Donald Trump came to New Mexico last week to stir up racism within our immigrant and Latinx communities in an attempt to make political gains.
It’s particularly disturbing for him to be visiting New Mexico and talk to “Hispanics” when just a month ago a white supremacist, fueled by Trump’s own racist rhetoric, killed more than 20 Latinx people at a Walmart in our sister city of El Paso. His visit to New Mexico came with this racist, xenophobic hate that cost so many lives.
Even though Trump did condemn the attacks, not taking responsibility for the hate speech that led to them while actively preaching it, is a total disregard for humanity and our Latinx communities, and we don’t want it in our state. Our New Mexican Latinx community is diverse. It includes immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ families, the same families and communities that have been the prime targets of his discriminatory rhetoric. We deserve better.
Neither Trump nor his inhumane ideals and policies are welcome in New Mexico.
Learning that the Trump campaign is hiring a state and regional political director, as well as field crews in New Mexico, means we can’t sit our upcoming elections out. Our communities rejected the racist politics and rhetoric of Trump and Republicans that are killing and deporting black and brown communities in 2018, and can do it again. We did this by electing champions like U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland and defeating anti-immigrant politicians like Yvette Herrell.
It can be anticipated that Trump will lose in other states he won in 2016, so perhaps he’s coming to New Mexico looking to add our state’s five electoral college votes to his pocket by empowering racist views in the state. We won’t allow it.
Voting and actively participating in elections is our most powerful tool to fight back against Trump and his racist administration. Yes, people need to vote, but this also includes our undocumented, immigrant and refugee communities actively engaging in elections as well. Those who can’t vote, can advocate. We should ensure we’re engaging with voters by knocking on doors and making calls. There is more than one way to make our voices heard in political elections.
Our power comes from the unity in our community and our commitment to continue to organize people to vote and remind Trump he is not welcome in our diverse and welcoming state of New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment has a long history of welcoming immigrants into our state and society, and it’s a tradition our communities will continue to fight for.
Eduardo Esquivel is a Mexican immigrant and UNM graduate.