Days here at the DNC are long. Caucus sessions happen at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the morning, then the action moves over to the Wells Fargo Center in the afternoon. Speeches begin at 4 p.m. and last until about 11 p.m.
Most reactions to speeches I’ve seen on social media respond to the headliners: Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Michelle Obama. But tucked in between party luminaries are smaller speeches, some only three minutes long. They can be easy to miss, yet may be the most moving, heartfelt speeches of the entire evening. They are also the speeches that best distinguish what separates the Democratic Party from the Republican Party. The women and the child in these videos represent communities who will be most at risk if Donald Trump becomes the President.
Here’s the speeches that should not be missed:
Karla and Francisca Ortíz
I think every parent can relate to the desire to alleviate our children’s fears, to protect them from worries more mature than their years.
This speech is an obvious rebuttal to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, which is instilling fear in children of immigrant families while also inciting racist and anti-immigrant behavior in white children. This link is so direct that The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks and combats hate groups, has named it The Trump Effect.
But the video inevitably raises the specter of the uncomfortable history between Latinx communities and the Obama Administration, which hit a record high of deportations. Although Obama initiated the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 to protect DREAMers after the failure of the DREAM Act, the policy is currently frozen in the wake of the Supreme Court’s four-to-four deadlock on Texas v. United States. Of course, no one needs to wonder which candidate would try to extend the program and which would try to abolish it.
Although the 2016 Republican platform includes opposition to human trafficking, mostly as it relates to pornography, such support is materially different from having an actual former victim and current activist speak from the stage. Furthermore, during a recent bi-partisan effort to pass anti-human trafficking legislation, the GOP tried to slip in anti-abortion language into the bill, then tried to hold up the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General unless Democrats passed the bill including the anti-abortion provision.
Human trafficking particularly affects women and girls, who make up 80 percent of the approximately 800,000 people trafficked annually. Hillary Clinton made combating the practice a consistent priority during her tenure as Secretary of State.
My colleague, Jennifer Miller-Smith, an adoptive mother, teared up immediately when Na’ilah Amaru began her speech, “I was born on a dirt floor to a woman whose name I will never know.”
Amaru mentions she was raised by two women, “and learned early on in life about intolerance and hatred.” The GOP platform for 2016 reinscribes Republican opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization that represents conservative LGBTs, published an ad decrying this year’s platform as “the most anti-LGBT…in the Republican Party’s 162-year history.”
Trump also has reservations about women serving in the military.
By now, we all know about Trump’s attitudes towards people with disabilities and towards immigrants. He has also repeated the erroneous belief that vaccinations are somehow linked to autism.
The GOP has a mixed record on policy regarding people with disabilities, often pitting Republicans against Republicans. Last year, however, the GOP promoted disability issues in the context of anti-abortion legislation and threatened deep cuts to the Social Security Disability Program to try to push reform of the system.
Mothers of the Movement
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Watch it all.
Yes, these are some of the most touching and inspiring speeches from the DNC. What a difference from the RNC just a week before. I just hope it will make a difference to voters who are undecided.