Donald Trump's appointment of a racist individual like Steve Bannon is totally unacceptable. It must be rescinded.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 16, 2016
Although rejecting a racist does not seem like something a president should have to be convinced of, Sanders made his appeal to Trump during a speech in Washington D.C.
"Over the years, we have made progress in becoming a less discriminatory and more tolerant society — and we are not going backward," Sanders vowed. "The appointment by President-elect Trump of a racist individual like Mr. Bannon to a position of authority is totally unacceptable...I call upon Mr. Trump to rescind the appointment of Mr. Bannon."
Sanders is not the only person raising their voice in opposition to Bannon, who has used Breitbart News as his own personal outlet for the alt-right. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed a petition to remove Bannon from the post and civil rights groups like Southern Poverty Law Center, The Council on American-Islamic relations, and J-Street, a "progressive pro-Israel" organization, have voiced their concerns over his appointment to the White House staff.
"I will keep an open mind to see what ideas Mr. Trump offers and when and how we can work together," Sanders stated in an op-ed for The New York Times. He qualifies, “Rest assured, there is no compromise on racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and sexism. We will fight it in all its forms, whenever and wherever it re-emerges."
Bannon, for all his hateful, bigoted beliefs, seems to have struck a chord with the president-elect, causing some to wonder if Trump favors Bannon simply because he has been carefully stroking Trump's ego throughout the election year.
The Washington Post reports that Bannon has carefully flattered Trump consistently for the past year, interviewing him nine times on his radio show for Breitbart News. "In those exchanges" says the Post, "a dynamic emerged, with Bannon often coaxing Trump to agree to his viewpoint, whether on climate change, foreign policy or the need to take on Republican leaders in Congress."
Eventually, Trump seemed to enjoy Bannon's complimentary behavior and leading questions so much that he appointed Bannon as CEO of his presidential campaign and announced his role as chief strategist and senior counselor in the week after the election.
Politicians like Bernie Sanders and citizens alike are calling for Bannon to be banned from the White House due to his history as a racist who actively and publicly pushes an alt-right agenda. We can only hope Trump will heed the will of the people before Bannon uses the same flattery on President Trump to potentially devastating consequences.
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