Something I think about too much: how we actually sat here in 2016 and argued about whether Trump voters were giving “tacit support to a racist system.” Jon Stewart argued that they were not. Many people argued that the vast majority of Trump voters were not actually racist, but merely willing to overlook Trump’s racism in the pursuit of other political goals. Nearly three years later, I f–king hope no one with have a brain tries to legitimately make that argument. Except it’s happening again, you guys. It started with the announcement that Trump would appear at two fundraisers in the Hamptons on Friday.
President Trump is slated to appear at a pair of fundraising events in the Hamptons on Friday, including one that charges up to $250,000 for lunch, a photo and a private roundtable with the president.
One event is scheduled to take place at the Southampton home of a New York real estate developer who owns the Miami Dolphins…The Friday luncheon in Southampton is scheduled to take place at the home of New York real estate developer Stephen Ross and his wife, jewelry designer Kara Ross. Tickets are priced at $100,000 for a photo opportunity and lunch, and $250,000 for the package that includes the roundtable discussion, the invite shows.
Stephen Ross owns the Miami Dolphins, the Equinox chain, the SoulCycle chain, and he’s a major real estate developer in New York. Miami Dolphin Kenny Stills kicked off the criticism, tweeting out the article with this:
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 7, 2019
The backlash grew over the course of Wednesday, with SoulCycle and Equinox gym members outraged that their membership fees go towards supporting a Nazi and his fascist regime. The gyms chains basically argued that Stephen Ross doesn’t have anything to do with the daily operations of the chains, so people should stop canceling their memberships. Ross eventually made a statement:
In a statement provided to POLITICO, Ross said that he had “always been an active participant in the democratic process” and that he preferred “to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about.”
“I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions. I started my business with nothing and a reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country’s economy.”
I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”
“A reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country’s economy.” It’s weird how only white folks support Donald Trump for “the economy.” It’s weird how many rich white folks support Trump for “the economy.” It’s almost like “the economy” is code for something. What could it be code for? “Babies in cages” or “inciting white terrorists” or “violent misogyny,” perhaps.
Anyway, people are canceling their memberships, as they should. I’m not a member of these fancy gyms – I go to my local YMCA (and it’s awesome).
Photos courtesy of Getty.