I seem to be something of an exception. According to my demographic, I should have voted for Trump, and not given it a second thought. After all, 80% of white voters did, including white evangelicals.
However, my interaction with the Charlotte, NC Hispanic community has seasoned my politics. I have learned to speak Spanish, and I specialize in teaching English to Spanish-speakers. I also teach a weekly bilingual Bible class.
For me Latino folk, documented or not, have names, faces, families and value, along with many interesting personal stories of courage and faith.
So while respecting the right of each citizen to vote their conscience, I cannot help but to be reflective…
In 2014 I chronicled the migration of young people from Central America through Mexico to the United States. I did not realize that later I would actually have the opportunity to help some of these students to learn English. A high school nearby had unexpectedly received over thirty Hispanic adolescents who spoke Spanish only. I dedicated one afternoon a week to these students, who were desperate to get an education and stay out of Central American drug gangs.
I recall a writing exercise which included the question: “What do you like best about the United States?”
The young lady to my left at the table inquired in Spanish, “¿Cómo se dice segura? Her words brought chills.
Segura. Safe. “How in English do you say safe?”
President-Elect Trump has promised to roll back all Obama executive actions within days of taking office. This will leave vulnerable the 700,000 Dreamers — nearly life-long residents of the United States who came out of the shadows in order to register under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Obama’s DAPA program, designed for undocumented parents will likely be repealed, and mass deportations are clearly in view.
Donald Trump’s anti-Hispanic rants are now legendary — yet were deliberately ignored by almost half of us. So how do we explain our “selective ignorance”?
For the rust-belt people, it was a choice to accept vague promises to bring manufacturing jobs back and to ignore a clear attack upon Hispanic and other residents.
For those concerned about ObamaCare problems came the promise to repeal and replace– more unlikely than the passage of the Affordable Care Act to begin with. So, we choose to hate ObamaCare and kick out the immigrant.
For those determined to pack the Supreme Court with “conservative justices” leading to the repeal of Roe v Wade, it should be remembered that five of the six Republican-appointed justices voted for Roe v Wade. But we ignore history — and how unlikely is the actual reversal of Roe.
So, shall we cling to a possibly false hope of somehow protecting the unborn, and then destroy productive American families with their young born US citizens?
For those of us who just can’t forgive Hillary for the sins of her husband over 30 years ago, have we just elected a known racist who openly brags of “grabbing” women? And one who, by the way, built a campaign attacking the character of decent Hispanic (and other) immigrant families who just want to raise their children to be loyal and productive US citizens.
For those of us who wish to interpret Hillary’s technological incompetence and admitted poor judgement around her emails as a desire to somehow destroy the United States, will we gleefully kick at any US citizens that President-elect Trump might identify as “other”, and in doing so actually violate the US Constitution and our own history?
So for now, the deed is done. More often than not, we have done it in the name of the Lord.
¿Cómo se dice segura? No sé, mi joven amiga, no sé.
How do you say safe? I don’t know my young friend. I don’t know.