about how much they love America and how patriotic they are," he said, "but if they really loved America that much, I think they would stand to defend our democracy against Trump's hateful and fascist campaign."