Will this key line in Melania Trump's GOP Convention speech help put minority faiths at ease?
Posted July 23, 2016
Melania Trump's highly anticipated speech before the Republican National Convention Monday night attracted both accolades and scrutiny, especially after charges of plagiarism emerged.
But that debate aside, there were some brief lines within the address that likely piqued the interest of people who have been worried or frustrated over some of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric.
Melania Trump passionately pledged that her husband, if elected, would fight for America, calling him "an amazing leader." She then proceeded to make a number of statements that were seemingly aimed at softening the candidate's image.
"He's tough when he has to be, but he's also kind, and fair and caring," she said.
But it's what came next that seemed to speak to some of the concerns that members of minority faiths and ethnicities might have over Donald Trump's past commentary and policy positions.
"Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people," Melania Trump continued. "That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims. It includes Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians — and the poor and the middle-class."
Watch Melania Trump's comments.
It was a fleeting mention embedded in a speech that covered a variety of subjects, but one that came as Donald Trump continues to attract a fair bit of controversy over his immigration remarks and proposals.
His oft-times fiery positions date back to the remarks he made about Mexico while announcing his candidacy for president in June 2015.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems," he said. "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting."
He also pledged to build a "great wall" to protect the border, with his overarching comments, which were derided by some as being racially insensitive, riling critics and almost immediately going viral.
But that was only the beginning of the debate and furor surrounding his immigration positioning. Months later, the Republican presidential candidate came up with another contentious proposal: Ban all Muslim travel to the U.S.
In a public proclamation that came one month after a deadly terror attack in Paris, and amid ongoing assaults at the hands of radical Muslim extremists, Donald Trump unveiled a stringent call for a temporary travel ban.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," read a press release from the Trump campaign.
In a November 2015 "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump made his views on the database issue a bit clearer though. While he didn't rule out a database for all Muslims, he backed keeping one for refugees coming into the U.S.
"I want a database for the refugees that — if they come into the country. We have no idea who these people are," he said. "When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don't know if they're ISIS, we don't know if it's a Trojan horse. And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances."
As for the proposed Muslim ban that has attracted so much scrutiny in recent months, Trump has since changed his language on the issue and is now saying that, rather than a temporary ban, he favors "extreme vetting" of people coming from nations with a history of terror, according to NBC News.
While he didn't outright say that he's abandoning the temporary ban, he told "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired on Sunday that vetting is the best solution.
"We're going to have a thing called 'extreme vetting.' And if people want to come in, there's going to be extreme vetting," he said. "We're going to have extreme vetting. They're going to come in and we're going to know where they came from and who they are."
Trump didn't, however, back away from his proposed ban on Syrian refugees.
It is these instances — and Trump's recent change in rhetoric on the Muslim ban — that make Melania Trump's proclamation that her husband will "represent all the people, not just some of the people" that much more noteworthy.
In addition to relaying that sentiment, Melania Trump also said in the speech that her husband loves America and "has been concerned about our country" as long as she has known him.
She cited his "deep ... determination" and promised that he would fight hard for the nation and its citizens.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell