This was a terrible week to be Hispanic in the United States
The streets echo what is said in the White House: from "animals" to "beaners" to "criminals." Now we see people being reprimanded for speaking Spanish. Welcome to Trump's new "America".
If history has taught us anything, it's that when hatred begins to spread through the streets it's already too late to rein it in.
During the World War II, it was the Jews who were harassed in the streets just for being Jewish.
In 2018, it is Hispanics who now see the streets of the United States as a battlefield where physical features or language are double-edged weapons.
Just this week, President Trump elevated his erratic xenophobic speech by calling undocumented immigrants "animals."
Even though his defenders—and some skeptics—have distanced themselves by saying that the president was referring only to those who are part of criminal gangs, the alienation of any individual, reducing them to little more than an "animal," is just the beginning.
As Vox explained, "history and psychological science show us that when we refer to people as 'animals' or as anything other than 'people', it flips a mental a switch in our minds. It allows us to deny empathy to other people, makes us feel numb to their pain, and lets us forgive ourselves for causing them harm."
And American streets have proven this to be true.
A video went viral this week showing New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg verbally attacking deli employees for speaking Spanish.
In the video, Schlossberg complains aggressively to the establishment's management, saying "your staff is speaking Spanish to clients when they should be speaking English. Every person I listen to: he spoke it, he spoke it, she’s speaking it," he said, pointing to three people in the place.
Finally, the lawyer threatened that he would call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because "My guess is they’re not documented.”
"If they have the balls to come here and live off my money—I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here—the least they can do is speak English," he said.
Only two days later, a Latino in Los Angeles received his order at Starbucks and realized that his cup read "beaner", according to USA Today.
According to KNBC-4, the customer, who identified himself only as Pedro, "was buying two drinks at Starbucks in the Los Angeles suburb of La Cañada Flintridge and saw the derogatory term for a Latino person on both cups.”
The report continued, "Pedro said he didn’t think it was an accident because the barista had called his name once his order was done."
But Latinos have not only been attacked, they have also been attackers.
To the shame of many, the Republican candidate for California’s 44th District, Jazmina Saavedra, filmed herself while harassing a transgender woman in a public restroom, as reported by Talking Points Memo.
Saavedra is part of the "Latinos for Trump" coalition and competes to take over the position of representative Nanette Díaz Barragán (D-CA).
“Throughout the seven-minute video”, the candidate "called the woman a ‘stupid guy’, while ranting about 'sick politicians' in California who believe in allowing people to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity," the report continued.
Despite the measures adopted by Hispanic representatives and the complaints made at the national level for these events, the reality remains the same: Hispanics in the United States are going through a severe identity crisis, by force.