(WISCONSIN) — Ahead of Donald Trump’s visit tomorrow to Kenosha, International Serving Representative for UAW Region 4 Anthony Rainey and Vice-President of UAW Local 72 John Drew blasted the president for continuing his efforts to further divide the country. The president previously called peaceful Black and Brown protesters “thugs” and “terrorists” but refused to condemn Kyle Rittenhouse, a militant from Illinois who crossed in the Badger state and killed two Wisconsinites while injuring a third. Now, instead of preaching unity, Trump is coming to Kenosha for a photo-op and to further escalate the racial and economic crisis in Wisconsin and across the country.
Watch the full event here or see excerpts of their remarks below.
Anthony Rainey, International Serving Representative for UAW Region 4: “I am a Wisconsin native, born and raised in Milwaukee, my parents moved to Milwaukee from Arkansas and Louisiana during the great migration in the 1940s. The risk they took leaving the Jim Crow south– coming to Wisconsin to build a better life for their family paid off…What Wisconsin did for my family, and what Kenosha does for so many families, is offer the opportunity for working men and women to get ahead — to build a better future for their kids — to live the American dream…But what we have seen in the last week has rocked the city of Kenosha to its core. The shooting of Jacob Blake, black man, in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer, and the subsequent killing of two Wisconsinites at the hands of a militant who crossed state lines and threw our state into further chaos has understandably caused residents to demand justice. At a moment like this it takes leadership and decency to unify us as a people and heal the wounds of racial injustice that have persisted since our country’s inception and are evident in Kenosha and Wisconsin overall. But Donald Trump has not only failed to rise to this occasion, he has actively tried to make things worse. But that has been the story of his presidency. Since the moment Trump launched his candidacy everything has been about “us vs. them. He has scapegoated minorities at every turn and gone so far as to call white supremacists “very fine people.” When we look at the state of affairs in Wisconsin and across the country it could not be clearer that we are at this crisis because of Donald Trump…The people I represent, the families like mine that care about our state — we all deserve better than Trump — we deserve the real leadership we’ll get in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
John Drew, Vice-President of UAW Local 72: “Trump is coming to Kenosha for one reason and one reason only. To set back the progress made in the last week. To keep people divided…This is Trump’s America — a country desperate for leadership while our president is completely and utterly unable to meet the moment. He’s even politicized the COVID-19 pandemic to the point where a common sense solution like wearing a mask can now be seen as a political statement. And it is his slash and burn approach to politics, that has prolonged our ability to gain some sense of normalcy back in our lives. And as he sows more and more chaos, we will not get our economy back. Ultimately communities like Kenosha pay the price. With nearly 30 million Americans out of work, our health care system pushed to the brink, and a justice system that routinely fails our Black and Brown neighbors, we need a unifier in chief more than ever. Trump has failed time and again to meet the moment, and our country can’t take four more years of his failed leadership. We need Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House to address racial injustice and economic turmoil, and to bring leadership to the fight against the pandemic.”