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Candidate Trump, Dallas and the view from the Street

Growing up in Texas certain things are a staple: field trips to The Alamo, Friday Night Lights, Selena…and of course politics. This is a touchy topic in most households, but even more so for Latinos.

But first, let me clarify: I am speaking as part of the next wave of Latinos in leadership and by no means do I consider myself an expert on politics. I am, however, an expert on being Latina in Texas.

So when I heard GOP front-runner Donald Trump was coming to Dallas, I knew I had to do my civic part and protest.20150914_163607

Monday night, there were just about 20,000 people filling American Airlines Center in support of Trump and his ideals. For that story,  you can tune into another channel. I am here to tell you the other story you won’t hear.

The voice of the thousands of people outside, protesting.

As the late Summer sun blazed high in the Texas sky, the temperature wasn’t the only thing rising outside the Cathedral; tensions were high as we all gathered and waited for the march to begin.

IMG_2278The “Rally Against Hate” or “Dump the Trump” rally (as dubbed by media) was organized with the support of local Dallas attorney and civic leader Domingo Garcia, as well as the North Texas Chapter of LULAC.

Activist from Black Lives Matters were also present to lend their support and solidarity, as one of their representatives said “we cannot do it alone, we need to do it together, black, brown, all stand together against discrimination.”

It was inspiring to see people from surrounding Texas cities gathered to hear State Rep Roberto Alonzo speak, as the diverse crowd – old and young alike – readied themselves for the march.

20150914_171808In the mix of speeches and chanting, organizers steadily made their way through the crowds, registering people to vote and answering questions on polling station information.

As we marched on and the sun began to set, the route went by like a slide show – one scene of residents with signs, waving; the next rows of stoic officers, keeping the peace. Pinatas and Police. And Unity throughout the entire route.

Chanting “USA, USA, USA” as we closed in on the American Airlines Center, there was an unspoken message, growing as we drew closer. We wanted to show  those people inside that, we too, are part of America and this is also our America as well.

Once we arrived, the priest gave a prayer and they began to play the National Anthem…I couldn’t help but tear up.20150914_173749

As a proud El Pasoan, I thought of Ft.Bliss, of all my friends who have served in military; I thought of my friends who don’t care, of those who make jokes about politics, and then I thought about the children.

At one point a little girl next to me turned and asked her mom, “What will we do if Mr. Trump is elected president? He hates Mexicans and we are Mexican, does that people will hit us and be mean?”

IMG_2291Her mother turned and said, “That’s why we are here and that’s why we have to vote.”

It was a simple child’s view but it made me ask the same questions of myself. I can’t imagine being that young and having that worry and fear.

Marching in the protest wasn’t about right wing or left, it was about having a “tomorrow” where ALL are treating equally, so we must take those first steps today.

 

 

About Yolitzma Aguirre

A little about me, I am a proud El Paso, TX native. Previously I traveled across the country telling stories of rising Latino leaders. Currently, the nation’s capital is home, where I will tell new stories…but always keeping El Paso in my heart.

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3 comments

  1. I agree with about half of what you say. Trump would make a dangerous president. But I whole-heartedly believe he will be defeated. However, I dislike when Latino groups take the us versus them mentally. The message of, “This is our America as well,” is a bit disconcerting. Trump ‘s stand on illegal immigration is not an attempt to silence the Latino voice. In fact he foolishly believes he can win our overall vote.

    As far as the little girl is concerned, this illustrates an idea in our community that if you take a strong stance against illegal immigration, you must harbor some prejudice against Latinos as a whole. She likely didn’t arrive at the conclusion that Trump hates Mexicans all on her own. This fallacy is constantly perpetuated and sensationalizes a stance that has nothing to do with hating Mexicans. Why is she scared, because her family has chosen to allow it. They didn’t put her at ease, they said we have to vote. This may mean that they believe it as well.

    • That is unfortunate. I’m sorry that you and many others had to deal with that. It is disheartening. I truly hope that those spewing this rhetoric are a small but vocal majority. You most definitely succeeded in giving us a perspective we could not have from here in El Paso. This city sometimes shields us from this type of reality.

      I don’t want to believe that the political climate as a whole is shifting in this direction. I want to believe that the vast majority view political discourse as a free exchange of ideas intended to better our country. We won’t always agree with one another, and reasonable people can disagree. However, there will always be idiots on both sides. The man who told you to, “Pack your bags” just happens to be one of them.

      Trump has definitely changed the political landscape. I agree with some of what he says, and do feel that it is healthy to have these types of debates. I do want to thank you for putting yourself out there and giving us an insight as to what really occurs at these events. The protests over building a downtown ballpark here at home don’t have the intensity that this one had. I also appreciate your response. Most don’t take the time to have an honest and civil discussion with someone that doesn’t agree with them. Stay safe out there Yolitzma.

  2. We have many Donald Trump supporters living in the west side and at the time they are silent but they live among us considering that El Paso is 80% Hispanic you can see it in their face that they hate us.
    Yes Donald Trump directed his hate speech at Mexico then toned down his rhetoric and started to include
    immigrants from central America, the problem is that many Caucasians don’t like us regardless of what side of the border we were born on.And to add insult to injury many Hispanics are also republicans and agree with what Donald Trump says, just saying that hate is an American thing and we are lucky that we live in El Paso.
    To us it’s all sticks and stones.

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