The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Shansky,(414) 218-3331

Pence Again Says KKK Leader Isn't Deplorable

How long will Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson join David Duke in supporting Trump?


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has unprecedented ties to the white nationalist movement. Trump appointed a prominent white supremacist leader as a California delegate to the Republican National Convention, he has retweeted white supremacists dozens of times, and he memorably refused to disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's endorsement. A white supremacist student leader physically assaulted a protester in Kentucky (Trump rallies are notoriously dangerous for people of color), and analysts have documented an increase in harassment and hate crimes nationwide since Trump began his campaign, including in Milwaukee. Trump has made stopping Latinx and Muslim immigration the center of his agenda and has called for stripping US Citizen children of immigrants of their citizenship and deporting them and their families.

On Saturday, when Hillary Clinton described half of Trump's supporters as "deplorables," she was referring to people like former Klan leader and current Republican senatorial candidate David Duke, who has said that Trump's candidacy inspired him to run for Senator. Pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday as to whether Duke is "deplorable," Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence said, "No, I'm not in the name-calling business." On Tuesday, Pence again declined to say that Duke is deplorable. Voces de la Frontera Action issued the following response:

"Donald Trump's dangerous attacks on immigrants and Muslims and his continued refusal to distance himself from white supremacists like David Duke are bringing the politics of hate back into the mainstream, and as long as Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson continue to support Trump, they are supporting hate," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action. "The 2016 election is a referendum on the kind of society we want to be: open, democratic and diverse, or cruel, authoritarian and racist. In Wisconsin, Latinxs and immigrants are working hard to make sure that our community votes in historic numbers in November to defeat Trump, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan, and all the Republicans downballot supporting a billionaire who pals around with the Klan. In 2012 Latinxs rejected Romney and Ryan's 'self-deportation' agenda, and it cost the Republicans the White House. They clearly haven't learned that bigotry is a losing strategy."

Voces de la Frontera is Wisconsin's leading immigrant rights group - a grassroots organization that believes power comes from below and that people can overcome injustice to build a better world.