Things That Matter

Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Made Me Second Guess My Choice To Get My Master’s Abroad But I Persist

This Election Day I watched in disbelief as the candidate who I thought had no chance clinched the presidency of the United States. I was in China completing my second master’s degree as a Schwarzman Scholar when the polls closed. As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, tears ran down my face as I thought about what the results could mean for my family and me.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Donald Trump vowed to rescind DACA on day one. I took his word and returned to the United States before his inauguration. I had been paroled six times into the United States, entering through five different cities. My level of anxiety was higher this time because of the vitriolic rhetoric directed at “illegal” immigrants like me during the presidential campaign. My heart raced as the customs officers summoned me for questioning. That moment I understood that I had grown complacent as the inspection process became routine to me.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

DACA brought stability to young lives marked by uncertainty, emancipating over 750,000 dreamers like me from the threat of deportation and allowing us to gain legal employment. For many of us, DACA also became the push we needed to rise above the limitations imposed by our immigration and socio-economic status to accomplish extraordinary things. Propelled by curiosity and a desire to improve myself, I sought a place in academic programs that took me to ten different countries in four continents in the past three years. I have visited iconic sites like the Great Wall Of China, the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, and Big Ben in London.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

I have walked on the same grounds as Aristotle in The Acropolis of Athens, the birthplace of democracy. I basked in the grandeur of the Forbidden City of China, a place rarely seen by people for four hundred years. I walked the same cobble streets as Isaac Newton once did, and I enjoyed three-course meals draped in traditional college robes inside centuries-old buildings as a student at the University of Cambridge. As I traveled, I often thought about the improbability of my position. I felt the weight of my privilege when I thought about the thousands of students who applied for these opportunities and of the many more who did not. Yet, here I was.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Reentry into the United States was never guaranteed. I knew I was taking an enormous risk every time I boarded an outbound flight. However, the thought of the impact I would be able to have on the lives of those less privileged empowered with the experiences, knowledge, and relationships I would gain abroad filled my spirit with courage.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

It is now clear that we have entered a new political environment. President Trump’s executive orders are already taking a toll on immigrant and refugee families. Could DACA be his next target? Forget the detrimental economic impact on the nation if DACA is repealed. The intangible impact of repeal is equally as important. We are no longer children. We are young adults with the capacity and the desire to positively contribute. Without work authorization, what are we to do? Continue accumulating college degrees in hopes of one day being able to put them to use? President Trump and the congressional Republican leadership must cease mercilessly playing with our futures.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Being selected a Schwarzman Scholar was the culmination of a lifetime of academic preparation and persistence in the face of linguistic, financial, and legal challenges. Now I am confronted with the choice of continuing my hard-earned education in China or risk losing my life in the United States. As frustrating as this situation is, it is not unique for me. Like other undocumented students, I have had to take detours on my path to realizing my dreams. Nothing has been easy or given to me. This is no different. The familiarity of this situation does not make it any less frustrating. With or without DACA, we must not desist demanding a permanent place in this country. The alternative is simply inconceivable.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

The recent protests in support of refugees and immigrant families have strengthened my conviction that, despite the actions of the president, the majority of Americans believe that we belong. The fight for American’s soul is only beginning. For my undocumented friends still in the shadows, now it is not the time to hide. We must do our part to support those at the vanguard of this struggle by organizing ourselves and giving others the strength to do the same through the power of our stories.


READ: My Name Is Cindy. I’m Undocumented. I Can Make A Difference.

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

Things That Matter

The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

@BillCorben / Twitter

Readers of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald noticed a racist and anti-Semitic insert in one of the latest editions. The column in the insert compared BLM activists to Nazis while talking down about the Jewish community.

The Miami Herald recently published a racist and anti-Semitic insert.

The offensive piece, written by Cuban exile Roberto Luque Escalona, received harsh and immediate backlash. Escalona expresses his displeasure for the Jewish community and those seeking racial justice by joining BLM with one column.

“What kind of people are these Jews” writes Escalona. He then continues to “teach” Jewish people the history of the Holocaust and claims that BLM supporters are worse than the Nazis during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, because the Nazis simply destroyed things and didn’t steal.

The newspaper has apologized for the insert going so far as to admit that it was not properly vetted and that “internal failures” were at play.

According to an open letter, higher ups at the Miami Herald admit to the insert not being read and vetted by the staff. The obvious overlook led to a 40-page insert of right-wing propaganda to be distributed to the readers of both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Since the publication, the Miami Herald claims to have ended their relationship with Libre, the insert with the racist and anti-Semitic content.

Those responsible at the Miami Herald admitted to not reading the insert before it was distributed.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” reads part of an open letter to readers. “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing. It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

Readers are outraged that the newspaper would allow such offensive things to be published and distributed.

The right-wing conspiracies pushed by Libre are part of a larger Spanish-language disinformation campaign targeting Cubans in southern Florida. The community has been inundated with disinformation ahead of the 2020 election preying on the fears and ignorance within the staunchly conservative Cuban community.

“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘deep state’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University, told Politico. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”

The disinformation is targeting Cubans because of the growing Latino communities who tend to vote Democratic.

According to Politico, the campaign is Cuban specific. The Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Dominican communities in Florida, which continue to grow, typically vote Democratic. These shifting demographics have left Republicans doing anything it takes to keep a strong hold of the Cuban community, even by means of racism, anti-Semitism, and disinformation.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

Culture

Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Latinos for Trump has long been a confusing organization in the Latino community. President Donald Trump has built his administration and brand to be squarely against people of color. Now, the Latinos for Trump group caused a stir when they posted a collage of flags that are not quite right.

Latinos for Trump really thought they had something when they posted their Hispanic Heritage Month collage.

The first, and most obvious mistake, is that the Mexican flag is backwards. The flag is supposed to be green, white, and red in that order. As we can all see, the collage has a Mexican flag that is red, white, and green. The eagle is even facing the wrong way so someone literally flipped the flag the wrong way.

Of course, some people tried to make sense of the bizarre Mexican flag snafu.

Last year, the Trump administration announced that it was cutting aid to three countries in Central America. The countries were El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Fox & Friends picked up the story but told their audience that Trump was cutting aid to “3 Mexican countries.” Perhaps this Twitter user is right and the Latinos for Trump are trying to suggest the existence of other Mexicos.

Someone else pointed out the issues with the Guatemalan flag in the top right corner.

People are very defensive about their cultural heritage and national origin. Messing up someone’s flag is a very serious issue for people. Just ask a Cuban or Puerto Rican about people confusing their flags. It is never a good thing.

Some people fixed the image for them so the organization can see what it should have looked like.

Good, clean lines with all of the flags facing the right way. The creator even changed the message in the middle for the Latino community. It is clear that social media is still willing to show up and teach a couple of lessons here and there.

Others had a more direct message for Latinos for Trump.

We all know that social media is where things go to be manipulated and made fun of. It is very important that if you make something for social media that you take good care to make sure that you check all of the right boxes and execute your work right the first time.

READ: In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

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