Thursday, February 2, 2017

RALLY TO COUNTER TRUMP AGENDA, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR




By Rafael Collado
Why we protest.

We should have seen it coming. I did, but I understand people's skepticism when I say so. The truth is that it seemed so unlikely because his behavior was so out of the ordinary, so outrageous, that most people simply assumed it wasn't going to happen.

But it did.

I knew it was possible beforehand because a quick analysis of the sentiments of the electorate revealed a deep distrust and discontent the status quo, for various reasons, varying by ethnicity, class, and level of education. That, to me, explained his, at the time, increasing viability. He wasn't in line with the party, which tried to stop him, which means that his rise was solely based on popular, grassroots support.

The opposing party had the diametric antithesis of that in the movement that propelled Bernie Sanders, but chose to throw all of their support on Clinton's campaign, which is characteristically status quo, and had no grassroots support. I thought, as it happened, that it was a big mistake. 

The second mistake was Clinton's over reliance on her base, openly alienating and generalizing a sector of the working class. I still thought a Clinton win was more plausible, but not guaranteed by any means. And then it happened. The earth rumbled with the jaws of humanity hitting the floor. Donald Trump, of The Apprentice, of the countless lawsuits for fraudulent business behavior, of the accusations of racial discrimination in his properties, of the open letter calling for the execution of a group of African American teens who were later acquitted after DNA tests proved them innocent. 

His signature hairstyle took a backseat to the constant and blatant falsehoods, his clear contempt for minorities, the goading of his supporters into violently assailing black people at his rallies, even those who were there to support him, and of course, the theme of his coming out party: his insulting, inhumane, and factless characterization of Mexican immigrants and Mexican culture. Of Muslim immigrants and their cultures.

He took office, and put together a nightmarish cabinet comprised of notorious white supremacists, profoundly ignorant religious fanatics, and compassionless Capitalists. The richest and least educated cabinet in history. While all the ingredients of a class war, a race war, and a possible international war were there, some, including me, hoped for a minute that it was only campaign talk and once in office he would come to his senses. 

Sadly, he meant every single word he said (except for his promise to kick business interests out of government), and in just 10 days he has put the world upside down. Going through with his insane promise of trying to force Mexico to pay for an extremely expensive border wall, which has been reasoned more on unfounded prejudices than on facts, an issue which has predictably put Mexican-American relations in crisis, culminating so far in Trump threatening the sovereignty of Mexico with military action.

Also, and vastly more disruptive, cruel, and unconstitutional, he has restricted entrance to the country from people of 7 specific countries, including Syria, which is going through a holocaust where precious, beautiful children have seen and suffered unimaginable horrors. This ban is extended to people who already have green cards or permanent residentship status, who have lived and worked legally in the States for years.

The reasoning behind this ban, which has immediately turned into a crises of multiple natures, is allegedly protecting the US from Islamic terrorism. This creates quite a bit of cognitive dissonance for me, knowing that the biggest bank roller of terrorist groups is Saudi Arabia, which is NOT included on the list, and curiously, has not faced any type of intervention by previous administrations. There are private business relationships that are not to be disrupted between the two countries, even if it means overlooking the massive quantity of extremism it produces.

So I stand here today in support of the Muslim families I have been lucky enough to know. These people are some of the most educated, generous, and sophisticated people I know, more so than the average American. They don't have a single violent bone in their bodies. I protest the discrimination against them and their beautiful culture, in respect for their historical contributions to philosophy, arts, and science. 

I am here to show, to whomever is here to witness, that they are not alone, and that I will protect their dignity and their rights as long as I am able. Here are some facts: A study published in 2015 found that people in America are seven times as likely to be killed by a Right-Wing extremist than a Muslim attacker. Despite this, in an abhorrent show of white supremacy, the Trump administration wants a federal counter-terrorism program to stop focusing on violent white supremacists and any other extremist groups not comprised of Muslims.

 Another disturbing fact: the American police murders an average of 1,200 American citizens a year. If Trump had the safety of its citizens as a priority, he would be focusing on these more immediate threats. The fact that he is not, reveals that these executive orders are purely based on xenophobia, nationalism, and racism.

I am also here to stand for and defend Mexican culture, so, so rich and colorful, and generous, and multifaceted. I am here to point out that a project that will most likely cost billions of dollars to tax payers is based on prejudice and not facts. And I mean objetive, material facts; not "alternative" facts. El Paso and Las Cruces, bordering with a notoriously violent Mexican city, 

Ciudad Juarez, actually have some of the very lowest crime rates in the US. Multiple studies have shown that the crime rate of immigrants is lower than that of non-immigrant citizens in most communities. More surprisingly, more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than are arriving, and net migration from Mexico has fallen to zero. Aso, patterns reflected in incarceration rates show that immigrants, including Mexican immigrants, are less likely to commit crimes and be incarcerated than the native-born. 

They pay billions in taxes, and do not have access to benefits. American taxpayers are about to get billions of dollars stolen from them to fund a completely unnecessary project, based on no objective facts. It's not a scholarly decision, it's just racism.

Lastly, I am here to make a case for the underrated and forgotten tradition of direct action, such as strikes, boycotts, and protests. Democracy is not limited to electoral politics. In fact the biggest social advancements have been achieved by acts of civil disobedience, not through the ballot box. Taking to the streets is also democracy, even more so than voting is.

This is why I'm here. This is why I protest.

"I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most of this statistical bullshit can be manipulated to prove anything. This article is badly flawed by its raw prejudice and ethno-bable.
To dismiss the murder statistics in major cities, like Chicago, and focus on "police murders" indicates a sick mind and one intent on reaching ignorant readers.

Diego Lee Rot said...

I've been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

For out on the edge of darkness
There rides the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Hoo-ah-eeh-ah-hoo-ah
Come on the peace train
Come on, come on, come on the peace train

Anonymous said...

You should start "marching" by making your community a better place...

just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to scream, curse and throw things. That seems to be what Trump protesters do. Oh yes, don't forget the really nasty "Fuck Trump" signs to be held by children.

Anonymous said...

I love that people take action y no se quedan con los brazos cruzados, but I have a question, are you doing this because you do really care about people who are being targeted by the Trump administration or are you doing this because it's the "cool" thing to do. If you are not doing this for the coolness factor, are you willing to protest against our current city, county and school district administration, that while they are not attacking people directly as Trump is, their actions are turning our city into a dump

Anonymous said...

Excellent words, Mr. Collado!

Tad Hasse said...

Well written, but full of lies

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as I was reading it I was thinking, attack on Clinton in 3...2...1... Sure enough, paragraph 6.

Those Bernie fools sure were played. Believing Bernie when he said a vote for Clinton or Trump was voting for the same thing. Clinton would never have threatened a 20% tariff on Mexican imports, that we will eventually pay here in America via higher prices. Clinton would never have considered throwing away billions on a wall, as if Mexicans have never in their life understood the concept of a ladder or -gasp- be smart enough to just dig a tunnel under it. Clinton would never have banned green card, legal residents, or overturned healthcare for millions of people.

So spare me your too-late protest. I have never in my life seen so many people vote against their own interests. I mean gay people voting for Trump, Hispanics voting for Trump, women voting for Trump, Muslims voting for Trump, Bernie's dumb millenials voting for Trump. This is no revolution, it's just a question of how many rights we will lose over the next 4 years. Have your wee little protest after the fact, Bernie boy. How fucking dumb are you people, seriously?

Anonymous said...

Go Trump Make America Great Again
America First

Anonymous said...

Damn pervert HERPES carrier. He thinks he is untouchable the fat frog looking predator. As he grabs his crouch like a Gonalezia bitch he will be demolished the Son of a Bitch

Anonymous said...

Herpes Bastard

Anonymous said...

The Frog spreading warts evrywhere. Im sure his mother would be proud

Anonymous said...

State representative is a home wrecker . watch his ass herpes carrying pig. His staff has no idea what todo cuz they feel he is, but they are hungry for work and pay. Staff is stuck. Rep is a dirty pig

Anonymous said...

Quarantine Herpes Frog Fat elected official predator

Anonymous said...

Donald J. Trump won the election. The people have spoken. Get over it. If you don't like the results of the election work harder next time to win the election. I voted for Trump so that he would do exactly what he is doing. I would be very disappointed if he wouldn't be doing exactly what he promised. I am excited that he is doing what he said he was going to do otherwise he would just be like all the other politicians, making promises that they never kept. Go find a safe zone somewhere and let President Trump run the country and make America great again. President Trump has done more in his first 10 days than Obama did in 8 years.

Anonymous said...

Your discontent for our great country is alarming. Visit those places you admire and attempt the same freedom you take for granted.
Only then perhaps you will report back. You lack patriotism my friend.

Anonymous said...

Unmitigated, unvarnished, pro-illegal alien bull shit.

Anonymous said...

Good day Brownsville, Texas. Ladies keep your panties on tight.There is a predator with HERPES out there. Watch for the frog lookin pervert preying on helpless women who have plunged into despair by their own fault. Todays lesson is: Greed can get you HERPES

Anonymous said...

I would rather hang out with these young protesters than with the uneducated idiots who spew hate on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Another asshole protesting to tell everyone they are the assholes. Who is this clown?

Anonymous said...

I love that people take action y no se quedan con los brazos cruzados, but I have a question, are you doing this because you do really care about people who are being targeted by the Trump administration or are you doing this because it's the "cool" thing to do. If you are not doing this for the coolness factor, are you willing to protest against our current city, county and school district administration, that while they are not attacking people directly as Trump is, their actions are turning our city into a dump

-------------------------------------

We do this because we actually care. And, YES, we're continuously calling out the city, county, school district, and colleges on different matters. See you on Saturday?

Anonymous said...

Clinton came down to the Valley twice during her campaign and soley to collect money from her $2700 a pop dinner in one of the most corrupt counties. Spare me the bs on why she should have won. She's an establishment Democrat just like Obama the deporter and chief. Both sides were equally divided and even staunch Republicans admit they would have voted Bernie over HRC. Many Republicans sat it out because who wants to chose between the an oligarchy and a dictatorship? Unless you HRC folks are prepared to put your pride aside and get to work on real change, I suggest you take a seat and get out of the way of those who are actually doing something! It's sad to see that you all still after everything think that Clinton and her campaigns actions had nothing to do with her own demise. Where is she on the current issues??? Not a word.That's right Bernie is the only one still out there fighting. Wish she would take a cue from him and rally her followers to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to break windows and set vehicles on fire. Fucking libtards!!

Anonymous said...

Trump!! Trump!!! Build the wall,nuke Iran!! Take America back from the stupid liberals!!

Anonymous said...

In the meantime Charlie Cabler is making $200,000 per year in the poorest area in the country, city officials are operating their personal businesses within their job settings, police officers abusing their power, student-teacher intimate relationships, city violence surging, student drop out rates high, high number of pregnant teens, poverty high...

chief cool arrow said...

its very simple folks, democrats didn't come out to vote like Clinton and her staff were let to believe ni modo. America was tired of the too much and do nothing democrats who have been in power for many years yet failed to take care of business. So we got what we ask for so, no sense in crying about it ala George lopez routine.

Anonymous said...

These kids sure love Castillo.

Anonymous said...

You're a clown. Cite your studies and reports.
Change is good.

rita