Letter to Donald J. Trump, President-Elect of the United States - Regarding the Appointment of Steve Bannon

Letter

By: John Yarmuth, Peter Welch, Paul Tonko, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Juan Vargas, Frederica Wilson, Marc Veasey, Norma Torres, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Niki Tsongas, Mike Thompson, Tim Walz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nydia Velázquez, Dina Titus, Bobby Scott, Don Payne, Jr., Frank Pallone, Jr., Gwen Moore, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Linda Sánchez, Eleanor Norton, Raul Ruiz, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Seth Moulton, Terri Sewell, Ben Lujan, Jr., Jerry McNerney, Jim McDermott, Betty McCollum, Adam Schiff, Rick Nolan, Ed Perlmutter, Patrick Murphy, Richard Neal, Mark Takano, Donald Norcross, Mike Quigley, Grace Meng, Eric Swalwell, Grace Napolitano, Tim Ryan, Beto O'Rourke, David Price, Doris Matsui, Stephen Lynch, Cedric Richmond, Bennie Thompson, Adam Smith, Sean Maloney, Albio Sires, John Sarbanes, Jared Polis, Kathleen Rice, Jackie Speier, Kurt Schrader, Jerry Nadler, José Serrano, Mark Pocan, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Louise Slaughter, Scott Peters, Chellie Pingree, Jan Schakowsky, Jim McGovern, Eddie Johnson, Hakeem Jeffries, Brenda Lawrence, Marcia Kaptur, Ted Lieu, Mike Honda, Jim Langevin, Hank Johnson, Jr., John Lewis, Joe Kennedy III, Alan Lowenthal, Derek Kilmer, Sheila Jackson Lee, Denny Heck, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Luis Gutiérrez, Ann Kuster, Raul Grijalva, Steve Israel, Sandy Levin, Zoe Lofgren, Colleen Hanabusa, John Larson, Dan Kildee, Barbara Lee, Dave Loebsack, Brian Higgins, Robin Kelly, Bill Keating, Ron Kind, Jim Himes, Gene Green, Jared Huffman, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Nita Lowey, Rick Larsen, Janice Hahn, Rosa DeLauro, Bill Foster, Dwight Evans, Xavier Becerra, Alma Adams, Suzan DelBene, Gwen Graham, Sanford Bishop, Jr., John Carney, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Esty, Don Beyer, Jr., Joe Courtney, André Carson, Lacy Clay, Jr., Susan Davis, Mike Doyle, Jr., G. K. Butterfield, Jr., John Garamendi, Al Green, Marcia Fudge, Danny Davis, Matt Cartwright, Ted Deutch, Pete Aguilar, Judy Chu, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Steve Cohen, Elijah Cummings, Julia Brownley, Kathy Castor, Lloyd Doggett II, Keith Ellison, Gerry Connolly, Katherine Clark, Mark DeSaulnier, Madeleine Bordallo, Joe Crowley, Jim Clyburn, Emanuel Cleaver II, David Cicilline, John Delaney, Peter DeFazio, Tony Cárdenas, Donna Edwards, Ami Bera, Jim Cooper, Eliot Engel, Brendan Boyle, Joaquin Castro, Yvette Clarke, Diana DeGette, Suzanne Bonamici, Joyce Beatty, Debbie Dingell, Cheri Bustos, Mike Capuano, John Conyers, Jr., Karen Bass, Ruben Gallego, Lois Frankel, Bob Brady
Date: Nov. 16, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

Dear President-elect Trump:

Immediately following your victory, many Americans were optimistic and hopeful that you would take the steps necessary to unify our country following the divisive and contentious election. In your election night speech you said, "Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people." Unfortunately, your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country. As elected representatives of millions of Americans from diverse backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to appoint Mr. Bannon to White House Chief Strategist.

Since the election there have been a number of incidents across the country in which minorities, including Muslim Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Jewish Americans, have been the targets of violence, harassment and intimidation. Mr. Bannon's appointment sends the wrong message to people who have engaged in those types of activities, indicating that they will not only be tolerated, but endorsed by your Administration. Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated by the Trump Administration and your appointment of Mr. Bannon only exacerbates and validates their concerns.

As the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism. During an interview last summer, Mr. Bannon bragged that Breitbart was "the platform for the alt-right," a movement that upholds White Nationalism while strongly rejecting diversity in any form. Under Mr. Bannon's leadership, Breitbart has referred to a leading Republican who opposed your election as a "Renegade Jew," suggested "Young Muslims in the West are a ticking time bomb," declared that the "Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage," and praised the alt-right as a "smarter" version of "old-school racist skinheads."

Disturbingly, leading white nationalists like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke, American Nazi Party Chairman Rocky J. Suhadya, Richard Spencer, Peter Brimelow, and Brad Griffin have praised the news of Mr. Bannon's appointment. We believe it should concern you that civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, are widely opposed to Mr. Bannon's appointment.

We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon's appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one. As one of your top advisors, the White House chief strategist will help set the tone for your administration. The person in this role must be prepared to serve the interests of all Americans, not those of a select few.

Once again, we strongly urge you to rescind this appointment immediately and build a diverse White House staff who are committed to the core American values of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.


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