NEW YORK – The Not Who We Are campaign today announced plans to deploy a team of All Americans -- eight ordinary people who have been scammed and scapegoated by Donald Trump and have chosen to stand up and fight. In the final month of this campaign, The All Americans will tell their stories about how Donald Trump is not who we are in a series of ads, web videos and rallies in key states.
To support their efforts, the Not Who We Are campaign unveiled a new website (TheAllAmericans.us) and released the first three videos and ads featuring members of The All Americans in their own words telling their stories about what motivated them to take a stand:
“As individuals, each member of The All Americans represents a direct response to one of Donald Trump’s most notorious and anti-American attacks,” said Not Who We Are campaign manager Josh Hendler. “Together, they send a powerful message that we need a President who will stand up for all Americans, not just the ones who support his campaign or fit his narrow image of what makes someone an American.”
Corporal Ibrahim Hashi, a first generation Somali American Muslim from a family of refugees who served in combat with the United States Marine Corps under President Bush and President Obama;
Sherri Simpson, a single mother from Florida who was ripped off by Trump University; and
Humberto Niebla, a Mexican-American activist who moved to the United States at age three.
Each of the eight members of The All Americans was motivated to stand up and declare that Donald Trump’s attacks are not who we are after hearing at least one of Trump’s most notorious attempts to scam, scapegoat and bully ordinary Americans.
In response to Donald Trump refusing to denounce white supremacist groups like the Klu Klux Klan and his claims to represent Christian conservatives, prominent Evangelical Christian rock star and worship leader William Matthews joined the All Americans. He discusses what it is like to grow up as an African American, and how Trump’s rhetoric and his refusal to denounce hate groups conflicts with his Christian faith.
“Racism strikes at the heart of the gospel, and racial justice is at the core of Jesus’ message,” said Matthews. “Donald Trump has inspired a movement that perpetuates and condones racism in this country—both explicitly and implicitly. We cannot ignore this bigotry. No matter what other issues we also care about, Mr. Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric and policies are morally unacceptable. I’m proud to be both a Christian and an American, but Donald Trump is Not Who We Are.”
In response to Donald Trump’s attack on the parents of a Muslim American soldier who died in combat in Iraq, two Muslim veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps joined The All Americans. In addition to Corporal Hashi, who served two combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and is one of more than 1,000 veterans to sign an open letter on the Not Who We Are campaign, The All Americans includes Captain Almir Osmanovic. A Muslim refugee from Bosnia, Capt. Osmanovic served multiple combat tours with USMC, including in Afghanistan, and is an active reserve member.
“Donald Trump’s hateful and bigoted rhetoric about Muslims, refugees, women and many other groups will cause real damage and alienate many people like me who want to serve our country whether as soldiers, scientists and defenders of our pluralistic, Democratic values,” said Capt. Osmanovic. “Donald Trump wants to slam the door on families like mine who want nothing more than to contribute to our national life and values. Donald Trump is not who we are or what we should aspire to be as a country.”
"Before this election cycle, I really wasn't much of a political person,” said Corporal Hashi. “After witnessing the ugly xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, and general hatred being permeated by Donald Trump and his supporters within the general American national political discourse, I felt compelled to speak out and counter the negativity in any way I can. I see this as service to my country, similar to my own service in the United States Marine Corps."
Alicia Bonus, a 28-year-old Pennsylvania woman with high-functioning Autism and Crohn’s Disease, and Sam Lieberman, a prominent disability rights advocate and business leader from Nevada who has lived with cerebral palsy since birth both joined The All Americans after Donald Trump went on national television to mock a reporter who happens to have a disability after he wrote a story criticizing Trump.
“As a person with autism and disabilities, I want people to notice me by what I can do and not what I can't do,” said Bonus in a letter that has now been signed by more than 1,000 people. “I want a leader that can see what we can do to make a difference in the world. I want a leader who can take us seriously at what we do. I want a leader that believes in us all, no matter how different we may be.”
To highlight Donald Trump’s history of preying on people at their most vulnerable moments,The All Americans includes Sherri Simpson, an attorney and single mother living in Florida who was scammed by Donald Trump when she spent over $35,000 at Trump University.
“I'm a single mom who believed Donald Trump's phony rhetoric and promise,” said Simpson. “Now he is a making similar promises to the entire country. I urge my fellow Americans to please not make the same mistakes I did by trusting Donald Trump. He will hurt our country just like he hurt me and my family."
In response to Donald Trump launching his campaign by calling immigrants from Mexico “rapists” and promising to deport 11 million people, Humberto Niebla, a gay Mexican-American who came to this country when he was three, joined The All Americans. While he now has documentation after marrying his long-time partner, Niebla is worried about that his siblings and his mother remain at risk. He is joined in The All Americans by Belen Sisa, an immigrant from Argentina who lives and advocates for immigrants’ rights in Arizona.
“I think about my family every day, especially my mom,” said Niebla. “We fought to live a life in a country that acknowledges us for who we are. We fought for our love. I am now fighting for my future, a future in a country that accepts any ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. A country that who doesn’t split families apart.”
To see all of the members of The All Americans, visit TheAllAmericans.us. In the coming weeks, Not Who We Are will release additional ads featuring The All Americans telling their stories and announce events in targeted states.
Not Who We Are is a movement of people from across the United States who are speaking their conscience by starting open letters as employees, professionals, students, and members of civic institutions to say that Donald Trump’s racially intolerant rhetoric and policies are “Not Who We Are.”
The campaign features NotWhoWeAre.us, an innovative online platform that allows Americans who are disgusted by Trump’s attacks to sign an open letter or create a more targeted one of their own. To date, more than 80 letters have been signed by thousands of Americans.
To learn more about Not Who We Are, follow us on twitter at @NotWhoWeAre or visit http://notwhoweare.us/.