By Andy Damián-Correa
I can’t stop thinking about this. What drives a person to commit violence against someone of a different skin color or language, or because they were born elsewhere? This is what happened in the recent massacre in El Paso, Texas on Sat, Aug 3, when a gunman opened fire in a Wal-Mart targeting Mexicans, but ultimately all Latinos. This is the most violent expression of rejection against an American future dominated by minorities. We are in an era of hate, in which words matter immensely, and when they’re loaded with said hatred, they can cause a lot of sociopolitical damage.
The violence in El Paso is not about immigration policy. It is about promoting hate, fear and division among Americans, which has been sown politically by President Donald Trump. Trump has systematically sought to paint an ugly portrait of Hispanics.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said while announcing his presidency in 2015.
In 2016, he accused a federal judge born in Indiana, Gonzalo Curiel, who presided over cases against Trump University, of being biased because of his Mexican heritage.
He has tried to limit our right to vote, restricted our access to housing and healthcare, prevented us from being counted in the US census and he has turned his back on our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. Instead of focusing his time on the many critical issues affecting the American population, such as climate change, he has refined his attacks on Latinos and immigrants, in general, and wielded his executive power to fulfill his deeply bigoted agenda.
Leaders and politicians, such as Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, have also lost patience with the Trump administration.
“I don’t want to hear the question of whether the president is a racist again. Yes, he is,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a speech given in New York.
Trump’s strategy has been made pretty clear: dehumanizing Latinos by stripping away federal protections that safeguard their rights, promote policies that marginalize families, encourage division, fear, violence, and a hateful rhetoric. We should have spent the last two and a half years working to advance our country further, but instead, we had to focus on protecting the progress we have already made thus far.
Presidential candidates for the 2020 elections should make their position on immigration policy abundantly clear to the Latino community as their vote will make an impact like never before in history.
A quarter of Trump’s presidential term has passed, and it’s been long enough to judge his performance as president of the United States. The president reached his first year with a 39% approval rating in the polls, the lowest of all US presidents.
It remains to be seen if Trump is definitely changing the way we do politics in the US, but having fulfilled half of his mandate already, what is clear is that politics is not changing Donald Trump. We have the future of America in our hands.