Are Mexicans more hated than blacks by the extreme right?
Let’s just cut to the chase with these Republicans and ask some blunt questions: Is being Mexican or Mexican-American the new black? Have they replaced African-Americans as the people to hate?
The rise of Donald Trump — and his emergence from the 2016 Republican clown car to become heir apparent to the white nationalist movement — is a case in point. The real estate mogul turned reality show star and politician created a stir when he suggested that undocumented immigrants — or “illegals” as the GOP base refers to them — were criminals, rapists, drug gangs and the like.
Trump then called for the mass deportation of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, played up the need for a border fence, and called for a repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment — which grants birthright citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., regardless of the citizenship of one’s parents.
As the Southern Poverty Law Center has noted on their Hatewatch blog, the white nationalist movement is now energized and behind Trump. His anti-immigrant stance is signaling that he is the real thing to the radical right, and he is gaining support from the white supremacist website Stormfront and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Calling Trump the “best of the lot,” Duke said “Trump is really — he’s really going all out. He’s saying what no other Republicans have said, few conservatives say. And he’s also gone to the point where he says it’s not just illegal immigration, it’s legal immigration.”
As Hatewatch noted, Trump supporters are beginning to call for the murder of immigrants. In Boston recently, two white men beat a homeless Latino man with a metal pipe, urinated on him and told the police, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”
Trump humiliated and disrespected Univision anchor Jorge Ramos at a press conference, ordering the journalist — who has dual Mexican and American citizenship — out of the room. “Go back to Univision,” Trump told Ramos, which to Latinos is racist and really sounds a lot like “go back to Mexico.”
In anti-immigrant Alabama, 30,000 people came to see the Republican presidential candidate at a pep rally, complete with a shout of “white power” from the crowd. The turnout was so great you would have thought Trump was giving out free guns, whiskey and Confederate flags.
And when conservative columnist Ann Coulter introduced Donald at an Iowa event, she said, “I love the idea of the Great Wall of Trump. I want to have a two drink minimum. Make it a big world-wide tourist attraction and every day live drone shows whenever anyone tries to cross the border. I have not had this much hope for America since November 7, 2012.”
Donald Trump is the monster the Republican Party and Fox News created. The anti-immigration, anti-Latino fervor among the GOP base comes at a time when the party can least afford it. Trump is the face of the GOP, that raw racism stripped of all its subtleties and code words. Since the 1960s, the Republicans have won elections by appealing to racist white folks’ fear of black people and resentment over the gains of the civil rights movement. Wasteful government programs and welfare queens, tax increases, affirmative action, Willie Horton — all were assigned a black face and became replacements for the n-word.
The right always needed an enemy to channel the anger of poor, uneducated whites who want to take their country back. These days, the preferred enemy has a brown face and speaks Spanish. Add to that xenophobic hate group activity which has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. The GOP has aligned itself with these extreme racists, including NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, who said “good Americans” in the border states need semi-automatic weapons because “Latin American drug gangs” have invaded U.S. cities and turned Phoenix into “one of the kidnapping capitals of the world.”
In a country where a majority of the children born today are black and brown, Latinos are the largest “minority” group in America. And their voting power is growing, with an expected rise to 10 percent of the electorate in 2016. According to one analysis, even if the Republicans captured 60 percent of the white vote, which hasn’t happened since 1988, they would have to win at least 40 percent of the Latino vote in order to capture the 2016 general election. And considering Mitt Romney only did half as well among Latinos with his relatively moderate stance of “self-deportation,” does anyone really see that happening this time around, or ever?
And with talk about “illegals,” “border babies” and “anchor babies,” anti-Latino racism has infected the GOP. Not only has this turned off Latinos but white voters and others as well.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove