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Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Via Flickr commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Trumped up

Business magnate. Reality TV personality. Republican presidential candidate. Comb-over poster boy. Blowhard. Laughingstock. When Donald Trump made bigoted…

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May 27th, 2022

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Business magnate. Reality TV personality. Republican presidential candidate. Comb-over poster boy. Blowhard. Laughingstock. 

When Donald Trump made bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his presidential candidacy, he probably didn’t anticipate the firestorm that would ensue. 

Univision ended its business relationship with the Miss Universe organization Trump co-owns. Miss USA hosts Cristian de la Fuente and Roselyn Sanchez dropped out in protest, as did musical performer J Balvin

Mexico has said it will not participate in the pageant at all, and neither will one of the Miss El Salvador contestants, if she ends up being the winner. U.S. Latinos petitioned NBC to “Dump Trump,” and the network complied by dropping Trump as host of the TV reality show “The Apprentice,” and saying it will not broadcast the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. 

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim reportedly nixed a business project he and Trump were slated to collaborate on, and more than 700,000 Latinos have signed another petition asking Macy’s to cut its business ties to Trump as well (reports are coming in that Macy's indeed has done so). 

A couple of days ago, at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers’ Latino Media Award, Mexican comic actor Eugenio Derbez made light of the fact that with the number of Mexican chefs and restaurant workers, Trump would be unable to eat at any restaurant in the United States now “without swallowing his words, and more” ....

Meantime, Trump has doubled down, quite literally adding insult to injury by broadening his comments to encompass all Latin American immigrants, asserting time and again that he means what he said about Latino immigrant criminality. He’s called NBC weak and filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision for breach of contract. He’s probably happy to hear that at least one person thinks he’s right ... his fellow Republican presidential candidate (and son of a Cuban immigrant), Ted Cruz. 

 

 

There are several things that make this more than just another ridiculous episode in Trump’s ridiculously overwrought public life. The first thing has been noted by a lot of Latinos already and that is the fact that, when united and mobilized, Latinos are a rather formidable force. The NBC and Univision decisions (along with Macy’s) indicate just how much power the Latino consumer can wield — we are a $1.4 trillion market in the United States — and businesses cannot afford to tick us off. Mexican-Americans know a thing or two about boycotts ....

But the other reason the Donald’s “trumped up” views should give us all pause is the unselfconsciousness with which the words about Mexican and Latino immigrant criminality and lack-of-worth came out of his mouth. Racism and bigotry has long been a part of anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, but hearing the presidential hopeful’s baldly stated prejudice sends home how casual and endemic the discrimination against immigrants has become. There is something to be learned, also, from the fact that none of the other Republican presidential hopefuls has decried Trump’s comments. In fact, as mentioned before, one of them has pretty much given Trump and his “vision” of immigrants his endorsement. 

Petitions are great (and, as we’ve seen, can be quite effective) but you know what’s greater? Our vote. This energy, this level of engagement from Latinos of all heritage groups and across all socio-economic classes should be channeled into greater voter registration and participation. Now, while we’re feeling the power of us united, let’s make  this commitment. 

Together we can do more than just #DumpTrump. Together we can keep challenging and giving our all to eradicate the entrenched bigotry and prejudice that underpin his words. Together we can. Sí, se puede.

Updated at 11:42 to reflect news that Macy's has announced it also cut business ties with Trump.

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