“We are sad. We are still sad. It’s affecting us. It affects all of us.” These were the words of my mother, who was telling me the social and political terror that she felt and which was impacting the immigrant community.
I had just returned to the US after the country experienced three deadly shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The Gilroy and El Paso shootings were clearly racially motivated against the immigrant and Latino community. This was followed by one of the largest workplace raids ever by ICE against 680 people in Mississippi. Many children came home from their first day of school to find their parents were detained by immigration authorities. A crying 11-year old girl ...
I had just returned to the US after the country experienced three deadly shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The Gilroy and El Paso shootings were clearly racially motivated against the immigrant and Latino community. This was followed by one of the largest workplace raids ever by ICE against 680 people in Mississippi. Many children came home from their first day of school to find their parents were detained by immigration authorities. A crying 11-year old girl said in a video, pleading with government officials: “Let my parents be free with everybody else, please [...] I need my dad, mommy [...] My dad didn’t do nothing. He’s not a criminal.”
As I’m talking to my mother, my one-and-a-half year old daughter is peacefully sleeping in my arms. I begin to tear up thinking of all the people who have been murdered and whose families have been separated, so I hold my daughter a little closer and tighter. It’s hard to process everything that’s going on. Our fears, our concerns, our terror of what may happen next to our community are the result of white racial terrorism promoted by Donald Trump, his political allies and domestic terrorists who view immigrants and non-whites as a threat to their privilege. Racist and anti-immigrant policies are nothing new in the US. Yet, today, under Trump, this all feels different in a dangerous and intensified way.
Trump has encouraged white supremacy and racial violence. The Walmart shooter in El Paso posted on his social media, before killing 22 and injuring more, that there was a “Hispanic invasion” in Texas, which was reminiscent of Trump referring to immigrants as “invaders”. According to a study by researchers at the University of North Texas: “Counties which hosted a Trump rally saw a 226% increase in hate-motivated incidents. This is among the first research to systematically show that Trump events are correlated with a significant rise in domestic hate”. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that hate groups increased during Trump’s presidency, after a three-year decline under Obama. In 2014, there were 784 hate groups, and in 2018 this increased to 1,020, with “white nationalist groups, those particularly electrified by Trump’s presidency, [that] surged by almost 50 percent —from 100 groups to 148— in 2018.” Recently, a secret Border Patrol Facebook group revealed that its approximately 9,500 members had shared racist and derogatory pictures, comments and anti-immigrant terms such as “guats”, “beaners” and “subhumans.” This included making fun of dead migrants such as the Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned in Rio Bravo in June. Under Trump, individual and structural racial violence is increasing within our communities.
My mom continued expressing her concerns by comparing Trump to Hitler. On social media, many began sharing a quote by Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who wrote on January 13, 1943, in regards to Nazi persecution of the Jewish people:
“Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes [...] Families are torn apart; men, women, and children are separated. Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared. Women return from shopping to find their houses sealed, their families gone [...] Everyone is scared.”
Racial white terrorism is increasing in the US. Today, I am concerned and fear for the lives of my friends, for their children and for our communities. It is during these times when we need to keep our guard up, watch out for our neighbors and community, and be prepared for what it is to come.
Las opiniones expresadas en este artículo son responsabilidad exclusiva del autor. Plaza Pública ofrece este espacio como una contribución al debate inteligente y sosegado de los asuntos que nos afectan como sociedad. La publicación de un artículo no supone que el medio valide una argumentación o una opinión como cierta, ni que ratifique sus premisas de partida, las teorías en las que se apoya, o la verdad de las conclusiones. De acuerdo con la intención de favorecer el debate y el entendimiento de nuestra sociedad, ningún artículo que satisfaga esas especificaciones será descartado por su contenido ideológico. Plaza Pública no acepta columnas que hagan apología de la violencia o discriminen por motivos de raza, sexo o religión
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