When it comes to Donald Trump, those close to me know exactly how I feel about the man running for the Republican nomination for president.
And I liked it better that way. Sure, he is saying very crude comments about Latinos, which I am. Sure, he is saying very ignorant comments about undocumented immigrants, (yes, undocumented) not illegal because no human is illegal. Sure, he might be doing a troll job to prove how the media eats up everything in a presidential campaign.
But what happened to Jorge Ramos crossed the line. And it actually wasn’t what Trump did that ticked me off and made me start writing this. Instead, it was a man who confronted Ramos outside of the room he was just thrown out of.
“You are very rude. It’s not about you. Get out of my country. Get out. It’s not about you.”
Those were the words of a man wearing a Trump 2016 pin on his black blazer. But it was also the words of many Americans.
Trump has 40% support in the polls, which means to the children of an immigrant, 40% of Americans involved in the polls think my parents should get out of this country. In a 2012 study by the Brookings Institute, it showed that immigrants were 13% of the population but made up 16% of the labor force. What does that mean man with Trump 2016 pin on his black blazer? Well, it means the people you want out of this country, my parents, and 41.3 million other immigrants, are actually busting their behinds off in a labor force of a country that doesn’t even want them.
It also means that 40% of Americans involved in the polls think Trump, a man who’s words are hateful and discriminatory and can get anyone else fired at their workplace, believe he is the perfect man to take over for the country’s first Black president. A year removed from the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, which sparked massive outcry from people of color across the United States about the racism that still exists in this country, it’s hard to believe this man would be best candidate to take over at a time when racial tensions are high and he is calling Latinos lazy, stupid, criminals, and drug addicts.
But it also means that 40% of Americans involved in the polls don’t know what an American looks like. Ramos wasn’t born in the United States. He was born in Mexico. He came to this country because he was being censored in Mexico City and wanted to share his talents in a country he described as being a palace. He has excelled in this country as a journalist, and while he has been very successful, Ramos is an example of what an American looks like.
American equals immigrant. The first European language spoken in what was soon to be the United States was not English, it was Spanish. The European settlers who founded Jamestown, and the founding fathers of the American Revolution, and those that came in through Ellis Island. What did they all have in common? They were immigrants. This country was rooted on immigration and stands today because of immigrants. And if we want to talk about undocumented immigration Trump, well can we talk about how this country was actually founded by undocumented immigrants who threw out the natives that lived here before them?
Trump exposed America for what it truly is. He has exposed it for being ignorant, uneducated on its own history, and hateful towards people who aren’t your so-called typical American. Trump has made America feel okay with being racist and discriminatory. And that’s what Ramos had to face with the man wearing a Trump 2016 pin, but also what 41.3 Americans who immigrated to this country have to face on a daily basis.
I graduated from Boston College in May and was back to visit the campus during its welcome week. As I walked by the fabled Mods, I noticed one Mod had a whiteboard on the window for everyone to see. I cringed when I saw the sign and shook my head as I read what was on the whiteboard. “Trump 2016. Make America Great Again.”
The message was clear. Trump’s propaganda is being bought into. Whether or not that was supposed to be a joke doesn’t matter. Telling 41.3 million people to go back to their own country when they are already in their country is not something to joke about.