Translated by Marvin Najarro
In the United States, the issue of racism and xenophobia is not new; the North American Native Peoples say it was used against them by the invaders, while carrying out the biggest genocide in history and later when they were confined in prisons to which they gave the name of reservations.
The thousands undocumented Chinese who were used to build the San Francisco Bridge could talk about the issue of racism. Afro-descendants could speak about the time of slavery, and the invasion of the African continent. They could talk from the prisons, the parks, public spaces, associated sports, factories and universities. Thousands of testimonies could be given by farmhands, braceros, domestic workers, and bricklayers. An issue that goes hand in hand with labor exploitation of those who do not have documents.
It is not Trump’s exclusive policy; it is systematic, because while Obama was walking to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, the police was murdering blacks in the streets of the country. While Obama spoke of unification, reconciliation, respect and humanity, his administration deported undocumented immigrants by the thousands.
But from Obama’s government to Trump’s something has changed, and it is Trump’s appeal of terror, the fascist and macho verbiage that has encouraged the racists who are not only Caucasians but anyone who believes himself superior, including Asians, wealthy blacks, Europeans, right-wing Latin Americans; fascists in general.
And these individuals are everywhere: they are teachers, nurses, doctors, farmers, fishermen, road workers, parents, athletes, church-going people, judges, lawyers – thousands of faces and different social conditions, and where a poor racist feels superior to an undocumented person of the same economic conditions.
Trump’s racist rhetoric against undocumented Latin Americans has flourished in the United States and fascists are increasing their attacks on those whom they, by mere imagination, believe are undocumented. We have been attacked, questioned about our legal situation in the country; singled out, and harassed by anyone who feels himself an immigration agent and owner of this land stolen from the Native Peoples.
White sympathizers of the Ku Klux Klan rear their heads anywhere, discriminating, insulting and terrorizing the undocumented Latin American population. And the same happens with police and immigration agents who go out on hunting spree in any of the countries’ states – as “sanctuary cities” are nothing more than an illusion.
In Trump’s government the policy of terror is working. If before Trump, the undocumented Latin American population struggled going from home to the workplace, and vice versa, in the present administration it is worse; the paranoia, psychosis and the stigma have marked those who have reached this country to save their lives and find sustenance.
In Trump’s era even the gentle wind is distrusted, nobody knows who will call immigration because hatred and racism. It can be a co-worker, the school teacher, the doctor or the nurse who attended in emergencies; the social worker; it can be the bus driver, the train conductor; it can be anyone in whom Trump’s fascistic ravings have borne fruit.
The hard part of all this, is not the issue of the racists and their harassment, it is the passivity of that other part of the population that does not do anything about it and chose instead to turn a blind eye to this kind of inconceivable abuse.
Unfortunately, this is not happening only in the United States where there is a Ku Klux Klan, but also in Latin America where there is a colonized mind.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado