Luis Gutierrez, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, has announced plans to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration on January 20th. Gutierrez says it’s not because he’s a sore loser — Gutierrez notes that he attended President George W. Bush’s inauguration and has a solid working relationship with many Republicans in Washington.
Rep. Gutierrez’s decision to boycott President-elect Trump’s inauguration is a symbolic protest of the hate and division President-elect Trump relied on to win.
By going after minority groups — women, Latinos, Muslims, environmentalists, LBGTQ, African-Americans, immigrants — President-elect Trump gave his disillusioned voters a target for their frustrations. While it may have been strategic political tactic by Trump, the negative sentiment it stirred through the country made Rep. Gutierrez, his family, and countless minority groups feel unwelcome and unsafe in their own country.
Rep. Gutierrez said he wouldn’t be able to face his family with a clear conscience if he participated in legitimizing President-elect Trump’s platform.
While addressing the House on January 10, Gutierrez summed up his sentiments, saying, “When the new President denigrates Latinos or Mexicans or immigrants as drug dealers or criminals, I want to be able to say that I did not condone or allow that type of speech to go mainstream.” Rep. Gutierrez’s district is roughly 72 percent Latino, and he has spent his career fighting for the rights of minorities.
In a video posted to YouTube, Gutierrez noted that though he will not be at the inauguration, he plans to be in D.C. for the January 21st Women’s March on Washington.
Gutierrez says he plans to participate in the January 21st march along with his wife and the thousands of others who have joined the Facebook group. The march started out as a peaceful protest to bring attention to the women’s rights cause, but since it was introduced, the event has become a statement for human rights in general. People will march on behalf of pretty much anyone negatively affected by the policies that President-elect Trump’s has promised to enact. For more information on the January 21st march, check out the Facebook page.