May 6, 2016
Yesterday, as many Latinos braced themselves for the annual wave of tone deaf Cinco de Mayo celebrations and clueless brand Hispandering, a photo posted by Donald Trump began spreading through my Twitter timeline like a virus. In it, Trump sits at his desk in the Trump Tower, cheesing over a taco bowl and flashing a thumbs up. “Happy #CincoDeMayo!,” the image is captioned. “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
Like so many things Trump has said and done throughout the course of his inflammatory campaign, his Facebook post and Tweet immediately sparked an onslaught of press – from outraged reactions to thoughtful pieces on his standing with Latino voters to fawning tributes to his Twitter troll game. The end result of all of these pieces was the same: A media landscape in which Trump has the smallest campaign budgets but dwarfs other candidates in earned media. A landscape in which, as Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman recently noted in a video for AJ+, “he get[s] this unfiltered pipeline into everyone’s brain and to your eyes and to your consciousness,” while “the rest of the candidates trudge from one state to another.” It is this pipeline that in no small part helped make Donald Trump the presumptive Republican presidential nominee this week – a possibility that seemed like little more than a joke just eight months ago.
At Remezcla, we’ve long grappled with how, as an outlet dedicated to elevating Latino voices, we can responsibly cover Donald Trump. We are not alone in this. Many of our colleagues in the Latino media world have struggled to remain neutral when faced with a man who has made anti-immigrant, anti-Latino sentiment a cornerstone of his campaign. It’s why Jorge Ramos got himself ejected from a Trump press conference, and has since led a strong push for the media to condemn Trump as a racist and xenophobe. When a candidate makes his way to the general election by broadly painting Mexicans as rapists and killers, vowing to deport all of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and claiming he will build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border funded by Mexico, we have a responsibility to speak up for the community we serve.
Unfortunately, I have come to feel that our Donald Trump stories – which have ranged from flippant rebukes to outraged editorials – often do little more than bounce away into the endless echo chamber of the internet. Trump has said horrible, morally offensive things throughout his campaign, and these words have led to tangible acts of violence against Latinos and people of color all over the country. We (along with plenty of journalists) have steadily condemned him. Yet he’s all but clinched the nomination not despite this stuff, but because of it.
For this reason, we’ve decided we will no longer be giving any space on Remezcla to Donald Trump’s grotesque sideshow. Instead, we’ll be using our platform exclusively to highlight the resistance, activism and mobilization of those working to oppose Trump – from the California high school students who won the right to wear “Dump Trump” T-shirts to school, to the Latino workers at the Las Vegas Trump International Hotel fighting to unionize, to the Latinx anti-Trump activists raising money by selling “Make America Mexico Again” hats.
We can’t ignore Trump as long as he is a part of this election – but we can take a stand. We hope you’ll join us. – Andrea Gompf, Editor-in-Chief
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