CAIRO – Different groups of Muslim, black, Hispanic and Latino Americans have united against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump polarizing messages, in a clear rejection of his notions of racial divide.
“We need to peacefully stand up against hateful rhetoric,” Michelle Novak, 37, a Muslim from Middletown, told Cincinnati.com.
“It was not anti-Trump. It was anti-hate.”
Novak was speaking about the protest against Trump’s message on Sunday at the Savannah Center in suburban Butler County.
“Love Trumps Hate” was the theme of Novak’s protest, which she organized on Facebook and attracted about 500 participants including Hispanics seeking change, African Americans in the Black Lives Matter movement and Muslims against Islamophobia and hate crimes.
Protesters held signs reading “No Hate in My State” and “If You’re Fluent in German You’ve Heard All This Before.”
Others chanted loudly, saying “Build bridges, not walls,” “Black lives matter” and “This is what democracy looks like.”
“His hate speech is directed at us,” Amberly Zombrano, 32, of Lebanon, a Muslim wearing a scarf, said, referring to Trump’s calls to prohibit Muslims from entering the United States and to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
“I want for my daughters to know they have a voice,” added Zombrano, who brought her two Mexican-American daughters, ages 9 and 12, with her.
Another demonstrator, Niki Meiners, 44, of Amberley Village, gave flowers to fellow demonstrators.
The Native American, whose father is Cherokee/Chickasaw, said she wanted Trump supporters to know that all Americans, except for Native Americans, are immigrants.
“You say it’s your country when it’s everyone’s country,” Meiners said.
Alexander Shelton, 26, a University of Cincinnati student and leader of UC Students Against injustice, wore a white smock emblazoned with an image of Malcolm X.
“This is the 1965 sit-ins again,” Shelton said.
“Donald Trump is attacking us. We are here standing for love, freedom and liberation for all. What this country has been doing against non-white people is egregious.”
Close to Shelton, Angela Stanley, 54, of Golf Manor, wore a black T-shirt with bold white lettering that read, “Black Lives Matter.”
“I am standing here with my fellow Americans, of all races and religions, against hatred,” she said.
Muslims make up 1% of America’s 322 million population, according to Pew Research center.
Anti-Muslim sentiments have reached an all-time high after the rise of the so-called Islamic State, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Moreover, the Republican presidential candidates, such as Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, have added to increasing anti-Muslim sentiments.
Trump’s views on immigration have sparked controversy nationwide, especially his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US.