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Time’s Up Activists Warn Trump’s “Shithole Countries” Remark Will Embolden White Supremacists

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As outrage grows over President Trump’s “shithole countries” remark, we speak to five women who took part in Sunday’s Time’s Up protest at the Golden Globes: Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement; actress Shailene Woodley; Mónica Ramírez of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance; Calina Lawrence of the Suquamish Tribe; and Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn to a growing chorus of women declaring “Time’s Up!” for many different reasons. Yes, that’s the rallying cry bringing together women, from Hollywood actresses to housekeepers, to demand gender and racial justice and a world free of sexual harassment and assault. The movement launched Sunday night at the Golden Globe Awards, where the red carpet went dark, many dressed in black to show their solidarity with the movement. It wasn’t just actors and actresses. A number Hollywood stars brought social justice activists with them to the Golden Globes this year. Meryl Streep attended with Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Shailene Woodley was accompanied by Suquamish Tribe member Calina Lawrence. Emma Stone brought tennis champ, LGBT advocate Billie Jean King. Susan Sarandon brought media justice activist Rosa Clemente. And Amy Poehler’s guest was Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Center. Emma Watson brought Marai Larasi, executive director of the British anti-violence group Imkaan. Laura Dern attended with Mónica Ramírez, president of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance. And Michelle Williams walked the red carpet with #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke.

This is Michelle Williams, who was nominated for best actress in a motion picture drama, speaking with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet before the ceremony.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: We’re here because of Tarana. You might think that—

RYAN SEACREST: Yeah.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: —we’re here because I was nominated for something. But that’s really not the case.

RYAN SEACREST: Yeah.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: We’re here because Tarana started a movement, and she started—she planted a seed years ago, and it’s grown on and caught fire. She started the #MeToo movement. … And really, the most exciting thing is, I thought that I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world. And I think, because of the work that Tarana has done and the work that I’m learning how to do, we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world. So, it is—I am like moved beyond measure to be standing next to this woman. I have like tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

RYAN SEACREST: It’s true.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Michelle Williams, speaking on the red carpet Sunday night at the Golden Globes. It has since come out that—you know, she is the star of All the Money in the World, with Mark Wahlberg, and it came out that when they had to reshoot the movie, because it was decided Kevin Spacey would be taken out, since he has been accused of sexual assaulting boys and young men for decades, that the reshoot—for the reshoot, Michelle Williams got $1,000, and Mark Wahlberg got $1.5 million, for that same reshoot.

The activists who attended the Golden Globes wrote, in a collective statement, “Many of us identify as survivors of sexual harassment, assault and violence ourselves and we believe we are nearing a tipping point in transforming the culture of violence in the countries where we live and work. … We believe that people of all genders and ages should live free of violence against us. And we believe that women of color, and women who have faced generations of exclusion—indigenous, black, brown and Asian women, farmworkers and domestic workers, disabled women, undocumented and queer and trans women—should be at the center of our solutions,” unquote.

Less than a week after it launched, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has already raised $16 million for legal support for people who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

Well, for more, we’re joined by five of the incredible women who helped launch the Time’s Up movement, were all at the Golden Globes.

Here in New York City, Tarana Burke is with us, founder of the #MeToo movement. She established the group in 2006 to focus on young women who have endured sexual abuse, assault or exploitation, she herself a sexual assault survivor, now a senior director at Girls for Gender Equity. She walked the red carpet on Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards with actress Michelle Williams. She also—Tarana Burke—dropped the ball on New Year’s Eve, but, actually, quite literally. She was the one who dropped that ball on New Year’s Eve, because of her prominence in this movement today.

In Chicago, Ai-jen Poo, executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance, is with us, co-director of Caring Across Generations, her recent piece for Cosmopolitan headlined “I Was Meryl Streep’s 'Plus One' at the Golden Globes.”

In Washington, D.C., Mónica Ramírez, co-founder and president of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance.

In Seattle, Washington, Calina Lawrence, artist, activist, enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe. She attended Sunday’s Golden Globes with actress Shailene Woodley, who is joining us now by Democracy Now! video stream, the award-winning actress who starred in films including The Divergent Series, The Fault in Our Stars, and has appeared in the TV series Secret Life of the American Teenager. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Big Little Lies. And we will talk about that, as well.

We want to welcome you all to Democracy Now! And as we have you all here to talk about Time’s Up, Tarana, I want to begin with you. As you listen to the words that Donald Trump was—reportedly used yesterday to describe people from Haiti, Africa, El Salvador, though he seems to be trying to take it back today, talking about people from—I won’t say the actual word he used. It was s—hole, and that’s the four-letter word, “hole.” Your thoughts?

TARANA BURKE: I mean, I want to say I’m surprised, but I’m just—I’m not. You know, I think this is consistent with who we’ve seen as Donald Trump as a president, Donald Trump as an entrepreneur in New York. I think that his use of vile language in front of so many people might be surprising, but I’m not surprised. And really, you know, he named these three places, but it’s clear to me that he means people of color, in general, particularly contrasting it with having more immigrants from Norway. You know, I’m thinking about Ravi, who we talked about earlier on the show.

AMY GOODMAN: Ravi Ragbir, who is the Trinidad and Tobago immigrants’ rights activist in the United States, has lived here for decades.

TARANA BURKE: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: They arrested yesterday.

TARANA BURKE: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Two city councilmembers arrested, 18 people altogether arrested, hundreds of people here in New York trying to stop that arrest—

TARANA BURKE: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —and deportation.

TARANA BURKE: Those two things happening on the same day just are not—that’s not lost on me. Like this is somebody like Ravi being arrested, who has worked tirelessly for immigration rights and on the behalf of immigrants in New York and the United States, being arrested on a day, because this is—it’s indicative of what we are facing with this president.

AMY GOODMAN: Ai-jen Poo, you represent so many women in the United States as executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. When you heard the comments of President Trump yesterday, calling people from countries, outside Norway, like African countries, Haiti, El Salvador and others, “s—hole countries”?

AI-JEN POO: I mean, this is—I was not surprised. But I also want to say that this is not normal, and we cannot normalize this, this level of racism that is emboldening white supremacists all over the country to target people in our communities, people who work in our homes, caring for some of the most precious elements of our lives—our children, our aging parents. I mean, undocumented immigrants, immigrants, the people that he is targeting, are people who are so deeply embedded in the fabric of this country, people who are leaders in the community, like Ravi, and they’re being targeted. And people who are targeting them, in an inhumane way, are being emboldened in this moment, and we cannot normalize it.

AMY GOODMAN: Mónica Ramírez, you walked the red carpet last Sunday. You are part of the Time’s Up movement. You are co-founder and president of the National Farmworker [Women’s] Alliance, representing so many Latinas and Latinos in the United States. Your response?

MÓNICA RAMÍREZ: I agree. I mean, it’s completely outrageous. And I think that it’s more important than ever before that individuals like us, who stand with immigrants, who stand against racism and hate, that we continue to use our voices to ensure that people who are being targeted know that we have their backs and that what is being said about them is wrong, that we don’t agree with it. As Ai-jen said, it’s not normal. And we’re not going to accept it, because I think that unless we use our voices to speak out about this being hugely problematic and wrong, individuals are going to go farther into the shadows. And we have to do everything that we can to be supportive of those individuals who are feeling both othered and pressured and hated upon right now because of these kinds of remarks, that are emboldening people who do seek to harm them.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Calina Lawrence into this conversation, the original people of this country, Native American of the Suquamish Tribe. Yes, you were at the Golden Globes on Sunday, you representing Native American women in this country, so often the victims of sexual assault, when we talk about those issues. But as you listen to the president talking about immigrants from other countries, your thoughts?

CALINA LAWRENCE: Well, first of all, hi, Amy. It’s so good to speak with you today. And one of the first things that comes to my mind is a lot of Native people in our country have engaged in what’s called “no bans on stolen land.” It’s just completely ironic that there is so much rhetoric around—I mean, it really doesn’t make any sense to me. And I want to go back to what you were saying earlier, how there’s no mental health section of his physical coming up. And I think that we should really find a way to make that a requirement.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s very interesting, Calina, what you’re raising, President Trump for the first time going to Walter Reed for a medical exam, which is supposedly going to be made public. It is not clear if he’ll have a mental exam, which many have been calling for, an extensive one.

CALINA LAWRENCE: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: The White House has suggested he won’t. But even if he does, not clear it would be made public to people here.

CALINA LAWRENCE: Absolutely. And a lot of Native people have been standing in solidarity with all of those that he has directly targeted. And we recognize that—as many of these amazing women have said, we have not normalized this. We will not accept this. And we will do what we can to advocate across communities and use it as an opportunity to continue uniting.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Shailene Woodley, before we go to a break and then talk about the whole Time’s Up initiative, which includes racial and sexual harassment, your thoughts, now outside of the United States, as you continue to do your work? Today we’re speaking to you in France. Can you talk about what you heard yesterday? Maybe you heard it when you woke up this morning, President Trump’s term for people in Africa, in Haiti, in Salvador and other places?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: I did hear it when I woke up this morning. And I have to just echo what everyone else has said. It’s completely unacceptable. There are no words that can appropriately describe how atrocious that comment is and his overall narrative that he is sending out to not just our country, but to every country around the world. It is not the narrative of all Americans. It is not the narrative of most Americans.

And I think it is important to continue using our voices to help elevate another narrative, which is that this—again, this will not be normalized, and that there is so much energy and work being done on the ground by so many different people—all of these women that we’re talking to today—that are lifting other voices, that are shifting paradigms, that are supporting communities, that are standing up in the face of all adversities and saying, “This might be the rhetoric that is occurring on the media, and this might be what our president is saying, but this is not the reality of our thoughts and our opinions, and this is what we’re going to do about it,” which is why I feel so honored to be here today, because these women that we’re talking to are the women who are standing up and protecting and using their bodies and their voices and their souls to ensure that everyone in our country has a safe place to be and a place to belong, and that justice is seen, despite the leadership of our current government.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and come back to this discussion. That’s Shailene Woodley, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the film—in the TV series Big Little Lies, where she plays an abused woman, as do other women in this TV series, not to mention one of the children. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.

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Time’s Up: Meet Five of the Women Who Staged Protest at Golden Globes Against Gender Violence

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