Last week, President Trump once again made clear his disdain for journalists, in particular black women and other reporters of color. When Yamiche Alcindor asked him whether he believed his rhetoric emboldens white nationalist groups, Trump interrupted her, saying, “I don't know why you say that. That is such a racist question.” After telling April Ryan to “sit down” for asking a question about voter suppression, the president called her a “loser,” saying, “she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.” And Trump belittled Abby Phillip by telling her “I watch you a lot — you ask a lot of stupid questions.”
There is a clear pattern here. Trump has a long history of attacking and threatening violence against journalists. But he has targeted black women in the press corps with particular hatred. His deliberate attempts to demean and humiliate these women for doing their jobs reflects his long-standing racism and misogyny.
WAM!NYC joins other organizations, including JAWS, NABJ, and the IWMF in denouncing the Trump administration’s attacks against the press. In particular, the board of WAM!NYC strongly condemns President Trump’s white supremacist attacks on the women of color who work tirelessly every day to hold his administration accountable for its policies and actions.
There is a direct link between the president’s behavior and his administration’s hostility to women, people of color, Native Americans, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ folks, and other marginalized groups. And there is a direct link between his treatment of these journalists and his tacit support of white supremacy.
As an intersectional, grassroots organization dedicated to gender justice in the media, WAM!NYC cares about who’s represented in our newsrooms as well as who’s represented in the news stories we tell. Women, and women of color in particular, remain vastly underrepresented in American newsrooms. According to the latest tally by the Women’s Media Center, Women of color represent just 7.95 percent of U.S. print newsroom staff, 12.6 percent of local TV news staff, and 6.2 percent of local radio staff. This isn’t just harmful to the careers of the individual women who aren’t getting jobs in journalism. Newsrooms that lack diversity are ill-equipped to cover the full range of stories that matter.
We condemn President Trump and his staff at the White House, and call on them to apologize for these demeaning statements. This racist, misogynist behavior continues to be unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It’s past time for the president to change his words and actions.
The WAM!NYC Board
Agunda Okeyo, Emily Ladau, Melanie Breault,
Odochi Ibe, Renée Feltz & Stephanie Russell-Kraft
WAM!NYC is the New York City chapter of Women, Action & The Media, an independent non-profit dedicated to building an inclusive movement for gender justice in media. WAM! is intergenerational, anti-racist, pro-economic-justice, anti-transmisogyny, queer-friendly, pro-immigrant, anti-ableist, interfaith, and supports size diversity.
WAM!NYC provides space for feminist journalists, editors, media-makers, film directors, publishers, communications professionals, and social justice activists to convene and address the myriad issues impacting women, girls and our global communities. It's also a place to build skills and strategize on how to get our voices more fully heard in mainstream, independent, and alternative media.
Learn more at https://www.wamnyc.org/.
Press contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
View a PDF version of this statement here.