Sunday, February 5, 2017


By Rafael Collado
Special to El Rrun-Rrun.

Hello, Mr. Hasse.
I don't think we have been officially introduced. My name is Rafael Collado, professional musician. It just felt a bit abrupt to see you addressing me and responding to my views without so much of an introduction. Too drastic.

I'm glad to tell you that I'm generally impervious to ad hominem from people who know nothing about me. I mean, it was definitely rude, but I'm honestly more offended by your complete obliteration of the English language, and also that you didn't have the courtesy of structuring your thoughts in an organized manner. It was a bit labor-intensive to decipher what you tried to say.

You utilized your first 68 words to stitch together an incredibly tedious attack on my character before you offered your point, which is hardly a point. I'm going to go ahead and admit I have no idea what you tried to say, but I'm assuming you're objecting to what you quoted above it. If that's the case, let me put forward some useful information. This is the number of Republicans who openly opposed Donald Trump:

- 2 former Presidents, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush
- 9 current Governors
- 10 current Senators
- 32 current U.S. Representatives
- 7 current State Legislators
- 25 former National Security officials
- 16 former Defense Department officials
- 22 former federal cabinet-level officials

There's a lot more, but these are the most relevant. Notable mention: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who openly expressed concern, short of flat-out opposition, and only reluctantly jumped on board when there was literally no other option. So, as I said, he ascended little by little, supported almost exclusively by a popular movement that the world witnessed grow from a couple of skinheads into a massive and legitimately grassroots conglomerate of people. The point I was trying to make is that Trump's rise didn't need the support of the Republican Party, and that Sanders' movement was basically the Leftist equivalent of this, making him the ideal candidate to contend Trump, yet the Democratic Party chose a counter-intuitive route.

Moving on, I admire the way you managed to reframe blatant lies as silly accidents by calling them "whoppers." I call them lies. Most people also identified them as lies, some of them serious. But I took particular notice of a point I've heard a couple of times before: "The man who is now President (get used to it) did not express contempt for minorities. He expressed anger at illegal aliens." That's what you said, Mr. Hasse. Now here is what Trump said in his announcement speech:

"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."
He's presumably speaking about undocumented immigrants, or as you kindly call them, "illegal aliens." It's kind of weird to say that when he says they're rapists he's talking exclusively about "illegal aliens." So, you mean that the moment they get naturalized they are magically not rapists anymore? Are only Mexicans with visas not rapists? 

What you're saying sort of implies that your immigration status determines if you're a rapist/criminal/drug-dealer or not. But the real problem is that if we run with it and accept that he is only talking about illegals, that statement is still non-factual, which is why I originally said, and I quote: "Multiple studies have shown that the crime rate of immigrants is lower than that of non-immigrant citizens in most communities. Also, patterns reflected in incarceration rates show that immigrants, including Mexican immigrants, are less likely to commit crimes and be incarcerated than the native-born."

Next. There is absolutely no evidence that the DP paid people to disrupt Trump's rallies. Zero proof, and if you bring some, it will be fake news. But first, what saying that does is disqualify the angst of the black community, as if it didn't exist. It does. And second, you're just not perspicacious enough to realize that even if that were true, it still does not justify Trump encouraging his supporters to assault them, and them doing it!

"Black people?," you say, and then name drop two blacks who like Trump. I'm sure those guys love him, but that's anecdotal, and it means next to nothing. Here's a better representation of reality: Donald Trump got only 8 percentof the black vote, or in other words, 92 percent of blacks did not vote for him.

Then you take issue with me calling the Muslim ban disruptive and unconstitutional (funny you didn't refute that it's also cruel). "Disruptive to who [sic]?" Well, I must have imagined a multitude of people stranded in airports everywhere because they weren't being allowed to enter their country of residence. The young woman who originally organized today's rally felt compelled to do so through her heartbreak over the new law impeding the migration of her Iranian grandparents to the US to watch her grow up. I would call that disruptive. Also cruel, but you didn't object to that. I also called it unconstitutional, which you called a "straight up, bald faced [sic]" lie. 

Let me introduce you to a little text I like to call, "The First Amendment to the United States Constitution." I like to call it that because, well, that's what it's called. In it, there is a section relevant to our discussion: "The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech..."

I would call Trump's executive order unconstitutional. If you are about to say that he banned countries, not religions, then I'd like to show you a glimpse of the inner mechanics of the law, courtesy of Trump's advisor, Rudolph Giuliani.

From Politico: "Interviewed on Fox News on January 28, Giuliani explained how the administration’s immigration policy morphed from one that was obviously unconstitutional to one that is more subtly so. Host Jeanine Pirro asked, “Does the ban have anything to do with religion?” In response, Giuliani said, “When [Trump] first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up, he said, ‘Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.’” “It,” in this case, of course, is a ban on Muslims." So, I would qualify my claims of unconstitutionality as veridic.

Next you object, in an extremely confusing and poorly redacted paragraph, to my assertion that Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest financier of extremist groups, and yet, curiously, it is not included in the band. I forgot to mention that Donald Trump has current business interests there, but I find it more relevant that no action has been taken there even before this. 

You imply in an abortion of a sentence, that they bankroll Hilary Clinton. I would like to see proof of that. In the same paragraph you imply Obama is a Muslim, of which there exists no proof or even slightest indication. In fact, Obama killed more Muslims abroad than George W. Bush did, which leads me to a crucial point: 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11, which happened under Bush, came from Saudi Arabia, yet he took no action against them, deciding instead to destabilize Iraq. Another fun fact: "A CATO Institute survey found that Saudi Arabians formed the vast majority (78%) of foreign-born terrorists, responsible for 2,369 deaths in the US, whereas the countries covered by Trump’s orders provided non at all."

Woof, this is tedious, but we're almost done here. When I mentioned what I believe is a crisis regarding the police use of excessive force, a subject fecund enough for a book, you said it was a continuation of Obama's war on police. I would like to know what this war consisted of, and I'd like to mention that police deaths on duty hit record lows during his administration. I'm not saying there is a correlation, but it is a fact.

As far as your opinion on nationalism, which is entirely subjective, you obviously have a right to feel whatever level of attachment to your country, or any country. I'd like to cite good old Eugene V. Debs: "I have no country to fight for, my country is earth; I'm a citizen of the world."

Lastly, you offer this, regarding my thoughts on direct action: "what more than whining is to be accomplished by your rally? It is more of Divider in Chief’s playbook that America rejected."

No, Tad. No. I love the United States of America with all of my heart. This does not inherently mean that I align with whatever its government decides to do. I love THE PEOPLE of the USA, for their historical ability to time and time again band together and reclaim the street as a democratic space, and demand what is theirs, such as civil rights, the women's suffrage, child labor laws, minimum wage, etc. The American people's insistence on collectively daring to dissent with the government, which is the biggest form of patriotism, their impetus to speak truth to power, to get together and some times overcome the odds in favor of one another, or to go down trying.

This should put a definitive end to a discussion between you and me. I will not respond to anything else from you. I hope you appreciate the fact that I chose not to respond in the cantankerous tone that you used to address me.

I'm a musician, so I'm partial, like most of us, to The Beatles and Lennon, who were always champions of the American people's ability to resist. But this time I will leave you with something more serious, in the words of Professor Howard Zinn, whose writings have restructured my personal philosophy, and changed my life.

“If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, and occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past’s fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.”
— Howard Zinn


Tad Hasse said...

The "Last I'll say on it", posted on two blogs? Very well, we'll play. You're not going to like it.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!!! Something worth reading on your blog Juan.

Have some decency and hand over your username, password, administrative and managerial authority to Mr. Collado.

Brownsville readers should not be deprived of his literary quality and ability regardless if you agree with him or not. If one or two sentences or even words should stick with your readers, we will have a better Brownsville in a short period of time.

Print this 500 times, bind it and hand deliver a copy to the Facebook commissioner.

Anonymous said...

Leave these fights on geocities, please.

Anonymous said...

Get a life, Tad. Better yet, get laid. You're taking it out on the wrong people.

Anonymous said...

You ROCK Tad!