One proud Chicana slam poet is not going to let Trump get away with his comments about Latinos, and she’s even got a little history lesson for him.
Meet Mercedez Holtry:
She’s a poet who often tackles issues surrounding identity and Latinidad, like in this piece about the assumptions made based on her name and background, or this about the stereotypes associated with being a woman. She’s also tackled the duality so many of us embody in an interview with Spit Journal:
The term Chicana has influenced my poetry by allowing me to identify with a story of intersectionality. It has not only made me conscious of my roots as a mestizo, but it has opened up my eyes to the beauty of being a woman who embraces that identity and the ramifications that come with it. To be both woman and Mexican American is not always the easiest thing to be, but it’s a beautiful process in my eyes and writing about it is gratifying in so many ways.
So it’s no surprise that Holtry would have a thought or two about Trump’s rhetoric on Latinos. As soon as Holtry begins her poem with “Dear Donald Trump”, you know things ARE ABOUT TO GET GOOD.
Holtry quickly reminds Trump that she can read between the lines of his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan and his vow to build a wall: brown people are not welcomed and must be kicked out.
But she is quick to remind him that Latinos and our ancestors were here first:
“What I want to know is, who the f*** taught you history, Donald?”
She then goes on to say the Southwestern border was once inhabited by the Aztec and Mexica, “indigenous peoples who were then enslaved, raped, and murdered by white men who kind of look like you.”
Holtry then lists events and eras Trump probably skipped in history class, like colonization, imperialism, the Zoot Suit Riots, SB 1070 in Arizona, and a few others. She mentions how textbooks often depict Latinos and Chicanos as savages or freeloaders, often overlooking the constant struggle to assimilate to a country that was originally theirs to begin with.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of her poem is when Holtry tells Trump, “you just called out an empire much bigger than your own.”
She continues: “Just remember Mr. Trump, the flood is coming now more than ever. And we, us ‘wetbacks’, are in fact the river. And the river is ancient and the river runs deep, and the river will take no prisoners on election day.”
Holtry ends her poem by foretelling what election day will bring: many Latinos banding together to make sure Trump does not get elected as the 45th President of the United States.
Watch her entire electrifying poem, below: