Connecting the Dots: Trump’s Anti-Mexican/Latino Sentiment
By: Irene Sanchez
The Southwest Political Report
Today Trump released a political ad on Twitter yet he is not the first to use political ads to invoke fear of this particular group. While many news outlets and journalists will undoubtedly attempt to draw a line in history to trace this racist sentiment, most have failed and will fail to trace this ad back to the 1990s to Prop 187 in CA and Pete Wilson and many more moments in between now and the Mexican American War.
Perhaps they are not aware of the history of anti-Mexican sentiment since 1848 in what is now the U.S. This ad is specific and points to a something we need to specifically speak about which is the history of anti-Mexican sentiment in the U.S. (which has become anti-Latina/o/x sentiment-mostly targeted at Central Americans as of late).
If we are to address an issue it needs to be direct so I say anti-Mexican because we at the Southwest Political Report trace our current moment and many moments back to 1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo when a large number of Mexicans became U.S. citizens after the invasion of Mexican territory by the U.S. and subsequent Mexican-American War that forced Mexico to concede land that consists of California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and parts of other states.
One does not have to look that far back to trace Trumps inspiration of political ad, if you’re a child of the 90s in California like me you most definitely remember what the ads for Pete Wilson and Proposition 187 looked like. Proposition 187 would’ve have made it illegal and criminal to provide basic services such as health care and education to anyone “suspected” of being undocumented. Need I remind that Prop 187 passed by voters in the state of CA and was later never implemented due to intervention by courts.
Connect the dots and you connect these events. If we are to get at the root, we need to see where this poison is growing from. It’s not just Trump. It didn’t start with him or Pete Wilson for that matter.
Mexicans were never seen as or treated as citizens fully and are still seen as foreigners no matter how long our families have been here. That gave way to the anti-immigrant that is targeted at Latinx communities today. They continue to use this divisive rhetoric and stereotypes to invoke fear and divide our diverse Latina/o/x Communities, but now is the time to we need to really see what has been going on. Now is the time to connect the dots, draw a line and say enough.
The caravan isn’t made up of immigrants. The caravan is made up of refugees and should be given refuge.