Healing the Racial Divide

Benatovich, Calabrese React to Firestorm over President's Tweets

WBEN Photo/Susan Rose


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - "This whole social media thing has made people anonymous in their anger and vitriol," said political strategist Carl Calabrese.  "They feel empowered by being anonymous."

Calabrese and Lana Benatovich of the National Federation for Just Communities were in-studio guests Wednesday morning, discussing the racial divide after a firestorm over President Trump's tweets targeting four democratic Congresswomen.

The discussion came after the House of Representatives voted 240 to 187 on a resolution condemning President Trump's tweets that suggested the minority Congresswomen "go back" to where they came from.  

"We are fighting in the sandbox," said Benatovich.  "This is not where we want our country to be. We are a democracy where every voice  is supposed to be heard."  Benatovich said this is the antithesis of what the NFJC of WNY tries to build every day. "Respect, collaboration, listening to each other and learning from each other, even if we don't agree with each other," she said.

Benatovich did not call the president's tweets racist, instead calling them "inappropriate".  "We are looking to a man, sitting in that office, to guide us and to speak with thoughtfullness and not anger."  She's hoping the silent majority will stand up and reclaim the country.

"This whole Twitter business has been very divisive," she said. "When you can't see somebody or speak to somebody and you have the power of sending messages out. This is what happens in school with bullying. How brave is it to do something on Twitter?  It's just not where we want to be as a country."

Calabrese said it may look like President Trump is acting on impulse but he believes this is part of a long game plan. "Uniting the democrats may be his strategy," said Calabrese.  "He's got Pelosi, Sanders, Biden and others defending the four democratic Congresswomen.  Trump is going to run on two levels. He's going to run against his opponent and he's going to run against the entire democratic party."

The strategist with Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates said in Trump's unconventional way of thinking, he may be doing exactly what he wanted; uniting the party around radical people and policies.  


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