The Republican National Convention came to a close last night (July 21), and party presidential nominee Donald Trump closed the final session with a 75-minute speech during which he formally accepted the nomination and laid out his views on the economy, crime, terrorism and immigration. Trump wasted no time laying out his basic premise that America is a dangerous place and he is the only person who can turn things around:
Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order. Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism of our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims. I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon—and I mean very soon—come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.
He also used the time to talk about the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton (“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness.”), reiterate his call to build a wall (“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.”) and circle back to his proposed ban on Muslims (“We must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place”).
Watch the full speech:
It’s a speech that prompted many reactions, perhaps none more pointed than the one from the Black Lives Matter network, whose leaders say that the speech places him “alongside some of the worst fascists in history.”
“His doublespeak belies his true nature: a charlatan who will embolden racists and destroy communities of color.” Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said in a statement emailed to Colorlines. “He is a disgrace. White people of conscience must forcefully reject this hatred immediately.”
The statement goes on to say:
Black people and our allies have unequivocally demanded a new path forward for safety in our communities, one that involves real accountability for police.
While our movement envisions a bright future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, Trump is proposing a new, dark age where police have carte blanche authority to terrorize our communities….
The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump. He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear.