When politicians and pundits talk about how to address immigration, it’s always from the U.S. point of view. That’s why it’s important for people like Gael Garcia Bernal to bring their perspectives as a Mexican citizens to a wider audience. In his recent “Late Show”appearance, Bernal delved less into the political side of the argument and instead focused on humanizing people who choose to immigrate.
“The journey that these [immigrants] are doing is the most benign journey there is,” Gael told Colbert. “Because they’re trying to make their future better, which means the future of humanity.”
CREDIT: HAMILTON / CBS
“Immigration,” Gael added, “is a natural phenomenon — it’s the reason why humans still exist on Earth.” Considering the subject matter of the interview, Gael’s likable presence kept things from getting too heavy. However, Bernal hasn’t shied away from diving in deeper during other interviews.
In a recent interview with Thrillist, Gael expanded on what it means for Mexicans when they watch the rhetoric from this election.
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“There’s nothing more false than the United States being a victim of the world or being a victim of Mexico,” he told Thrillist. Garcia added: “It’s constructed on lies completely, and the whole world mocks that — but at the same time, we’re really worried about what the fuck is going to happen.”
But it wasn’t always that way, Gael explained to Colbert, that Mexicans didn’t take Trump serious at first.
Garcia explained his early reaction to Trump: “At the beginning, there was an ignoring factor, because it was like ‘Is this a joke? This must not be real. What’s going on?'” Colbert assured Gael, “That was the reaction here, too.” One thing to note, denial is the first form of grief, and Gael had no idea how much grief would come Mexico’s way in the form of Donald Trump’s agenda.
Gael told Colbert about the growing frustration Mexicans feel with how their government will act with Trump.
“The way that our government has treated that issue, the way that the hate speech that [Trump] has been spreading, something that our government in Mexico hasn’t done a good job of stopping […] So we are very upset about it.”
Back in August, Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s current president, met with Trump in a press conference that was widely hailed as a “public relations disaster.”
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Mexico’s President threw away his chance to confront Trump on several issues, but instead acted like an obedient lacky of Trump as the world watched on. Critics contended the event was a poorly orchestrated publicity stunt that hurt both men’s reputation.
Trumps comments are easy to condemn, but Hillary’s lack of comments hasn’t gone under Gael’s radar.
Hillary jamás defendió a los mexicanos en este debate. Ese silencio, de gran parte de ese país, es lo que tiene a Trump de candidato.
— Gael Garcia Bernal (@GaelGarciaB) October 10, 2016
CREDIT: GAELGARCIAB / TWITTER
Gael told Thrillist, “The Democrats are willing to remain silent in many ways. And that just blows my mind because then the narrative is established: It’s allowed to say that migrants are really bad and everybody sort of believes that.”
As election noise grows louder on both sides of the border, Gael’s message is to the point, “I think anyone that can give a rational explanation for why they’re voting for Donald Trump is a person that definitely doesn’t exist.”
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“It’s a very emotional vote,” Gael told Thrillist. “It’s a very irrational vote. The world is brokenhearted and some people are solving it through empathy and through a sense of common good, and some others are reacting to that brokenheartedness by creating resentment.”