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    White Nationalism Is Real and Democrats Need to Take on Trump’s Racism

    By Andrea Shorter–

    Democratic presidential candidates recently released a slew of new TV ads to amplify their respective messages, tomes and slogans for the primary race win, to target early primary states’ caucuses audiences, or to at least raise their middling to stagnate poll accounts. For honorable mention, California Senator Kamala Harris was the first top-tier candidate to release an ad introducing her “3AM Agenda,” a somewhat reminiscent twist on a similar Hillary Clinton for President 2008 “3AM Call” ad emphasizing her intent to address those worries that keep most Americans up at night at the kitchen table—making ends meet, equal pay for women and health care—and the solutions that she will enact from day one as president to provide overdue relief, and less sleepless nights.

    That other but truly bona fide billionaire Tom Steyer basically calls Trump out as a fraud and failure in all things business and presidential, proclaiming rather presumptively that he is the only billionaire candidate that can take down Trump and his frightful economic policies because he is an actual successful businessman. Okay.

    Then there is Julian Castro. The former secretary of HUD presented an ad that was clearly crafted right after the horrific massacre of Mexican Americans and immigrants in El Paso by a white nationalist and disciple of Trump. The former mayor of San Antonio is in and of the moment, with a righteous anger, gravitas, and urgency, speaking directly to Trump:

    “President Trump: You referred to countries as s–t holes. You urged American congresswomen to ‘go back to where they came from.’ You called immigrants rapists. As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequences. Ya basta! (Enough!)”

    I hope that Castro qualifies for the next debate. As of this writing, he has enough donors to qualify, but remains at the polling threshold to take the stage. Maybe his ad will help to up his numbers.

    Both Castro and Beto O’Rourke (who has qualified) should be on that stage. Neither are polling well enough thus far to be considered top-tier candidates, but both should be on that stage. After the bloodshed in El Paso that took away 22 lives, injuring dozens more while back to school shopping at a Walmart by a white nationalist armed to the hilt with military-grade weaponry, spurred on by Trump’s hateful, racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric, they are two key voices that we need to hear.

    Between now and the next debate dates on September 12 and 13 in Houston, there is no telling what further political casualties, cruelties and recklessness will be visited upon the world by this man. We just know that, in addition to the latest upsets—including Trump’s bullying Israel to ban his favorite political opponents, Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, from visiting Israel and Palestine—there are certain to be other wildly disgusting distractions as his economy titters on the brink of recession due to his incompetent tariff wars. With nothing else to taunt along the campaign trail, Trump will dig deeper into his racism to gin up his base to bolster his chances for re-election.

    It pains me to fear that lives lost in El Paso and Gilroy to his poisonous vitriol will be forgotten in the shuffle of daily assaults and trauma this president will invent over the next several weeks before we get to Houston. Of course, other candidates are certain to speak strongly to the shame and bloody consequences of Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric. It’s just that, at this time, I want to hear Castro, the only Hispanic in the race, and O’Rourke, the former mayor of El Paso, take a no-holds-barred fight against what should no longer be a debate about the correlation and fatal consequences of sanctioned hate by this president to the place it needs to be: front and center before the American people.

    Please, no 15-second talking points or soundbites about the matter. No more conflating the issue of racist terrorism with multiple gun control policy proposals.

    Those 25 lives in Gilroy and El Paso were gunned down simply because they were not white. They were lost to the very real domestic terrorism of abject white nationalism embraced, emboldened and embodied by the “dark psychic force” that is the president of the United States. Castro and O’Rourke must take the stage—and bring it. Ya basta.

    Andrea Shorter is a Commissioner and the former President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights and marriage equality. A Co-Founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.