Obama’s Great DNC Speech Doesn’t Mean He’s Still Not “Deporter In Chief”
“The American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.”
President Barack Obama delivered the final speech at the penultimate night of the Democratic National Convention. His address was meant to unify his party after a highly contentious primary process, and be a symbolic passing of the baton to Hillary Clinton, the new de facto leader of the Democratic Party. It was beautiful and truly moving. So much so, in fact, that several Republicans got salty, saying that this should’ve been their speech:
Text just now from a senior House Republican who gave me permission to tweet this: “We were supposed to make that sort of speech."
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 28, 2016
Will a Trump apologist explain to me why an 18 yo watching the conventions would want to be a Republican? We're giving away a generation
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) July 28, 2016
There were a lot of moments during Obama’s beautiful sermon that truly moved me. One line in particular nearly brought me to tears. “The American Dream is something no wall could ever contain,” Obama, the Great Orator, told the packed crowd. It was a clear rejection of Donald Trump’s hateful and anti-immigrant/anti-Latino rhetoric. It’s too bad that the line was as hypocritical as it was moving.
Great speech, but that doesn’t change Obama being “Deporter In Chief”
Vox’s Ezra Klein went off on Twitter after the speech, praising Obama for all that he’s done, calling him one of the most consequential Presidents we’ve had:
Obama is legitimately one of the most consequential presidents in American history: https://t.co/M72zAAT9Zf
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) July 28, 2016
He’s right (Obamacare, marriage equality, saving us from financial disaster, etc.), but consequential doesn’t always mean “good.” One of those significant consequences is the breaking up of thousands of families through deportation. Yes, Obama did give us DACA, but that still doesn’t change the fact that Obama is on pace to deport more undocumented immigrants than the previous 19 presidents COMBINED. (Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to nearly 3 million undocumented individuals.) So, no, perhaps a wall can’t contain the American Dream, but Obama and ICE certainly can — and have.
Obama’s familiar with the term “Deporter In Chief.” Jorge Ramos has called him that to his face. The National Council of La Raza has done the same thing. It’s a well-earned title. After all, he’s not just going after immigrants with a criminal record — the kind Donald Trump is using as an example to scare off old white people — he’s also going after families and children. Even worse, he’s going after children while they’re on their way to school! Yes, Obama, this is as much part of your legacy as making it easier for millions of people to get affordable healthcare.
Democrats need to do better. Just speaking Spanish isn’t going to cut it.
Ever since Hillary Clinton picked Tim Kaine to be her VP running mate, the media won’t shut up about how this is gives them a huge advantage with the Latino community. Yeah, it helps, especially with older Latinos who still watch Univision or Telemundo, but speaking Spanish alone doesn’t really mean as much as people think it does. (After all, you can speak Spanish and still be an awful piece of sh*t.)
The point is this: The Democratic Party has done the bare minimum for the Latino community, especially in terms of immigration, the one issue they seem hellbent on making into OUR issue. Comprehensive immigration reform is part of Clinton’s platform — and Tim “Daddy” Kaine will be her point person on this — but that’s just a promise, which doesn’t mean anything. In 2008, Obama made the exact same promise and nothing has come of it.
The Democrats are hoping that Donald Trump’s saying blatantly racist things will be enough to get your vote. (It’s hard to argue against voting for the candidate that doesn’t think you’re a rapist or a drug dealer). But don’t make it easy for them. Call them out. Be skeptical and doubtful. Don’t let Clinton and her supporters forget that she supported the building of a border fence in 2006, or that she said that Central American kids escaping violence should be sent back. Sure, politicians can evolve on the issues — which does appear (hopefully) to be the case with Clinton and immigration reform — but the best way to make sure that people deliver on their promises is to hold their feet to the fire.