Billionaire mogul Donald Trump announced his bid for the 2016 U.S. presidential elections on June 15. Normally it would not be worth the cost of the paper this is printed on to mention this.
But Trump’s comments on immigration were so incendiary, racist and over the top that they launched a firestorm of protest.
And rightly so.
Trump delivered an outlandish and even stupid presidential announcement filled with right-wing rhetoric and erroneous, inflammatory comments on everything from China to President Barack Obama to the economy.
Only in the U.S., where money yields power more than intelligence or integrity, can someone so ridiculous fill the airwaves.
CNN’s Twitter feed was filled with outrage. Many people demanded to know why CNN was covering it.
CNN commentators responded with, “Well, that’s free speech.”
Of course if Workers World or some other left party held a presidential announcement, that would not fall under “free speech coverage.”
Trump stated: “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. … When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Immediately, Latino/a celebrity types and a slew of responses from the masses filled cyberspace. Wonderful “corridos” (Mexican ballads) were created criticizing Trump, denunciations were made, and a genuine backlash ensued.
Even representatives of the Mexican government, no friends of the Mexican people, were forced to comment.
Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade called Trump “ignorant and prejudiced.” Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said, “The remarks by Donald Trump seem prejudicial and absurd.” (Washington Post, June 17)
Unfortunately, the Mexican government, with total and absolute U.S. complicity, continues to deny justice to the families of 43 students from Ayotzinapa who disappeared six months ago, in a burning example of the tide of repression sweeping Mexico.
The protest to Trump’s remarks included the cancellation of the Miss Universe Pageant, to be aired on July 12, by the major Spanish language network Univision. Trump is part owner of the Miss Universe organization.
NBC, which airs the Trump-hosted “Celebrity Apprentice,” was forced to announce that “Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC.” (deadline.com, June 25)
A Latino immigrant launched a petition campaign calling on NBC to cancel the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as well as “Celebrity Apprentice.” In just four days, the petition gained more than 200,000 signatures. On June 29, NBC announced it was cutting all ties with Trump, dropping both pageants and Trump as host of “Celebrity Apprentice.” (variety.com, June 29)
A tremendous show of solidarity was exhibited from Venezuela. TeleSUR English reported: “President Nicolás Maduro showed his solidarity with the Mexican people and lashed back at Donald Trump for his racist remarks. … ‘I totally reject the statements of Donald Trump. Crook. Thief. How can you attack our brothers from Mexico, who have already been persecuted and exploited enough by your people. …
“‘Venezuela raises its voice in defense of the people of Mexico, offended by this magnate, this “pelucón,”’ said Maduro, using a local colloquialism that loosely translates as ‘elitist snob.’ ‘What indignation,’ he added. ‘Whoever messes with Mexico, messes with Venezuela.’” (June 19)
That is the future: a kind of leadership and solidarity that benefits the worldwide working class, instead of the racism and rhetoric of the U.S. ruling elite.
The Trumps of the world will soon see the end of the day when they can spew their garbage anywhere.