Trump and Latinos: Has he helped awaken a sleeping electoral giant?
Thanks to Donald Trump,
U.S. Latinos Feel their Oats (La Jornada,
generalizing about all Mexicans, the underlying racist undertones of his
position were thankfully exposed. It became clear what for many years, conservative
politicians have tried to conceal. Trump thought he was attacking those who
have always been vulnerable, those who remain silent in the shadows - and that
his bravado was politically correct. But he was wrong. He attacked an entire
community that has finally begun to come forward and defend themselves and denounce
these covert racists."
It's only thanks to complaints, recriminations and protesting
that White people in the United States have learned to bite their tongues and
avoid racist slurs against Blacks. This especially applies to politicians, who take
great care not to offend that community. Not only that - if they do so offend, Black
In 1991, the beating of a Black man named Rodney King by White
police was captured on video. At the trial, the police officers were exonerated
by an ad hoc jury. The fury of the Black population of Los Angeles sparked
demonstrations and led to looting, the burning of busses and other types of
Something similar happened about ten years ago to Mexican
migrants in Riverside, California. They were attacked with extreme violence -
an event that was televised. A few angry voices were heard, but little else
happened. There were no demonstrations and no one took to the streets, nor were there fires set or looting: they were illegal migrants.
Once again it's time for an American history lesson from the people of Latin America. One could have a Web site devoted...
Recently in New York, a White policeman used a prohibited
chokehold to restrain a Black man, which killed him. There were no charges
against the policeman, but people took to the streets, demonstrated and a serious
conflict was created for Mayor Bill de Blasio - who
dared to criticize the police.
In May 2013, a San Diego patrolman used the same type of
chokehold to strangle Mexican migrant Adolfo Ceja, leaving
him unconscious. The patrolman was exonerated and argued at trial that the
Mexican had pretended to faint.
On the 9th of August, 2014, a White police officer in
Ferguson Missouri shot and killed a young Black who was unarmed and according
to witnesses, was attempting to surrender. The police said the opposite - that
it was a case of an assault. The grand jury, made up of all white individuals,
exonerated the police: a riot, demonstrations and general repudiation broke out.
In Pasco, in the state of Washington, this February, three
policemen killed Mexican farm worker Alfredo Zambrano
of Michoacán with 17 gunshots. Apparently, he was throwing stones at cars and
police. When he decided to flee, stopped, turned around and put up his hands, they
shot him. You can see thevideo on YouTube. There were
claims and demonstrations, but the protests went no further. A similar case
happened in Dallas on May 18th.
These incidents often occur between White police officers
and Black or Latino suspects. Under similar circumstances in which there is an excessive
use of force, it rarely happens that a White policeman kills a White suspect.
Perhaps the most obvious and alarming evidence of this
systematic, racist aggression against Mexican migrants is the documentary Mi Vida
Life Inside) by LucíaGajá,
which examines the case of Rosa Olvera, who was
sentenced to 99 years in prison for the premeditated killing of her neighbor's
son while caring for him in her home. The documentary made such an impact that
the trial has been reopened and Olvera has received support
from institutions in the Mexican state she is from and the Cinepolis
Foundation who helped make the documentary.
Bit by bit, awareness has emerged among Latinos of the need to
make demands and take to the streets to denounce police abuse and rigged trials
with their clear racist overtones. But there is a long way to go. When it come
to the abuse of Blacks, accusations of racism are almost always present; but when
it come to Mexicans, justifications and qualifications are offered under the
pretext that that they are migrants, poor, foreign or illegal.
Studies conducted by Rubén Rambaut
and his colleagues at the University of California have shown statistically
that over the last decade, crime (assaults and robberies) have dropped by half
and Mexican migrants (first generation) have a crime rate eight times less than
that of the second generation born in the United states.
Behind the condemnation and persecution of illegal migrants
are racists, xenophobes, nativists, White
supremacists and advocates of "English only." They justify the
repression of undocumented migrant workers because they are "outside the
For more than two decades the United States has waged a
silent and systematic battle against migrants, especially Mexicans. For
conservative politicians the fight against immigrants has been an easy and cost-effective
The most ostentatious consequence of this campaign has been
Donald Trump's inaugural campaign speech in which he launched his candidacy for
the GOP presidential nomination. This wasn't just a quip or careless outburst by
the candidate and his campaign team. It was a well thought out political campaign
Posted By Worldmeets.US
This is a political campaign that erupted provocatively, creating
great impact, and which clearly expected to trigger opposition and
confrontation. That was the whole point of launching his campaign with a
frontal attack against migrants. Trump, however, forgot to attach the adjective
"illegal." His attack was directed against migrants in general and
the Mexican government, which he said sends people with "lots of problems,
and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing
drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists."
By generalizing this way, the underlying racist undertones
of his position were thankfully exposed. It became clear what for many years, conservative
politicians have tried to conceal.
Trump thought he was attacking those who have always been vulnerable,
those who remain silent in the shadows - and that his bravado was politically
correct. But he was wrong. He attacked an entire community that has finally
begun to come forward and defend themselves and denounce these covert racists.
Note: the racial
terminology "White" and "Black" used to differentiate the
population is officially used in the United States.