[lg policy] Rash of hateful incidents leaves Latinos feeling miserable

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon May 28 11:28:29 EDT 2018

   - me immigrants as animals, at the White House in Washington, May 16,
   2018. Trump on Thursday said that he had been referring to members of the
   Photo: Doug Mills / New York Times
   *2* of 2
   A demonstrator protests Aaron Schlossberg, a lawyer caught on video
   ranting against Spanish-speaking restaurant workers.
   Photo: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

For Latinos trying to survive the Age of Trump with their dignity intact,
the hate just keeps on coming.

Americans can’t make up their minds whether they want to appropriate Latino
culture or stamp it out altogether. One minute, everyone in the country is
going loco for Latinos; the next, they’ve just gone plum loco.

It’s time to take inventory. I don’t want to keep you here all week, so
let’s focus on 10 incidents only from the past several months.

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•Columnist Ann Coulter told radio host Lars Larson that putting the
National Guard on the U.S.-Mexico border won’t be enough to stop immigrants
from crossing it unless “they’re going to shoot one and send a message to
the rest.” Message received: Coulter is a ghoul.

•Bragging about his deportation record, President Trump told a delegation
of California officials: “We’re taking people out of the country. You
wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are
animals.” The next day, Trump claimed he was referring only to MS-13 gang

•White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that undocumented immigrants
from Latin America do not assimilate very well because they are often
poorly educated and “overwhelmingly rural people” who “don’t have skills.”
Of course, much the same thing was said about Kelly’s Irish ancestors.

•Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren came to Kelly’s defense and insisted that
welcoming immigrants with “low skills” and “low education” who speak
foreign languages is “not what this country is based on.” Quite right. It’s
more accurate to say that low-skilled immigration is what this country was
*built* on.

•In Havre, Mont., at a gas station near the U.S.-Canada border, two women
were singled out and questioned by a Border Patrol officer who suspected
they were undocumented immigrants. The probable cause? The women were
speaking Spanish. Both are U.S. citizens. So linguistic profiling is a
thing now?

•At a Starbucks in Southern California, a young man ordered a white mocha
and an iced caramel macchiato. The word “Beaner,” a racial slur for
Latinos, was on the labels attached to his drinks. Starbucks apologized and
said it is investigating the incident. The company has a Venti-size image

•An angry white lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was caught on video berating
two women for the sin of speaking Spanish at a New York deli. He threatened
to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He later apologized and
claimed that he is not racist. Sure. He just plays one in videos.

•An Albertsons grocery store in San Diego ran afoul of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission after allegedly subjecting Latino employees to “a
hostile work environment.” What caused the hostility? The employees were
speaking Spanish. The company said in a statement that it has no set
language policy. Remember when being bilingual was an asset?

•Fox News host Tucker Carlson invited Cesar Vargas — an undocumented
immigrant and lawyer — onto his show and bullied him. Carlson told Vargas —
who wants to become a U.S. citizen — “I’m an American, and you’re not. I
don’t think you should become a citizen.” Could we take a vote on whether
ugly Americans should be able to keep their U.S. citizenship?

•In Georgia, Republican gubernatorial candidates targeted Mexican
immigrants. State Sen. Michael Williams campaigned in a “deportation bus”
adorned with a message: “Danger! Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child
molesters, and other criminals on board.” Another candidate, Secretary of
State Brian Kemp, has bragged he owns “a big truck just in case I need to
round up criminal illegals and take ’em home myself.” Georgia is famous for
its peaches, but these jokers seem like lemons.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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