2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #43-63

Another day, another detailed list of why Trump should not be President. And guess what else happens today? The Democratic National Convention starts. Yay! If you’re surprised that I’m a Democrat, you’re obviously new here. And if you’re new here, then you don’t realize that I’m posting 21 reasons every day for 99 days to show why Donald Trump should never be the President of the United States. I’m not trying to push any of the other candidates in these posts, even if I do prefer one party to all the others.

Now that I’ve gotten through with the disclaimer-esque statement, let’s get on to the discussion of Trump’s failings. Let’s see, we left off with Donald Trump allowing a racist gambler to dictate how he ran his casino, so let’s go to a similar claim about Mr. Trump and his casinos for number 43.

43. When Donald and Ivana would go to the casino, the bosses would order all black employees off the floor. For a man who vehemently denies racism, he’s done a lot of racist stuff. No one knows if it was just the bosses at his Atlantic City properties who made the order or if it was an order from the boss-man himself, but Kip Brown, a former employee, told The New Yorker about the “policy” last summer.

44. Donald Trump called black people lazy and said he only wants Jewish people counting his money. In Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John O’Donnell, one-time president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, says that Trump once told him:

“Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants up in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.” Trump continued with, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control…Don’t you agree?”

When interviewed by Mark Bowden for Playboy magazine in 1997, Trump responded that the account was probably true; but in 2016, he said that it was fiction. Are you starting to get the feeling that his claims of not being racist are a little disingenuous?

45. Trump was sued for lack of diverse employees in 1996 at a riverboat casino. Trump was sued by 20 African Americans in Indiana for failing to hire mostly minority workers for a Lake Michigan riverboat casino. Trump had promised that 70% of his workforce at the floating casino would be made of members of the minority community and 52% would be women. The lawsuit also alleged that he hasn’t honored commitments to steer contracts to minority-owned businesses in Gary.

46. Donald Trump is supported by Vojislav Šešelj. Admittedly, in late May 2016, Šešelj was acquitted by the Hague of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s, but that doesn’t make his January endorsement of Trump any more acceptable. His acquittal was blamed by the ICTY’s judges on the prosecution causing confusion over his role in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. If Trump is being openly supported by people who are linked to ethnic cleansing and is refusing to disavow their support, then what does that say about Mr. Trump?

47. Trump is also supported by the Daily Stormer, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, Michael Hill, and Brad Griffin. If Donald Trump was a shepherd, white supremacists would be his flock. It’s not a coincidence that white supremacists want Trump elected. He “speaks to” them, their hatred, their ignorance. The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, announced the support of Trump for his anti-Muslim plan with statements like “Heil Donald Trump — THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR” and “Make America White Again!” Anglin also appreciates that Trump has spoken negatively about Mexicans. Richard Spencer, who is “dedidcated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent” sees Trump as the candidate “bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has.” Spencer said, “Identity is the most important question to answer. Who are we racially? Who are we historically? Who are we in terms of our experience? Who are we in terms of our community?” He appreciated that Trump “seemed to understand and echo many of his group’s ideas intuitively, and take them to a broader audience.” He also pointed out that “there’s no direct object” in Trumps’ statement relased disavowing David Duke’s endorsement. Spencer also believes that Trump will encourage more people to turn toward his beliefs. And while he used to believe that Trump might not share the beliefs himself, he now believes that “Trump thinks like” him and that that’s why people like him love and support Trump.

Jared Taylor was featured in pro-Trump, pro-white, anti-Muslim robocalls in Iowa by a super PAC. Taylor also appreciates Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric and said, “Ordinary white people don’t want the neighborhood to turn Mexican.” Trump failed to distance himself from the calls made on his behalf and even suggested that his supporters had “legitimate anger” behind their actions. Taylor has never supported a presidential candidate before, but he believes in Trump and thinks “someone who wants to send home all illegal immigrants and at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration is acting in the interest of whites, whether consciously or not.” Founder of the hate group League of the South, Michael Hill said, “I love to see somebody like Donald Trump come along. Not that I believe anything that he says. But he is stirring up chaos in the GOP and for us that is good.” Brad Griffin, writing under the name Hunter Wallace, is also a member of the League. In December, Griffin told Politico, “I think he’s doing a lot of this just to signal to people that he’s on their side.”

48. William Johnson was a delegate for Trump in California. For a brief time, Johnson, the head of the American Freedom Party, a white nationalist political party, was a delegate in California for Donald Trump. The campaign claimed Johnson’s name was the result of a database error. He resigned and stated he would not attend the convention.

49. Trump treats racial groups as monoliths. In addition to his taco bowl tweet, Trump has a history of looking at groups as though they’re monolithic. Like that time, in 2011, when he went on Talk 1300 in Albany, NY, and said, “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I have always had a great relationship with the blacks.” Aside from when he made the comment that Mexico was sending its rapists and drug dealers and the time he proved he loved Latinos by eating a taco bowl from the Trump Tower Grill, Trump said that he would take jobs from China and Japan and give them to The Hispanics. His exact words, “I’ll take jobs back from China, I’ll take jobs back from Japan. The Hispanics arae going to get those jobs, and they’re going to love Trump.”

50. Trump claimed that the mafia had infiltrated Indian casinos. In addition to the time that Trump suggested a tribe didn’t look like Native Americans, in 2000, Trump secretly approved of and financed an ad campaign that suggested Mohawks had ties to drugs and the Mafia. He was forced to pay a $250,000 fine after his role in the crime was discovered. It wasn’t the only time Mr. Trump tried the Mafia angle and may not have even been the last.

51. Donald Trump’s behavior surrounding the case of the Central Park Five. In one of his more despicable turns at being a fear-mongering bigot, Trump advocated for bringing back the death penalty as punishment for five minority teenagers who were accused and convicted of raping a woman in Central Park. Yes, he wanted to execute children. And when it was discovered over a decade later that the teens were wrongly convicted, Trump didn’t support letting them out of jail or paying reparations to them for their wrongful imprisonment because they weren’t angels. When the attack happened, Trump’s support of vigilante justice led to people wanting to hang one from a tree in the Park and horsewhip the others. In other words, Trump’s association with encouraging hate and violence is not new. The teens ranged in age from 14 to 16 years old when the attack happened. Members of the Central Park Five were shocked that he was the top candidate for the GOP, but said his unapologetic, vulgar behavior shows his character.

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52. Trump condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester. After a Birmingham rally in November 2015 where supporters beat up a Black Lives Matter protester, Trump suggested they had done the right thing and that “he should have been roughed up”. He considered protesting a “disgusting” thing.

53. Trump described Ferguson, Missouri as one of the most dangerous places in America. In May 2016, defying facts, Trump declared that Ferguson and Oakland are some of the most dangerous places in the country. He’d previously (wrongly) suggested that Ferguson was overrun run with gangs of undocumented immigrants in August 2015. Trump won’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of his fear-mongering.

54. Donald Trump said that Black Lives Matter lacked legitimate grievances. Donald Trump views Black Lives Matter as having “horrible” rhetoric and touts that it is “inherently racist. And it’s a very divisive term. Because all lives matter. It’s a very, very divisive term.” I guess divisive was on his word of the day toilet paper that day. He suggested that the real problems was that black people just don’t have the right spirit. He stated in 2015 that he thought “they’re trouble. I think think they’re looking for trouble. I think it’s disgraceful the way they’re being catered to by the Democrats, and it’s going to end up kicking them you-know-where. I don’t think it’s going to end up good.”

55. Trump called his supporters who had beaten a homeless Latino man in Boston “passionate”. When Steven and Scott Leader urinated on a 58-year-old Mexican immigrant sleeping outside the JFK/UMass MBTA station before beating him with a metal poll, they gave their favorite candidate a shout-out. Scott was quoted as saying, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” And what did Trump say? Oh, yeah, he said this: “It would be a shame…I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” I’m fairly certain that urinating on and beating a man won’t make the country great again, unless your idea of great includes lynchings and other race-based violence.

56. Trump’s speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition in December 2015 was horribly antisemitic. When Trump spoke before the Coalition in December, he drew on old Jewish stereotypes, saying things like, “I’m a negotiator like you folks, we are negotiators.” and “Is there anybody that doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates them — perhaps more than any other room I’ve ever spoken in.” If that wasn’t bad enough, he said, “You’re not gonna support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine. Five months ago I was with you.” Though the ADL didn’t feel that he was invoking stereotypes to be antisemitic, his other antisemitic behavior and statements make me question that reality. After Trump made comments which earned him quite a few boos, he still managed to get the Coalition’s endorsement.

57. Donald Trump is a narcissist. Armchair psychologists the world over have made this declaration, but so have some actual mental health professionals. Trump is a very angry man, who happens to be extremely extroverted and not at all agreeable, traits which fuel his aggressive and ambitious personality. People so low in agreeableness are often viewed as untrustworthy and dishonest, which makes sense given Trump’s PolitiFact ratings. Trump is an authoritarian. Developmental psychologist Howard Gardner told Vanity Fair that Trump is “remarkably narcissistic”, while clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis said he was “textbook narcissistic personality disorder.” Clinical psychologist George Simon is so convinced of Trump’s narcissism that he’s archiving video clips as examples of the characteristics of the disorder. Psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan said he was easy to diagnose based on his behavior within the first debate. Trump is dangerous.

58. Trump has encouraged attacks on journalists. Trump’s rallies featured one thing that many journalists seemed to be quite alarmed by: a corral for them where they were verbally assaulted by the candidate and, with his encouragement, his supporters. But it’s not just rallies. He’s incited bullying of journalists on platforms like Twitter as well. His anti-journalist behavior has even alarmed the Committee to Protect Journalists.

59. Trump through Jorge Ramos out for challenging him on his anti-Mexican speeches. When Donald Trump threw Jorge Ramos out of an Iowa press event in August 2015, Ramos remarked, “That’s the real Donald Trump.” And that turned out to be extremely accurate. Trump didn’t like the question that Ramos had answered and chose to have the Univision anchor thrown out of the event.

60. Trump insulted the intelligence of voters in Iowa. After hearing that he wasn’t doing well in the polls in Iowa, Trump rambled on for 95-minutes about how stupid he thought they were. In reality, Iowa is actually one of the smartest states. Anyway, I guess Trump thought that being an asshole would convince people to vote for him. It didn’t work in Iowa.

61. Trump and Mormons don’t mix. I don’t agree with the majority of members of the Church on a lot of things, but disgust for Donald Trump is one of those rare things that unites most Mormons–active and inactive, conservative and liberal. The Church itself has even spoken out against Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims.

62. Trump has advocated surveillance of mosques and shutting some down. He can suggest that it’s all about security, but when the government seeks to intimidate or oppress a religion, there will be problems. Governments have used surveillance and other threats against religious movements to discourage members from practicing their faith. It is often a step toward taking religious liberties away from people.

63. Trump has supported the establishment of a national database of Muslims. There was, as he should have expexted, a backlash. He, then, changed his position to a database of Muslim refugees, but it’s still a disgusting policy to even suggest. Do I need to explain why?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

Review: The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City by Laura Tillman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know how to explain my feelings toward this book. It is an extremely compelling story, but the writing quality is poor. There seemed to be no real outline or backbone to it. The purple prose only highlighted this flaw, as did the repetition of unimportant things and the lack of refreshers given for details that seemed more important.

If all you knew about the case was the manner in which Julissa, John Stephon, and Mary Jane died, then it would seem impossible to feel bad for John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho, but what happened to them within the justice system is awful for other reasons. This is a case where a man with a severe mental illness (paranoid schizophrenia) and an intellectual disability (IQ in the low 70s) and a woman who had a shared psychosis with this man because of her own intellectual disability (IQ in the 50s) end up imprisoned, and, for him, end up on death row, but the writer is busy talking about superstitions & personal fears. It’s almost like she doesn’t completely perceive the gravity of the situation, the level of injustice that’s going on. As lovely as it is to learn about regional cultural beliefs, I was more concerned about the fact that this man who should be in a hospital will probably face lethal injection. The writer could only view this as horrible once she met Mr. Rubio, but it seems like anyone with a basic sense of compassion would figure out after learning about his background. Instead, she was oblivious to it, which made her seem callous. It made the whole book feel callous. Also, the stalking of Ms. Camacho’s family was a bit disturbing. I understand she felt that she needed to hear from them for her newspaper article and her book, but her behavior was quite creepy. I’m surprised that they didn’t issue a restraining order after the second or third time she showed up outside the woman’s front door.

The writing honestly reminded me of what you’d find in an essay by a bored, uninformed student who waited until the last minute to do an assignment. I have a hard time believing that this is something the writer was encouraged to get published, at least in its current form. I have no doubt that she has talent, but the fixations on pointless details within the work are distracting and annoying. I wish she had explained more about Rubio’s mental health than how a superstitious grandmother convinced her to throw away a perfectly good pair of tennis shoes. This wasn’t her memoir. This wasn’t even a memoir for the building. It was an unfocused work of nonfiction that was rather disappointing.

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Defined Parameters

“You know how I don’t like to describe people or the things they do as evil? What she wrote was truly evil.”

That was how I described Amanda Lauren’s essay describing an ex-friend’s life with schizoaffective disorder and that friend’s death to my mother. I had already ranted to my father and complained on social media. I couldn’t tell my mom that this total stranger was happy her mentally ill friend was dead. I knew that if I told her that that I would break down. Each time I’ve thought about what was written, I’ve had to stop myself from crying or screaming or begging to be taken to the hospital because my mind starts going down the all too familiar path of my-friends-and-family-would-probably-be-happy-if-I-died-too. It was probably a path that “Leah” was familiar with as well.

There was always something about her that wasn’t quite right.

Lauren’s essay is narcissistic drivel at best. Her friend wasn’t living up to a standard that she expected of her, so she wrote her off. She could justify this lack of understanding by saying her friend failed her. 

“Leah” didn’t clean her house, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” didn’t have steady relationships, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” was a cam girl, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” had delusions, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” pursued her crush and failed in a job Lauren secured for her, so she was undeserving of respect. “Leah” had body image issues, so she was undeserving of respect. 

It didn’t stop at her friend’s failures. The friend’s parents also failed her. Because “Leah”‘s parents didn’t magically cure their daughter of an incurable disease, they failed their daughter and failed Lauren because now she had to deal with their daughter’s erratic behavior. Every struggle “Leah” went through was actually harder on Lauren because the world is apparently all about her.1

Lauren’s lack of compassion was horrid, but her choice to use a platform like xoJane during Mental Health Awareness Month to publish a tale highlighting her ignorance was almost worse. This is a month when mental health patients, caregivers, advocates, and healthcare providers try to educate others. It’s a month to become more considerate of the day-to-day struggles for mentally ill people. Lauren and xoJane could have explained what schizoaffective disorder is, how it impacts people who have the issue, and why they behave the way that they do. They could have explored the actual suffering of “Leah” and not focused on the self-involvement of Lauren. 

I can’t understand how a parent would let their child go on like this. Clearly, she was suffering and severely ill. If her disease were physical, would they have let her deteriorate to that point?

Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic illness. It is sometimes considered a spectrum disorder because it involves overlapping symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. It is not as well understood as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression because it isn’t studied as often and is less common; it is seen in 0.3% of the population compared to 1.1%, 2.6%, and 6.7% for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, respectively. It isn’t well recognized by doctors or therapists; a lot of patients with it are diagnosed with a mood disorder or with schizophrenia first. It impacts men and women at the same rate, but, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, men typically develop it earlier than women. It can be treated, in most cases, by self-management, medication, and therapy, but people who have it are at risk for substance use disorders, suicide, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety disorders. Schizoaffective disorder is caused by genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, stress, and drug use.

There are two types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar and depressive. If the person has mixed or manic episodes, they have the bipolar type; otherwise, it’s the depressive. Unlike other situations, it’s actually better to have the bipolar type. Having it is less likely to result in suicide than having the depressive type. It is considered by some mental health professionals to be more severe than mood disorders, but less severe than schizophrenia. 

Because it is classified alongside schizophrenia as a psychotic disorder, it is more difficult to find providers willing to treat it. And treatments may be harmful to patients. Or they may not work. 

In my case, I have had many therapists “pass me off” to colleagues. I have tried multiple antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. I’ve had many that didn’t work. Most have caused weight gain, including two that caused gains of fifty pounds or more. I’ve had seizures as a result of one medication. I’ve had a variety of less severe reactions to others. I even developed a temporary medicine-induced case of hyperthyroidism. Eventually I was switched to a high dose of an antidepressant, somewhat regular therapy, and self-management. 

I will always have this disorder. My parents can’t make it go away. Medicine can’t either. 

But I can cut people like Amanda Lauren out of my life. She thought “Leah” was toxic because of her issues, but, from my perspective, it was Lauren who was toxic. Yes, there were negative behaviors exhibited by “Leah”, but she was only behaving that way because of her illness. What was Lauren’s excuse? Why was she so petty, so judgmental? And why did she feel the need to cast herself in the role of victim? Why does she feel no shame in her words? 

I don’t understand how one person can be so selfish, petty, and cruel. As those are personality traits that can be traced back to parenting, I wonder why her parents let her attitude deteriorate to this point. Shouldn’t they have done something before their child became this remorseless beacon of hate?

Photo credit: Cameron Bathory via Visualhunt.com / CC BY
Updated: May 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm: Changed link to essay to one from archive.is as the Google cache link has updated to the “apology” by Jane Pratt


  1. Donald Trump could replace Melania with her. They’d be perfect for one another.