An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Not rapists: just abused*

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An Open Letter to Donald Trump

 

Mr. President Trump:

Throughout the centuries, long before your mother arrived from Scotland, long before your grandparents arrived from Germany and had a lot of success in the hotel and brothel business in New York, the Mexicans had their families here and they had already named all of the Western states, rivers, valleys, mountains, and cities. The Californian architecture and the Texan cowboy, symbols of the “authentic American” are nothing more than the result of the hybridity—like everything else—of the new Anglo-Saxon culture with the long since established Mexican one. Can you imagine one of the founding fathers coming face-to-face with a cowboy?

When your mother arrived to this country in the 1930s, half a million Mexicans were deported. The majority of them were American citizens but they were very unlucky when the frustration nationwide, because of the Great Depression, got them speaking Chicano. They were blamed for the Depression since their faces looked as foreign as they could be.

Your idea that the Mexicans that come here are rapists, criminals, and invaders it’s nothing new and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In this country’s prisons, you will find that immigrants—both legal and illegal—are underrepresented. Immigrants in American prisons make up only one-fourth of what would be the total percentage of the immigrant population in the United States.  In case you still don’t understand: the statistics say that “wetbacks” are four or five times less likely to commit a crime than your own beautiful children are, Mr. Trump. Where immigration dominates, the crime rate drops and prejudice and racism increase.

These people were seen as foreigners and rapists (you aren’t the first person to know this) since the United States took possession (it’s best to say it this way so we don’t offend anyone) of half the Mexican territory in the middle of the 19th century. And as those people that were already there didn’t stop speaking such an uncivilized language such as Spanish and refused to change their skin color, were persecuted, deported or simply murdered, accused of being bandits, rapists, and foreign invaders. The real Zorro was dark skinned and didn’t fight against any Mexican despotism (as Johnston McCully depicted the story in order to be able to sell it to Hollywood) but instead he fought against the Anglo-Saxon invaders who took his land. Dark skinned and rebellious like Jesus, even though you see this Nazarene man always depicted as blonde haired with blue eyes and rather docile in the holy paintings. The hegemonic powers of that age that crucified him had obvious political reasons for doing so. And they continued crucifying him three centuries later when the Christians stopped being illegal immigrants and were persecuted so much that they hid in the catacombs. Eventually, they became the official persecutors when they took power.

Fortunately, Mr. Donald, the European immigrants, like your parents and wife, didn’t look like foreigners. Of course, if your mother had arrived forty years before, then maybe she would have been confused with an Irishwoman. Those people certainly did look like invaders. Besides being Catholics, they had hair just like yours, red and curly, something that offended the local white people, and by white people I mean those that, at one time, had been discriminated against by their Polish, Russian or Italian accents. But fortunately, immigrants learn quickly. As González Prada wrote more than a century ago, when an individual rises above the level of his social group he usually becomes its worst enemy.

This is what you and many other people demand, of course: that the immigrants should assimilate to this culture, instead of just integrate into it. But, which culture is that exactly?

In a truly open and democratic society, no one ought to forget who is to be accepted or, as I understand it, the virtuous thing to do must involve integration and not assimilation. Assimilation is violence. In many societies, it’s a requirement, especially in all of the societies where fascism survives in one way or another. 

Mr. President, the creativity that you see among the businessmen and women in this country is admirable even though its importance is exaggerated and many negative aspects are forgotten: It wasn’t businessmen who promoted democracy in Latin American but rather, they did just the opposite. Various successful American businesses promoted bloody Coups d’état and supported a long list of bloody dictators.

It was businessmen like Henry Ford, who made interesting contributions to the industry, but it’s often forgotten that, like many other businessmen, Ford was an Anti-Semitist who collaborated with Hitler. While the US denied refuge to persecuted Jews in Germany—as they now deny it to Muslims today for almost the same reasons—Alcoa and Texaco worked together with the fascist regimes of that time period.

It wasn’t businessmen who developed new technology and science but amateur inventors or salaried professors instead; from the foundation of this country to the invention of the Internet, continuing with Einstein and finally, the arrival of the first man on the moon. Not to mention, the basis of the sciences—which were shaped by those horrible and uncivilized Arabs centuries before—from the numbers that we use to Algebra to algorithms and many other sciences and philosophies that are part of Western civilization today, continuing with the Europeans in the 17th century. None of these men were businessmen, of course.

It wasn’t businessmen who achieved, through resistance and popular activism, almost all the progress with the civil rights that are now known today in this country, when at the time they were demonized as dangerous revolutionists and anti-Americans.

Mr. President Trump, I know you have been all your life too busy making money, so you don’t know this simple evidence: a country is not a business, it’s not a company. As an employer, you can hire and fire as many employees as you wish, for the simple reason that there was a State that gave an education to those people before and there will be a State later on that will be responsible for them when they are fired, with social welfare services —or with the police, as a worst case scenario.

An employer doesn’t know how to resolve any of these externalities. He’s only concerned about his own success that he will later confuse it with the success of the whole country and sell it in that same way because that is what a businessman does best: selling. Call it what you want.

You always boast about being immensely rich. I admire you for your bravery. But, if we consider what you have done starting with what you received from your parents and grandparents—money aside—it could be said that almost any businessman, any worker in this country that has started from nothing—and in many cases incurring enormous amounts of debt from his educational costs—is much more successful than you.

The Turk Hamdi Ulukaya was a poor immigrant when he founded the yogurt company Chobani a few years ago, which is now valued at two billion dollars. That type of story is very common in a country as great as this one, without a doubt. But this creative businessman had the decency to recognize that he didn’t do all of this by himself. That it would have been impossible without his employees and having been in as free of a country as this one. And actually, recently, he donated 10 percent of the company’s stocks to his employees.

In Mexico, there are similar examples to yours. But better ones. The most well-known example is Carlos Slim, the son of Lebanese immigrants, who took advantage of the economic crisis at the time—as any man with money would—now has eleven times your fortune.

Mr. President Trump, democracy has its own Achilles tendons. It’s not the critics, as any fascist society normally considers them—it’s the demagogues. The ones that beat their nationalistic breast in order to abuse the power of their own nations.

Twenty-five centuries ago, the first democratic example, Athens, took pride in welcoming foreigners; this wasn’t her weakness—nor political or moral. Athens had slaves just like your country had for a couple of democratic centuries, and in a way it continued this disgrace with undocumented workers. Athens had its demagogues too: for example, Anytus, a successful businessman who convinced the rest of society, very democratically, so that they would put the thinking mind of their age to death. Socrates’ downfall was questioning everything too much, for believing too little in the gods of Athens and for ruining its youth with doubts.

Of course, almost no one remembers Anytus today and the same thing will happen to you. At least you can double your bet and turn into one of the figures just like we’ve seen in European history of the 20th century with your exacerbated nationalism and your hatred for those people who looked like foreigners without even being so. You will always find followers—because that is also part of the political game—and right now, we don’t have a better system.

 

Jorge Majfud

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57dc39fee4b0d5920b5b2aac?timestamp=1474051083758

 

 

 

 

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El inmigrante

Evangelio existencialista del inmigante

Hotel California (song)

En este país que es un país y son muchos países, en esta gente que es un pueblo y son muchos pueblos nunca estarás en un lugar preciso ni serás un individuo concreto sino muchos lugares y muchos individuos.

Te sentarás en un restaurante de comida mexicana y apoyarás los codos en esa mesita larga con azulejos que parecerán hechos a mano en el Zócalo o en Sevilla, con paredes que lucirán pintadas por un artista único para un lugar único.

Por ninguno de esos detalles podrás decir si estás en Amarillo, Texas, o en El Cajon, California, o en Bonita Springs, Florida, o en Rio Grande, New Jersey. Las mesas con azulejos típicos de México o de Sevilla serán iguales, que es lo mismo que decir que serán las mismas mesas. Y también los olores y los cuadros y los pisos de cerámica y el paisaje por la ventana y la chica que aparecerá y te sonreirá. Será siempre esa misma sonrisa que irá incluida en el mismo menú y al mismo precio y no te importará porque sabrás que estás pagando para que te sonría, amable, linda, casi como si te simpatizara.

Como si te conociera.

Porque en el fondo ya te conoce.

Te ha sonreído antes en otros rostros como el tuyo que para ella es el mismo rostro. Y en el fondo sabrás que no es sincera pero ella no lo sabe y a ti tampoco te importará. Porque para caras largas estarán las oficinistas del gobierno, que también cobran pero fuera del círculo feliz del sistema, como lo llamarás si te llamas Ernesto, el criticón.

Y si vas dos veces, tres, cinco veces al mismo lugar, al mismito, vas a encontrar los mismos tacos y las mismas tortillas con salsa picante y las mismas fajitas y la misma margarita y una chica parecida con una sonrisa parecida, por el mismo precio. Pero la chica tampoco será la misma aunque sea lo mismo decir que es la misma chica.

Porque aquí todo está en movimiento. Todo es siempre nuevo aunque sea lo mismo. Todo corre como un río que se repite en cada atardecer. Pero nunca podrás conducir dos veces en la misma autopista. Serán otros los carros y serán los mismos. Nunca podrás pasar dos veces por el mismo self-service aunque el mismo self-service con el mismo hindú y los mismos hispanos comprando las mismas cervezas sin alcohol estén en muchas otras partes de muchos otros estados.

Todo correrá como un road movie, todo será otro lugar y será el mismo. Otras serán las muchachas de sonrisas azules y los viejos calvos con trajes de oficinistas y las viejas joviales de pelo corto y paso ejecutivo. Y serán los mismos.

Todo se moverá sin parar y nada cambiará, como si te pudieras perder en tu propia casa. Y con cierto placer te perderás por Virginia y por Texas y por Arizona y por California y descansarás en todos sus hoteles y moteles que por el mismo precio serán el mismo cuarto y el mismo baño y las mismas luces sobre un estacionamiento más o menos igual, el mismo césped recién cortado y las mismas flores recién trasplantadas.

Y casi con placer vivirás huyendo de algo, de alguien y de ti mismo, porque huir y perderse es la única forma de libertad que conocerás aquí.

Y te sentirás nadie y te sentirás todos, y te llamarás Ernesto o Guadalupe, José María o María José, y serás un poco de cada uno y serás el mismo que come ahora en un Chili´s en Nevada y en un On the Border en Georgia, y tendrás los mismos sueños por el mismo precio y los mismos miedos por el mismo estatus legal, y las mismas ideas por la misma educación.

Y serás un expulsado de tu país y un perseguido en este, si eras pobre. O no te perseguirán y serás un exiliado con algunos privilegios si llegaste a un título universitario antes de venir. Pero siempre serás un golpeado, un resentido por la peor suerte de tus hermanos y hermanas que no conoces. Esos hermanos a los que te une tantas cosas y a veces solo un idioma.

Y de cualquier forma sufrirás por ser un outsider que ha aprendido a disfrutar esa forma de ser nadie, de perderse en un laberinto anónimo de restaurantes, moteles, mercados, plazas, playas lejanas, montañas sin cercos, desiertos sin límites, tiempos de la memoria sin espacio, países dentro de otros países, mundos dentro de otros mundos.

Y huirás sin volver nunca pero al final siempre huirás hacia la memoria que te espera en cada soledad llena de tanta gente que nunca conocerás aunque duerman a tu lado.

Y sólo tendrás una patria segura pero será intangible como el viento. Tendrás sólo una patria, un refugio hecho de memorias fantásticas sobre las profundas raíces del castellano y sobre las movedizas arenas de otras costumbres.

Jorge Majfud

La Gaceta Mercantil (Argentina)

 

Hispanic population exceeds 50 million, firmly nation’s No. 2 group

U.S. Census Bureau Regions, Partnership and Da...

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By Michael Martinez and David Ariosto, CNN
March 24, 2011 4:08 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — The growing Hispanic population in the United States has reached a new milestone, topping 50 million, or 16.3% of the nation, officially solidifying its position as the country’s second-largest group, U.S. Census Bureau officials said Thursday.

“Overall, we’ve learned that our nation’s population has become more racially and ethnically diverse over the past 10 years,” said Nicholas A. Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch.

Several trends emerged from the 2010 census, according to Robert M. Groves, director of the Census Bureau, and Marc J. Perry, chief of the population distribution branch.

The country is growing at a smaller rate. Growth is concentrated in metropolitan areas and in the American West and South. The fastest-growing communities are suburbs such as Lincoln, California, outside Sacramento. And standard-bearer cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee are no longer in the top 20 for population, replaced by upstarts such as El Paso, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, the officials said.

The most significant trend, however, appeared to be the nation’s new count of 50.5 million Latinos, whose massive expansion accounted for more than half of the nation’s overall growth of 27.3 million people, to a new overall U.S. population of 308.7 million, officials said.

The Hispanic population grew 43% since 2000, officials said.

In stark contrast, all other populations together grew by only about 5%, officials said. The nation as a whole expanded by 9.7%.

Bureau officials declined Thursday to say how much illegal immigration has spurred growth among Latinos and other minorities, saying the sources of the growth are still being studied.

“Those are actually very excellent questions,” said Roberto Ramirez, chief of the bureau’s ethnicity and ancestry branch. “We are actually in the middle of the process of investigating that.”

D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer at the Pew Research Center in Washington, said the birth rate, rather than immigration, is the primary driving factor in the Latino boom.

Hispanics now account for nearly one-quarter of children under the age of 18, Cohn said.

“Hispanics are a younger population, and there are just more women of a child-bearing age,” she said.

Although immigration remains a major contributor to Hispanic population growth, the recent recession and high employment rates may have prompted a tapering off in the rate of foreign-born nationals seeking U.S. residence, analysts said.

Intensified border patrols may have reduced illegal immigration, but those measures “remain at the margins,” said William Frey, a demographer at The Brookings Institution.

He added that America’s overall undocumented immigrant population — estimated at between 10 million and 11 million people — may have even declined in recent years, though accurate numbers are difficult to acquire.

While the white population increased by 2.2 million to 196.8 million, its share of the total population dropped to 64% from 69%, officials said.

The Asian population also grew 43%, increasing from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010, officials said. Asians now account for about 5% of the nation’s population.

The African-American population, which grew by about 4.3 million, is now about 40 million, or 12.6% of the population, a slight increase over 12.3% in 2000, officials said.

Persons reporting “some other race” grew by 3.7 million, to 19 million, or 5.5% of the nation, figures show.

The vast majority of Americans, 97%, reported only one race, with whites as the largest group, accounting for about seven out of 10 Americans.

The remaining 3% of the population reported multiple races, and almost all of them listed exactly two races. White and black was the leading biracial combination, figures show.

“The face of the country is changing,” said Jeffrey Passel, demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center.

Demographic data had already been released for all states except New York and Maine and for the District of Columbia.

In fast-growing states where whites and blacks dominated past growth, Hispanics are now the greatest growth engine, Frey said.

The significance of the numbers to the United States is more than just an increase of an ethnicity. Research shows that along with the changing demographics, the country has become more diverse in other ways, Passel said. For instance, there is a substantial mixing of the American population through interracial marriage, he said.

Another change is the concentration of the growing populations.

Previously, the Hispanic population was concentrated in eight or nine states; it is now spread throughout the country, Passel said.

Meanwhile, most of the data released so far show decreases in the population of white children, Frey said.

Minorities will have a greater presence among future generations, he said. For example, in Nevada, 61% of children are minorities, compared with 41% of adults.

In border states like Texas, demographers say, Hispanic populations are expected to surpass non-Hispanic populations within the next decade.

“Without question, we are becoming a Hispanic state,” said Texas state demographer Lloyd Potter.

“I live in San Antonio, and there you see Spanish advertisements, television shows and newspapers everywhere,” he said.

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