Monday night’s Donald Trump visit reinforced something for me that I have known for some time now, but it has been hard for me to prove to people. El Paso is anti-Mexican and many times anti-immigrant. I know what many of you are thinking, but El Paso is 80% Hispanic, how can it be anti-Mexican. Others are thinking that El Paso is a Democrat-controlled town and the Democrats want “open borders” and support the plight of the immigrant. Let give you the proof that last night demonstrated.
Let’s start with defining the word “Mexican”. Often, the word “Mexican” is used to signify an American citizen of Hispanic, usually of Mexican-origin, but nonetheless is an American citizen. Therein lies the disconnect for many people.
I am a Mexican citizen and thus I consider myself a “Mexican”. Everyone that is an American citizen is – an American citizen. Whether their heritage is Mexican, Hispanic or Latino does not matter because they remain an American citizen.
So, why does Monday night prove that El Paso is anti-Mexican?
Regardless of what you believe, or what cable television channel you subscribe to, I believe we can all agree that America is divided between 30-40% of the population strongly in support of The Wall and/or Donald Trump’s national policy agenda. While the rest generally opposes him.
We also know that El Paso leans strongly politically towards the Democrats. El Paso is a border city heavily dependent on its coexistence with Cd. Juárez. Yet, through all of this, El Paso was only able to muster about the same number, some say less, people as Donald Trump’s “Finish the Wall” rally.
El Paso should have mustered at the minimum a two-to-three turnout against Trump’s rhetoric of hate.
It did not. It failed miserably.
Yes, I’ve heard varying counts on both sides, but even the most optimist turnout numbers doesn’t show a two-to-three ratio.
I understand that some will argue that people are busy and don’t have time for politics. We see this all the time through the lackluster voter participation.
But this is an important issue that affects El Paso.
Some El Pasoans have been indignant that Trump dared to say El Paso was one of the worst crime-ridden cities in the nation. Where was that indignation on Monday night?
Some of you are thinking that Monday’s failure does not prove El Paso is anti-Mexican.
Let’s examine more evidence.
Austin, the capital of one of the reddest state’s in the union proudly stands with immigrants with action, not empty words. They happily proclaim themselves a “sanctuary city”. The governor of California has ordered the National Guard away from the border. SB-54 makes the State of California, essentially a sanctuary state. Orlando just enacted a law to protect immigrants when they encounter the police.
Those are actions, not simply empty words.
El Paso, on the other hand, is not only not a sanctuary city, but the County of El Paso happily jails immigrants for the federal government because it keeps jobs in El Paso.
Cha-ching El Paso has no problem taking blood-money to pretend it has a vibrant community economy.
When I lived in El Paso, it was a constant stream of jokes about Juárez drivers, the “FrontChih” plates. How dare you speak Spanish to me attitude of many service professionals. If I had a penny for every time, I was told México is a “third-world” country, or a “cesspool”, or the most annoying one of all, how corrupt the country is, I’d not only be a millionaire, but I’d also be zillionaire!
A few days ago I shared my podcast about my unhappy experience of the night-club Aceitunas telling me Mexicans weren’t allowed. It must have struck a chord by the number of downloads. (link)
I will be doing more podcasts about my experiences in El Paso where I was treated differently because I am a Mexican citizen. I will even share stories that because of my ability to speak English, many did not realize that I was a Mexican citizen. Interesting to hear firsthand what people say about Mexican citizens when they think none are around them.
After a few years I realized that it is what it is, and I just had to take it.
But here is the thing, many El Pasoans don’t even realize how hurtful and destructive their discrimination is because many grow up thinking that Mexican citizens aren’t equal to them or have the same pride in themselves as they do. So, they continue with the jokes of “FrontChihs” or the other side of the border is where the drug traffickers reign free.
But, but El Paso loves Mexican food! It is the capital of Mexican food in America!
That’s the exact same thing as a Donald Trump, “build The Wall” die-hard supporter donning a stupid sombrero, drinking themselves under the table, while eating guacamole dip for Cinco de Mayo, México’s independence day, according to many gringos.
I understand that not every El Pasoan is anti-immigrant nor anti-Mexican. I have many dear friends in El Paso. I’m married to an El Paso lady.
But the undercurrent of the constant berating of Mexican nationals in El Paso by government policy and by people grates over time to the point where it causes you to rethink the choice to live in El Paso.
The proof is there to acknowledge for those who wish to see it.