By Ed Diokno
Donald Trump’s presidential victory prompted demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities, talk of California’s secession from the United States and a stirring of a movement to counter the growing anti-minority and anti-immigrant acts of his supporters from the radical right.
The California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus issued a statement Nov. 17 condemning the stereotypes and outright bigotry that has been and continues to be vocalized by President-elect Trump.
“As leaders in California, we will stand up and not be complicit or complacent in the trampling of rights and the destruction of families in our immigrant communities,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta, chair of the API Legislative Caucus.
“The rhetoric coming from President-elect Donald Trump and his inner circle cannot be tolerated. As president, his actions would tear families apart, destabilize communities and hurt our economy. As Californians, we will stand by our values and fight together to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” said Bonta.
During the 18-month presidential campaign, Trump said he would deport some 11 million undocumented immigrants, build a wall between Mexico and the U.S., and curtail the immigration of Muslims, many of whom come from Asia.
Since the Nov. 8 election, there has been an increase in reports of racism and hate crimes. according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Communities of color are encountering race-based bullying attacks.
“We are part of one California,” said Bonta, the only Filipino American in the state legislature. “As the most diverse state in America, California is an example to the nation and the world of how public policies of inclusion and compassion foster stronger, safer and more prosperous communities.”A day after the election’s surprising results, California Senate President pro Temper Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, both Democrats, released a joint statement.
“Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.
California voters – with the largest number of immigrants in the country – voted for Clinton over Trump almost two to one. San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and Oakland said they would not cooperate with federal attempts to deport its residents.
“California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love,” continued the statement,” read the joint statement.
“While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.
As the world’s sixth largest economy, home to the country’s entertainment industry and the center of innovation in Silicon Valley, provider of much of the country’s produce, California lawmakers believe the state has some leverage even though Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House are controlled by the GOP.
“California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future,” concluded the statement from de Leon and Rendon.
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