Hillary Clinton practices what she preaches. From her policies to her campaign staff, Clinton represents all of us.
During the Democratic National Convention this summer, I wrote about the women — Black women — who ran the show in Philadelphia, and ran it “beautifully.”
And now New York magazine has introduced us to the Black women working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, reporting that there are “more African-American women working on [her] campaign than any other presidential campaign in history.”
As a Black woman, it means so much to me to see people who look like me and share many of my experiences represented at all levels of a presidential campaign — a campaign to elect the most powerful individual in the world. I feel my voice is included, and my work is appreciated by Clinton, because she surrounds herself with people like me.
And she does not stop there. Clinton welcomes in and represents the diversity of the American spectrum. No one is excluded.
This is in stark contrast to the campaign Trump has assembled. Unlike Clinton, Trump continues to demand walls and denigrate minorities, women, LGBTQ Americans, and all ethnicities and religions other than his own.
He calls our communities “disasters” and “war zones,” peddling misleading and demeaning stereotypes, typically to white audiences. No matter how often his falsehoods are corrected, or he is made aware that he is offending us, he never modifies his rhetoric. He never listens.
The final debate was no exception; lacking facts or first-hand knowledge, he said, “We need law and order. Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education, no jobs.”
Shot walking to the store? An illiterate, unemployed monolith that poses a menace to society and itself? That does not sound like the majority of Black folks I know or the community in which I grew up — a community that I know quite a bit better than Trump does.
He does not talk about or even seem to think about the reality of the hard-working teachers, laborers, students, seniors, and professionals who share the same dreams, ambitions, and work ethic of other Americans. The people who tend to their gardens, doorsteps, and homes with care and devotion, whether modest or grand; the people who fill pews on Sunday and walk their kids to school on Monday; the people who protest, volunteer, vote, and enlist in service of country and countrymen.
People like my college-educated grandfather, who could not make a decent living as a teacher in segregated Texas, so he took a job at a paper plant, inhaling pulp that would give him debilitating asthma and training uneducated white men to become managers. He did this to raise and send all seven of his children to college without aid, and five of them to graduate school (including one of the first Black math PhD’s to graduate from University of California at Berkeley).
Like all communities, the Black community experiences both challenges and triumphs. We often face gaps in opportunities and resources relative to other Americans. But Trump reduces and distorts our community and our people to such a level of depravity and dysfunction that he makes us seem sub-human.
Unlike Trump, Clinton listens. She recognizes our true communities and includes representatives from our real lives in her campaign and her plans for America’s future.
From her staffing to her policies, Clinton proves again and again that she is dedicated to representing all Americans.