Donald Trump has seemingly united Latinos, to stand up against racist rants, in particular…his! Last week when Trump announced his presidential run, during his rambling speech he targeted Mexicans as a major problem in the U.S. stating in part:
“[Mexicans] They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists…It’s coming from more than Mexico, it’s coming from all over South and Latin America.”
It took a while before any Latino dared to speak out, as Leila Cobo points out in her Billboard article where she cites the first Latino do so. On June 18th at a sold concert of Mana, the Mexican pop rock band from Guadalajara, Jalisco, lead singer Fher Olvera started the ball rolling when he told the sold out crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles:
“He said we were trash, he said that the people who came from Latin America and Mexico are rapists, thugs and drug dealers,” adding “…I have never heard a speech as violent, or as filled with hatred — not since Hitler.”
“It is hypocrisy to criticize Mexicans while, at the same time, you benefit from their work,” and went on to ask, “What do the employees think of their boss now? Why does he speak of Mexicans with such hate?”
“It was going to be my first performance on national [mainstream] television, but we’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values,” and he added. “This isn’t about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren’t just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general.”
The biggest blow to Trump, since it hits closest to what is dear and near to his heart – money, came when Univision, the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S., decided to cancel the airing of the Miss USA 2015 pageant staled to air on July 12th. This would have been the first year or their five year collaboration. Univision cited Trump’s misguided comment about Mexicans and Latinos, releasing this statement:
“At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country.”
After President of Programming and Content for Univision Networks Alberto Ciurana’s twitter post (below) director/actor/comedian of the hit comedy film Instructions Not Included, Eugenio Derbez congratulated Univision’s decision with a tweet of his own:
Por los comentarios de Donald Trump re los inmigrantes mexicanos terminamos relación con Miss Universe Org (translation) “Because of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants we are terminating our relationship with the Miss. Universe Org”.
Aplauso a UNIVISION! Bravo Sr. Ciurana!
Then came actor Cristian de la Fuente’s (Devious Maids, Royal Pains) announcement that he was bowing out of his hosting duties of the Miss USA 2015 pageant, going as far as to taping this message to Trump:
Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids, Without a Trace) slated to host alongside de la Fuente announced a few hours later that she too was out:
“I was very excited and proud to have been invited to participate in Miss USA, but as a Latina, that is now inconceivable. 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.”
Today, music icon Ricky Martin was the latest celebrity to speak out against the Trump tweeting:
“Mucho odio e ignorancia en tu corazón @realDonaldTrump. #LatinosUnidos,” (translation) “You have much hate and ignorance in your heart” finishing it off with #LatinosUnidos (United Latinos)
Meanwhile the beauty queens are also chiming in:
Zuleyka Rivera, former Miss Univere 2006, who was slated to be a judge for Miss USA announced on her Instagram account:
“With the responsibility and firmness that has always characterized me, I’m announcing that I have canceled my participation as judge at the Miss USA 2015 event. As a Latina, I don’t agree with the comments made by Mr. Donald Trump referring to our Mexican brothers.” [translated in part from her Spanish post]
Lupita Jones, the first Mexican contestant to win Miss Universe, and involved with choosing the contestant for the Miss Universe pageant told KNBC-TV that they were considering withdrawing Mexico’s contestant because,
“Following the first statements made by Donald Trump, where he openly showed his enmity with Mexico… I got in touch with the organization’s president Paula Shugart to find out their position on Mexico’s representative. In this moment, I feel that our representative’s integrity and dignity is at risk.”
Only Ximena Navarette, Miss Universe 2010 seems fine with still working for someone that has disdain for her culture. While walking the red carpet for the publication, TV Y Novelas, when asked about Donald Trump’s remarks she said:
“I don’t like to go into political subjects. Donald Trump has treated me super nicely, I’m still working with him until today, I have a contract with him. I am not going to say bad things about someone who has treated me well.”
Meanwhile NBC also felt compelled to distance themselves from Trump issuing the following statement:
“Donald Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC, and we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration.”
It is interesting to note the absence voices on the topic. Where are the U.S. Latino politicians, the A-list celebrities, the academians? If this had been a presidential candidate making racist remarks about Blacks, guaranteed you would be hearing a loud outcry from those Black voices.
“In that [this] climate, our silence as Latins is disingenuous at best.”
—Leila Cobo, Billboard article
This all sends a message that racists remarks about Mexicans and Latinos are not acceptable, especially when U.S. Latinos contribute $1.2 trillion dollar to the U.S. consumer market alone. It’s time to flex that consumer power.