A white shooter admitted to targeting Mexicans when he killed 22 Mexicans and Mexican Americans in El Paso , Texas.
The blood of the 22 El Paso massacre victims, the youngest of whom was 15, is on the hands not only of Donald Trump but also on those who support, protect, make excuses for, and enable the racist in the White House who …
Inspires people to shoot and kill Mexicans …
Separates brown children from their parents … the separation will in many cases be permanent since there was no mechanism to reunite the families, indicating there never was an intent to reconcile the families …
Tears brown children from the arms of their parents and puts them in cages and exposes them to physical and sexual abuse …
Puts brown children on the streets, crying and confused, with nowhere to go because their parents were snatched up in an ICE raid-for the “crime” of working to support their families-and could not pick them up after school … those children who were able to get home were locked out because their parents were being detained by ICE.
These atrocities are plain evil. The trauma being visited on the children-those put in cages, those whose parents were detained by ICE, those left orphaned-will have life-long effects.
But what do we expect from someone who…
The trauma being visited on children put in cages, those whose parents were detained by ICE, will have life-long effects.
Insisted in full-page newspaper ads that four black teenagers and one Latino teenager (the “Central Park Five”) falsely accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City be executed. DNA evidence determined that the teens were COMPLETELY INNOCENT! Insisting that innocent people be executed is essentially insisting that they be murdered.
Sits and works under a portrait of U.S. President Andrew Jackson, whom he admires. Jackson championed the Indian Removal Act and is the architect of American Indian genocide in the Southeast. Jackson oversaw the “The Trail of Tears,” during which over 15,000 American Indians were torn from their homes and forced to march, under horrendous conditions, over 1,000 miles to present-day Oklahoma. Over 3,500 perished from starvation and illness in this murderous march.
Insists that people who look like me and many of you born in this country “go back to where you came from.”
Pardoned the most racist Sheriff in America, Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of running a racial-profiling campaign against people who looked like Mexicans and who on national television boasted that he was “honored” to be compared to the KKK.
Asserted that members of the KKK and neo-Nazi groups who rallied behind the slogan “Jews will not replace us” are “fine people.” One of these “fine people” murdered a young woman, Heather Hyer, who was protesting the racism of the KKK and neo-Nazi groups.
We can’t just be safely militant behind our keyboards…
Trump asserted that members of the KKK and neo-Nazi groups are “fine people.”
That a racist occupies the White House is an outrage and a stain on the country. We need to do everything we can to rid ourselves of this scourge. This goes beyond ourselves merely voting for Trump’s rival in 2020. Or preaching to the choir. Or being safely militant behind our keyboards. We need to engage people who normally are not engaged in the political process-we need to get out in the community and register them to vote, get them to the polls, etc. I truly believe there are more of us decent folk in the U.S. than there are racists. We just need to mobilize. And as discussed below, we know how to mobilize against racism.
We also need to support-with our money, our physical presence-those organizations that are working to reunite the children being held in Trump’s concentration camps with their families (e.g., the Phoenix-based Uncage and Reunite Families Coalition-URFC).
We also have to accept reality and stop giving the benefit of the doubt to the Trump supporters. The days of believing that Trump supporters are good, decent working-class people who are angry at the Democrats or did not like Hillary Clinton are long over. Trump supporters know who Trump is, what he stands for, what he has done and said, whom he targets, and how he describes people of color, how he treats brown children. [Not to mention his being a profligate liar and self-confessed sexual assaulter of women.] Trump supporters are as much anathema to decent people as is Trump himself.
Can one be a Christian and a racist at the same time?
The Old and New Testaments mandates that those who claim to love God should welcome “sojourners” and “strangers,”
Trump supporters who claim to be Christians deserve special mention. I’ve said this before-in this space and elsewhere-but it bears repeating:
How can people who claim to be religious support a president whose words and actions are totally antithetical to moral and religious values? Denouncing racism and murder in the service of white supremacy and denouncing those who defend such things should be an easy call for truly religious folks. For, evangelical theology rests on the twin pillars of love-love God and love all humans, who are created in God’s image. There are tons of references in the Old and New Testaments that mandate that those who claim to love God should welcome “sojourners” and “strangers,” i.e., immigrants and people who may not look like you, and stand up for the poor.
For truly religious folks, a fundamental principle is that God resides in every person. Thus, in addressing others, in word or deed, you are addressing God. The religious Golden Rule, then, is a zero-sum matter: Either God is in all of his creation, or he is in none of it. (I use “he” and “his” as a convention.) Thus, it is an absolute truism that one cannot be a genuine Christian and a racist at the same time. Nothing complicated about this. Yet, it’s been reported that 80% of the evangelicals in the U.S. support Trump.
We have never succumbed…
For generations Mexican Americans have been at the receiving end of racism and its ugly cousins. In the workplace. In the schools. In businesses that would not serve us. In politics, and so on. But we have never succumbed. Rather, cloaked in the dignity of our culture and our history, we have organized and fought back. We have marched and picketed. We have confronted policy makers. We have withheld our patronage from businesses who discriminated against us. We have organized unions. We have designed and put in place Mexican American Studies curricula in schools. We have sued. We have registered ourselves and others to vote-in the 1970s we organized our own political party, El Partido de La Raza Unida (LRU).
Our history is one of achievement, of triumph, of faith and belief in ourselves.
Indeed, ours is not a history of victimhood. Our history is one of achievement, of triumph, of faith and belief in ourselves. So even as we mourn the deaths of those who were murdered by a Trump-inspired racist and as we cry and tremble with indignation at how Mexican American/Latino children are abused by Trump policies and practices, we need to again cloak ourselves in the dignity of our culture and our history and organize and fight back. Not because we hate Trump but because we love ourselves, our people. Because of the children.
Our adrenalin should be the images of the murdered teenager, the orphaned children, the caged children, the children left to fend for themselves because their parents are in ICE custody. Our history is clear: the struggle may be painful, but we will win. We always do. c/s Special Thanks to Cecilia “Ceci” Cruz and Christine Marín for their sage advice and guidance.
Copyright 2019 by Salomon Baldenegro. Families Belong Together photo copyrighted by Barrio Dog Productions, Inc. All other photos are in the public domain. To contact Sal Baldenegro write: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>