Truthdiggers of the Week: Latinos Who Trumped the Donald
Readers may remember our recent post about the ways Mexicans have responded to Donald Trump’s inflammatory claim that immigrants being “sent” from Mexico are drug traffickers, criminals and rapists.
Outrageous as the comment was, Trump hasn’t stopped at that. Take a look at the remarks he made at the Republican presidential debate broadcast by Fox News on Thursday.
During the event Trump said, “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration … we need to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.”
As the political fact-checking website PolitiFact points out, these statements are not founded on facts or logic. Putting the absurdity of Trump’s claims aside, it seems that, judging from his recent performance, the billionaire has not learned his lesson when it comes to putting down his neighbors. So we’ve decided to compile a longer list of the many ways the Republican candidate is being punished by Latinos for his racist statements.
We’ll start with a refresher on some of the reactions we already listed, beginning with the hilarious Trumpiñatas being sold in Tijuana. Below is a video of artist Dalton Ramirez, who says he doesn’t usually think about breaking his piñatas, but when he makes the Trump effigies, the thought of busting them up is certainly on his mind. “When [Trump] talks about [immigrants], he promotes discrimination and it is something serious for us,” the artist explains.
In our Ear to the Ground item, we mentioned a Mexican comic book hero who is shown punching the real estate mogul on the chin in a recent issue of Hector Rodriguez’s El Peso Hero series:
The Spanish-language Univision network and NBC both dropped the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants over the Republican candidate’s comments. Mexican television network Televisa joined in the “dump-Trump” fun, not only refusing to air Miss Universe, but upping the ante and announcing that Miss Mexico would play no part in Trump’s pageant. All of which is great, though it raises the question, to echo comedian John Oliver, how are beauty pageants still happening?
Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel defended his sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez and invited him to have his (purposely falsely subtitled) say shortly after Trump made his offensive remarks.
Trump also got on the bad side of Carlos Slim, the world’s second-richest man, who just so happens to be Mexican. In late June, the business magnate decided to cut ties with Trump by canceling a collaborative project between Slim’s company, Ora TV, and one of the racist billionaire’s companies. According to The Washington Post, “Slim’s son-in-law and spokesman, Arturo Elias, described Trump’s comments as ‘totally out of line’ and said that partnering with someone ‘so closed-minded was not going to work.’ ”
A Mexican laborer’s furious response to Trump, caught on video in the middle of a long day of manual labor in 115-degree weather, has gone viral. In the clip, the man doesn’t stop work but continues hammering as he angrily explains how he pays taxes and spends his days working to put food on the table.
An open letter posted on Facebook by a young Mexican-American woman also went viral. It was shared and liked hundreds of thousands of times and garnered more than a thousand comments. Adriana Almanza wrote:
Dear Mr. Donald Trump, I’d like to take a minute to introduce you to my father, Raul Almanza. My dad has worked 5-6 days a week since I was a child and I’ve never heard him complain about it even once. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t take drugs. He is certainly not a criminal, rapist, or drug trafficker, as your speech suggested.
“I’ve never been one to bite my tongue and that is why I wrote the letter,” Adriana Almanza told BBC Mundo. Her father came to the U.S. as an illegal immigrant to work 30 years ago, but she notes he’s now a legal resident, and she described how she watched Trump’s speech in disbelief: “The hardest part for me to fathom was when he said Mexico does not send their best. I know plenty of Mexico’s ‘best.’ ”
Latin celebrities are also berating the billionaire for his bigotry. Stars Roselyn Sánchez, Cristián de la Fuente and J Balvin all announced they would not be involved in the Miss USA pageant. Sanchez, who was scheduled to be one of the hosts, said, “Although I am not Mexican, I am Puerto Rican and a proud Latina, and his comments were an insult to our culture. I won’t sponsor anything produced by Donald Trump.” Singers Ricky Martin, Juanés, Pitbull, Grammy Award-winner Lila Downs and the Latin rock band Maná, among many others, have also expressed their disgust at Trump’s disrespectful remarks on social media and beyond. For a longer list of Latin celebrities’ responses, click here.
Even the Mexican government got in on the scolding, with Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong calling Trump’s comments “prejudicial and absurd.”
But the most significant punishment of all will certainly come for the Republican Party at the polls in 2016—whether Trump becomes the GOP’s presidential nominee or not. As actor America Ferrara eloquently pointed out in an open letter, a fired-up Latino community will be more likely to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Here’s a snippet from Ferrara’s letter:
Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric. Do you know why that’s such a big deal, Donald? Because Latinos are the largest, youngest and fastest-growing constituency in the United States of America. That’s right! You are running for President in a country where the Latino population grew by over 49 percent from 2000-2012, while the rest of the country grew by 5.8 percent. What’s more, we are the future. The median age of the average Latino is 27 years old, compared to 42 years old for white Americans. In case you need a translation, that means there are a whole lot of Americans who are Latino and have the right to vote. And, we’re not going anywhere.
For their responses to Trump’s racist remarks about a people whose culture contributed to the Americas and beyond for centuries before the U.S. — let alone the Republican Party — came into existence, these courageous Latinos are our Truthdiggers of the Week.