Washington, DC: Indian-American star Kal Penn, best known for his roles in Harold & Kumar and The Namesake, says most Americans don’t agree with controversial presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s racist views.
“I seriously believe that most of the Americans don’t agree with Donald Trump over his racist, anti-women, anti-LGBT practices. We are not that country. Hopefully elections will prove that,” Penn, who was associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement from 2009 to 2011, said at the “Cultural Connections in US-India Relations” at the American Center here.
Indian American Neera Tanden led the Hillary Clinton campaign in slamming the economic policies of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential presumptive nominee, and alleging that this poses a threat to the economic future of women and families. “Make no mistake: Trump’s divisive comments about women’s health are a direct threat to our dignity and economic security,” said Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Trump is now trying to cover up the bald spots in his economic plan but women can see for themselves and women can see through his comb over,” said Tanden, who was joined by Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, expected to be pitted against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in November, has been opposed by peoples and critics, and often been tagged “anti-immigrant”, “misogynist”, “racist” and “worse”. During the event, Penn’s 2007 film “The Namesake”, which also stars Bollywood actors Irrfan Khan and Tabu, was screened.
Sharing his experience about campaigning for Obama, Penn said that it would not “weird” for him to shift from acting to politics. “For me it was an honor to get a chance to serve for your country,” said Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, and is best known for his role of Kumar Patel in the popular “Harold & Kumar” film franchise. He has also appeared on TV shows like “House”, “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Brain Theory”.
Kal Penn, who served in the Barack Obama administration, was in India for the shooting of Guneet Monga’s upcoming project “The Ashram”. With Ben Rekhi as the director, the film is an English-language spiritual fantasy thriller set in the mystical world of Himalayan yogis.
“The Ashram” also features Melissa Leo, Sam Keeley, Hera Hilmar and Radhika Apte. Talking about Indian cinema, Penn said he is more inclined towards watching off-beat films, that too of Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan. He also said that loved watching 2013 film “Mere Dad Ki Maruti”.
According to Tanden, the trillions in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and corporations laid out in Trump’s tax plan would be an enormous boon for the top one percent of earners, made at the expense of working families, seniors and the health of the economy. Trump’s plan would give $3 trillion over 10 years or more than 35 percent of its tax breaks to millionaires, enough money to ensure Medicare and Social Security’s solvency for the next 75 years, repair the ailing infrastructure, or raise every person now living in poverty up to the poverty line. Trump would give multi-millionaires in the top 0.1 percent like himself a raise of $1.3 million a year, or $100,000 a month.
Tanden said Trump still opposes raising the minimum wage because he believes “wages are too high,” and recently said he doesn’t favor a federal floor for the minimum wage, which could leave many workers subject to a lower minimum wage.
Tanden alleged Trump’s ideas are not the only risk his presidency would pose for the economic future of women and families around this country. “His tax plan gives $3 trillion to millionaires, that’s enough to make Social Security and Medicare solvent for 75 years. Women, who rely disproportionately on Social Security, can’t afford such an irresponsible giveaway.”