CEO of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce resigns from Trump council on live TV: Just one problem

CEO of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce resigns from Trump council on live TV: Just one problem
Javier Palomarez (right) announces his resignation on MSNBC (Image: YouTube screen grab via MSNBC)

Last month, the New York Times reportedly gleefully that business leaders who had optimistically joined Pres. Donald Trump’s advisory councils at the outset of his presidency had staged a mass exodus. NPR and other mainstream media outlets followed suit. All were too happy to have their convictions confirmed that even the world of business, in which Trump had cut his teeth, was unwilling to countenance his radical white nationalist agenda.

But the best was yet to come. The latest business leader to announce he had had enough was a Hispanic who had watched in dismay as Trump declared war first on Muslims, then other immigrants, and finally people of color.

The man’s name is Javier Palomarez, and he is president and CEO of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). When the Trump administration confirmed its decision this past week to end DACA, it was a bridge too far for Palomarez. On Sept. 5, he penned an op-ed that was published in the New York Times. It read in part:

An American president who does not believe there’s a place for young people whose passion and values exemplify the best of our tradition is simply not a president that I can continue to support. I have chosen to resign from the President’s National Diversity Coalition, effective immediately.

His resignation received widespread coverage:

All seemed to be going the Left’s way until Quartz’s Annalisa Merelli dropped a bombshell on Thursday. “It’s not clear,” she wrote, “that such a body as the White House National Diversity Council or the President’s National Diversity Coalition has ever existed, or that Palomarez belonged to it if it did”:

There is a group called the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. It was started during the election campaign by Trump supporters of various ethnic minorities. … But it has … rather forcefully denied any association with Palomarez.

More to the point, the NDC has rather forcefully denied any association with Palomarez. In a statement on Aug. 15, it said, “Mr Palomarez was invited to join the Coalition earlier this year but did not accept the invitation and has never been an active member of the Advisor panel.” The same note said that the CEO and co-founder of the coalition had met administration officials “several times in recent months.” On Sept. 4, the NDC repeated its disavowal of Palomarez, this time in plaintive all-caps:

How eager were the mainstream media to tar and feather the president over this latest alleged departure? So much so that they didn’t bother to check whether Palomarez was for real.

So far there have been no retractions of corrections published by any of the major outlets. A Google search of the name Palomarez turns up two-day-old headlines from MSNBC (“Hispanic Leader Javier Palomarez Leaves Diversity Coalition Over DACA”) and NPR (“CEO Quits Trump’s Diversity Council Over DACA”).

The search engine also returns a link to the Quartz article.

Because it is a weekend, the Times, CNN, and the other cable news outlets that carried the story have time to develop a strategy. Will they simply gloss over this latest round of egg on the face and hope readers and viewers will simply not notice?

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.

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