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Rightist Bolsonaro takes office in Brazil, promising populist change to angry voters by Benjamin H. Bradlow, Brown University for The Conversation, 1/3/2019.

Brazil new president

Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro, who took power on Jan. 1, is often called the “Trump of the Tropics” for his law-and-order rhetoric, racist and sexist remarks, pro-business stances and outsider pledges to upend politics as usual.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the right-wing world leaders who attended his inauguration in Brasilia, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Bolsonaro used a Trump-style populist playbook to win the Brazilian presidency in October with 54 percent of the vote. Spreading angry anti-establishment messages, he persuaded enough disaffected working-class voters to create a victorious if unusual electoral coalition of the working class and the very rich.

Unlike in the United States, however, where Trump targeted rural Americans left behind by economic progress, Bolsonaro’s working-class supporters mostly come from Brazilian cities – particularly the poor urban outskirts.


White right? How demographics is changing US politics by Monica Duffy Toft, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1/7/2019


Lagging whites, growing minorities

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data, all racial and ethnic minorities are growing faster than whites. Interestingly, one of the fastest growing groups in this country is “mixed race” (full disclosure: my children are such, being both Mexican- and Irish-American).

Still, at 198 million, non-Hispanic whites remained the largest group of Americans in 2014; followed by Hispanics at 55.4 million, and blacks or African-Americans at 42 million. Those who identified with two or more races stood at just under 8 million. The Census Bureau projects the crossover point at which the non-Hispanic white population will no longer be a majority will occur in 2044. In fact, no one group will comprise a majority. We will become a plural nation of different ethnic and racial groups.

Demography and democracy

That powerful shift in the makeup of the U.S. population has created ideal conditions for a political backlash against people of color, including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and especially immigrants of color. One prominent example: President Trump’s lament that the U.S. was being overwhelmed by immigrants from “s-hole countries,” rather than from places like Norway.


ASSEMBLYMEMBER Rodneyse Bichotte Supports Haitian TPS Ahead of Trial, 1/8/2019

Haitian TPS

Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte alongside Assembly member Michaelle Solages

Yesterday, January 7, 2019, several public figures, community leaders and sponsors joined 32BJ SEIU and the National Lawyers Guild for a press conference ahead of a trial challenging the Trump Administration’s rescission of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians and other migrant populations. The trial is set to investigate the motives of the government in rescinding the program, citing the Trump administration's anti-immigration rhetoric as a probable reason. Among those present at the demonstration were Assembly members Rodneyse Bichotte, and Michaelle Solages, and Councilman Jumaane D. Williams and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez who all advocated in defense of TPS.

“As a child of Haitian immigrants, I am deeply offended by the actions of the Trump Administration. Haitians have contributed so much to our country. They have provided culture and added to the tax base. It is unfair to separate and displace our families,” says Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte.

"Haitians still have the spirit of the revolution that freed them from slavery. So today, we stand firm in one accord against rescinding of TPS."

NYS Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte

The trial, Saget et al v. Trump, is underway at the Eastern District and will last seven days. The plaintiffs in the case are several individuals, and a couple of organizations that will be impacted by the phase out of TPS. Without TPS, about 50,000 Haitian immigrants will have to rapidly arrange for their departure or seek alternative legal immigration status.


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