Díaz: What I’d tell Donald Trump – hey $%#%#, I’m NOT Norwegian

Thank God my mother doesn’t speak English. Otherwise, she’d wheel herself into a plane – something she swore she would never do again – just to tell me off.My 76-year-old mother wouldn’t hesitate to smack me – something she never actually did – if I publicly uttered profanity to insult anyone, much less the President of the United States of America. MONTINI: In defense of what Trump calls 's--hole countries' The United States – or simply America as she calls it – is my mother’s country. America welcomed her and my family decades ago. America has embraced her despite the fact she hasn’t learned enough English to pass her citizenship test. She loves this country as much as she loves her 13 children.So, to honor my mother, I won’t insult Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.I’d just tell him this: Hey $%#%#, I’m NOT Norwegian.That’s how outraged we are with Trump’s characterization of Haitians and Africans. The president turned the world upside down when he reportedly rejected the notion of accepting immigrants from Haiti and Africa saying: “Why do we want all these people from 's-hole countries' coming here?"And just in case anyone is wondering the type of immigrants Trump prefers, he had to say it aloud: Norway.Why?That’s obvious, isn’t it? MORE: Trump appears to deny using term on Twitter We’ve come to expect these types of insults out of the White House. We’ve come to smirk, laugh it off and move on because Trump is just being Trump.But this is a new low – even for Trump. AND IT IS NOT OK.How many times are we going to excuse Trump? I’m heartened by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who showed his solidarity on Twitter.Let me tell you where my family came from: A small, poor, crime-ridden town in the Mexican state of Michoacán. The state, southwest of Mexico City, Continue Reading

Before They March: Three Women On Why They’re Going To DC

Spend enough time with Utah feminists and you'll hear the phrase "the worst state for women" bounce between them on the beat of a metronome. It's their rallying cry, based on a series of less-than-official reports from recent years but firmly reinforced by what the women say they’ve seen around them.On a snowy night in early January, about 75 of these feminists gathered in Salt Lake City, prepping for the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21. The venue: a renovated art-deco clubhouse once home to the Ladies Literary Club, a group founded in 1877 by non-Mormon women. The agenda: announcing updates. A location had been picked for the Utah women to gather at before the march began (DC’s National Air and Space Museum), colors for their coordinating outfits had been chosen (black and gold), and final branding had been established (the hashtag #Ifightfor, boxing gloves drawn on posters or worn on hands encouraged)."The worst state in the nation is here to fight," said Chelsea Shields, a strategic consultant behind the boxing gloves idea and one of the women coordinating the Utahns' trek to DC. "We want people to say, 'What group is that?' We want our own state to feel self-conscious." The Women's March on Washington started coming together just after the election. It had a chaotic start, well-documented by skeptical media outlets. There was a tangled mess of Facebook pages, then serious concern over whether the march was including women of color and other underrepresented voices (prompting a name change from Million Women March, which had been used by black women in 1997), then questions of permits. By now, though, as DC authorities prepare for a crowd of 400,000, the national organizers have largely whipped the chaos into shape. There are committees and chairwomen and major organizations on board — Amnesty International, the NAACP, Oxfam, Planned Parenthood. The grassroots Facebook effort has gone legit. The national organizers just posed for Continue Reading

Goodbye, Middle Class—Hello, Donald Trump?

The image of the United States as a broadly prosperous middle-class nation is a core tenet of American exceptionalism: the certainty that we provide for our citizens better than other countries, where a sclerotic class system stifles mobility. Last week’s Pew Research Center study on the decline of the middle class—its members no longer make up a majority of Americans; there’s now an equal share of us in the top and the bottom tiers combined—seemed to confirm the warnings about rising income inequality that are central to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. But the changes captured by the Pew study are doing more to buoy the campaign of Donald Trump, who is way ahead with Republican voters who didn’t go to college. These downwardly mobile Americans—folks without a college degree were most likely to fall out of the middle class, Pew found—are so far flocking to Trump, not Sanders, who draws most of his support from college graduates. There was a little bit of good news in the study that mostly got ignored: Almost twice as many people rose up and out of the middle class as fell downward into the lower tier. African Americans were among those gaining most ground, though they’re still disproportionately concentrated in the lower tier. And even if the share of people in the middle-class group fell, by 11 points, half the country is still there, while 29 percent are in the upper income tier, and 21 percent in the bottom tier. If more people are rising than falling, why did the study get so much attention? Literally hundreds of headlines blared its dark conclusions about middle-class shrinkage last week. I think there are three reasons. The most disturbing finding, to me, is not that the middle class shrunk as a percent of the country. It’s that the group lost even more wealth than it lost members. The share of Americans in the middle class dropped from 61 to 50 percent, but their share of wealth Continue Reading

Readers sound off on Donald Trump, Barack Obama and race

New leader for a divided nation Chicago: You’re right (“A legitimate President,” editorial, Jan. 18). The electorate has spoken, and Donald Trump is our new President. It’s easy to understand why people are afraid of having a sociopathic, misogynistic, Twitter-obsessed child at the helm, but I do hope that both parties will come together, and work for the betterment of our country. I’ve watched every inauguration since I was 6 years old (even if I didn’t like the candidate). The pageantry of succession has always sparked the interest and some species of patriotism. I will be skipping this one, however. Every time I see Trump’s face, I’m reminded of how he’s made it the fashion in the country to be nasty, hateful and blatantly stupid. Seth Crane Tarrytown, N.Y.: Would these so-called leaders of our country wake up and smell the roses? It’s over and the sooner you accept the results of this election, the better. I’m tired of hearing how the presidential election wasn’t a legitimate vote. It was and now it’s time to move on! No wonder this country is a joke all over the world. So to our weak-spined politicians: Get on with it because Donald Trump is here for at least the next four years, whether you like it or not. And that goes for all the rest of our spoiled “my way or no way” population. Carol Culkin Liar-in-chief Raleigh, N.C.: You people who will not be directly affected by this jerk’s cabinet of racists, billionaires and misogynists write like it’s OK. The man is not qualified, and is embracing this only for the power it gives him to enrich himself, family and partners. Every word out of his mouth is a blatant lie. I applaud those who are standing up for what is right, although I am sure spiteful Donald Trump will do everything in his power to make their lives miserable. He may be rich; however, he is and will remain very, very small. Robin Grant Continue Reading

Donald Trump once gave big check to undocumented Haitian immigrant in New York

Give the devil his due. Donald Trump, who wants to build a wall at the Mexican border, and keep new Muslims out of America, once gave thousands of dollars to an undocumented immigrant to help her live in the U.S. Darline Bertil lost both of her hands in 2010 after a roof collapsed on her during a deadly earthquake in Haiti. While being fitted for prostheses more than a year later at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, Bertil said she met Trump, who was so moved by her plight that he later mailed her a “substantial” check. Months earlier, Bertil, 30, had already made the decision to stay in New York, and enrolled at Queensborough Community College, where she applied for and received TheDream.US Foundation Student Scholarship, which helps undocumented public college students who have filed for temporary legal status. It was unclear if Trump knew the woman’s immigration status when he made the gesture. A Trump representative could not immediately be reached for comment. Bertil did not disclose the amount of the check. “It was a huge check,” she said after a ceremony celebrating the CUNY Dreamers program at John Jay College in Manhattan. “You could buy a new car with it. But I had other things in mind. I had to help out my family in Haiti and my church. I had to give God part of it.” Bertil said she was moved by the kindness of a stranger. “It was a gesture, a symbol of his generosity,” Bertil said. “I only know him from his gesture. He was generous to me as an immigrant.” But he didn’t necessarily buy her endorsement. “I don’t know if I support him,” she said, noting some of Trump’s controversial comments about Mexico and Muslims. “His comments are very hurtful. I hope God makes the best decision for this country.” As for the chance to go to college in the U.S., Bertil Continue Reading

Donald Trump doesn’t regret dismissing John McCain’s war record because his poll numbers went up anyway

Donald Trump says he won’t back down on his damning dismissal of Arizona Sen. John McCain’s war record — because his poll numbers went up after he said it. “I like not to regret anything,” Trump told fellow bigot Don Imus on the “Imus in the Morning” radio show Wednesday. “You do things and you say things. And what I said, frankly, is what I said. Some people like what I said, if you want to know the truth. There are many people that like what I said. After I said that, my poll numbers went up seven points.” Trump’s stubborn snub comes days after McCain asked him to apologize for his callous comments, on behalf of all veterans. Weeks into his campaign last year, Trump enraged GOP leadership when he shot down McCain’s war record — mocking the Vietnam veteran because he spent five years suffering as a prisoner of war. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump told an Iowa rally crowd in July. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” It was one of the first major controversies of Trump’s White House run — and yet, as Trump pointed out, it did nothing to stop the hateful huckster’s political rise. McCain has already pledged his wary support for Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee. But McCain said Sunday he’d been hesitant to stand behind Trump until the billionaire businessman offers a belated apology. “I think it’s important for Donald Trump to express his appreciation for veterans — not John McCain, but veterans who were incarcerated as prisoners of war,” McCain told CNN’s State of the Union. Trump claimed on Imus’ show that he has already apologized to McCain, even though there is no record of him doing so. But he at least said some nice things about McCain’s military Continue Reading

Experts worry that Donald Trump’s opposition to common vaccinations might lead to outbreaks

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's White House bid is leaving some people feeling queasy - but it's his opposition to common vaccinations that could make people sick. Trump has long trumpeted his false belief that the common vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella has a direct link to rising rates of autism in the U.S. And while most experts predict his presidential campaign will eventually collapse, they worry his spreading of the conspiracy could convince more parents not to vaccinate their kids, and lead to outbreaks of measles and other dangerous diseases that vaccines had all but wiped out in the U.S. Donald Trump makes over-the-top entrance into Iowa State Fair "As a political scientist I think it's extremely unlikely he'll win the nomination, but his prominence does run the risk of bringing his views on vaccines back in the spotlight," said Dartmouth University Professor Brendan Nyhan, who has done research on why the anti-vaccine movement's conspiracy theories have been so hard to dispel. "Of the things he says that are wrong this is the most direct threat to your and your children's health." That threatens not just the children who don't get inoculated but the entire society, as outbreaks can occur. Current vaccination rates have dipped dangerously close to the level at which everyone is protected - roughly 95 percent of the overall population. Measles had been eliminated in the U.S. by 2000 but has come back alongside the anti-vaccine movement. One outbreak traced to Disneyland spread to 14 states earlier this year, with more than 100 cases. "People like Donald Trump who spread misinformation on vaccines could cause more parents to opt out of vaccinating their children, which not only puts their children at risk but puts our herd immunity at risk. If enough parents stop vaccinating we put society at risk," Nyhan said. Trump has long been trumpeting one version of the dangerous and scientifically debunked theory that current Continue Reading

Will Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim words on travel ban hurt his case?

WASHINGTON — It's been 18 months since Donald Trump, presidential candidate, called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."It's been nearly six months since Trump, as president-elect, was asked if terror attacks in Europe had affected his proposed Muslim ban. "You know my plans," he said. "All along, I've been proven to be right."And it's been less than a week since President Trump trumpeted the travel ban he first proposed in January, which would have shut down virtually all travel from seven majority-Muslim countries while giving Christians preferential treatment. "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.," he tweeted.Now "S.C." — the Supreme Court — may have the last word on whether those words of Trump's matter. The justices could decide as soon as this week whether to overrule lower courts and let the travel ban go into effect temporarily, as well as whether to rule on its overall constitutionality. Oral arguments could be held within weeks, or later in the year. Ultimately, the ban could be implemented — or permanently blocked.Trump's statements lie at the heart of the legal battle federal courts from Virginia to Hawaii have wrestled with since February in deciding whether the president's temporary travel ban is constitutional. While the fight has raised questions about national security, presidential power and due process rights, what's garnered the most attention has been whether Trump's rants and tweets trump his actions."It's a genuinely difficult question," says Kate Shaw, an associate law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, who says Trump's words reveal his intentions. "This is not a question that the Supreme Court has resolved." Read more:Trump was one of 14 Continue Reading

Readers sound off on police, guns and Donald Trump

Cops must have clean records Manhattan: In his June 18 column “Blue gems in the rough” Denis Hamill interviewed a retired NYPD deputy inspector who believes that the commissioner should accept recruits who once had trouble with the law. As a detective with 30 years of NYPD service, I think that is wrong. There are many cops who were raised in bad neighborhoods under equally bad circumstances but made the conscious decision to stay out of trouble and join the NYPD. I grew up in the Howard Houses in Brooklyn, in a working class family, and every day I witnessed young males in the community committing acts of violence against our own people. As a teenager in Brownsville, I made the decision to live my life as my parents had taught me, so I decided to become a police officer. If a candidate is willing to break the law prior to becoming a police officer, what’s to say he is going to be any different behind the badge? When elected officials, community activists and others talk about police reform, hiring candidates who have criminal pasts goes against the standards of our profession. This only opens the department to corruption. Dennis Gonzalez, president, NYPD Hispanic Society Just curb the guns Clearwater, Fla.: We can never stop those like Dylann Roof from hating. Nor will we change their narrow-minded, racist views. But what we can do is to try to stop these bloody massacres by making it more difficult to purchase guns. Our current watered-down gun laws have made it easier for felons like Roof to purchase firearms. What’s holding our nation back is our elected legislators — who would rather cozy up to the National Rifle Association than keep Americans safe. JoAnn Lee Frank Attack the real problem Staten Island: President Obama said that mass gun violence doesn’t happen anywhere else but here. I guess he forgot about Charlie Hebdo in France as well as Sweden and Norway, all of which have strict gun control. Strict gun Continue Reading

Voicers sound off on American terror, New York thugs and Donald Trump

It's for us to kill the monster Astoria: The only thing to be thankful for regarding the Charleston shooting is that Dylann Storm Roof didn’t do what almost all similar monsters do and kill himself at the end of it. He will now face the full fury of the justice system and a death penalty trial. After he’s found guilty and eventually executed, he has hell to look forward to. Brad Morris Hate speech Briarwood: It is an absolute outrage what 21-year-old Dylan Roof did in Charleston. He reportedly told his black victims, “You’re taking over our country.” How far away is this from the rhetoric we’ve heard from some Republican politicians since President Obama was elected in 2008? Cliff Mitchell Killing hate Whitestone: The murder of nine innocent people attending church services is so horrendous that it’s almost difficult to believe. It appears so much hatred exists in people who cannot tolerate others who are somehow different. We must educate people to respect and care about those who both look, and have differing values, than themselves. It is bigotry that must be killed! Leonore Brooks Bad guys and good guesses Brooklyn: Over the past several weeks, the word “thug” has practically been abandoned by the Daily News. Instead, I see “creep” used all over the paper now. I am guessing that a directive from above, in an effort to be further politically correct and to promote a “kinder, gentler city,” has been issued to this effect. And my guess is that this directive is coming from none other than Mayor de Blasio’s office. I suppose that when the bleeding hearts start crying that “creep” is also too strong, thatthe good old-fashioned term “bad guy” will come next. Robert T. Mruczek Playing with numbers Whitestone: Harry Siegel says that at the height of stop, question and frisk, there were more than 1,500 stops a day (“Stop Continue Reading