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.
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.
The “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.
In 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.
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?”
Her 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.