Donald, Latinos already trumped your hateful speech.
When I heard The Donald’s speech trampling the most basic sense of humanity and respect, referring to my Mexican compadres and comadres as a bunch of criminals, I couldn’t help but feel both speechless and incensed at the same time.
I personally took offense because I think he was using “Mexican” as a way to denigrate all Latinos, myself included.
Then through CNN I learned that I was not alone in my approach -Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente pulled out of participating in Trump’s Miss USA pageant: “I was very excited and proud to have been invited to participate in Miss USA, but as a Latina, that is now inconceivable. Although I am not Mexican, I am Puerto Rican and a proud Latina, and his comments were an insult to our culture. I won’t sponsor anything produced by Donald Trump.”
Cristian De la Fuente, who is Chilean, said in a video posted on TMZ : “Mr. Trump, as a Latino, I can not work at an event that is associated with your name.” He went on to call Trump “ignorant” and “a clown.”
“I am Puerto Rican and a proud Latina, and his comments were an insult to our culture.” Roselyn Sanchez made it personal and inclusive at the same time -I feel that she spoke for most of us. I’m not surprised –she and Cristian expressed the feelings of thousands of Latinos for whom they represent a strong social and public reference.
Being attacked by this bigot Trump could be a great opportunity for Latinos to look into ourselves and express who we really are, by understanding first where we are coming from, our journey.
Sanchez and de la Fuente’s broad and inclusive idea of what it means to be Latino reminded me of El Museo del Barrio of NYC, originally a Puerto Rican institution that evolved to become a hub for all Latino artists.
In looking at El Museo, I found myself digging into its rich DNA searching for a purpose that would update their brand in this current iteration.
Perhaps the Manifesto that I wrote a couple of weeks ago with El Museo brand in mind could come handy now for the Latino brand to keep this conversation going.
Thank you Donald, you’re already making Latinos stronger.
A Latino Cultural Manifesto
We believe that diversity and inclusiveness are not a goal but a journey.
In this part of the Americas we are known as Hispanos or Latinos.
Our skin tones conform of our own special rainbow –we go from white to black, yellow and brown.
Our ancestors come from Tainos and Caribes to Mayas and Aztecas; from Bororos to Canelas, and Carajás; from Incas to Huarpes, Mapuches and Patagones. In our foundations we worshiped ancient gods and built monuments that today are the cultural heritage of humanity.
We are the offspring of the original peoples who had been living in the Americas for hundreds of years BC, mixed with the Europeans, the Africans and the Asians that conquered, migrated, were brought in, and settled over a span of almost six hundred years.
While our roots are old and deep, our hearts and minds remain young; and our drive to influence the world is restless.
We believe in Pachamama, Jehovah, Christ, Allah, and Buddha; we practice Candomblé, Umbanda, Santería, and Voodoo; and we also believe in the Universe that we try to live in sync with.
We mainly speak Español. But we also speak Portuguese, Creole, Patois, Chibcha, Quechua, Guaraní, Nahuatl, Zapotec, Mixtec and many more languages.
Our short stories, our poetry and Magic Realism novels have inspired the entire world through books and movies; our art is hung in homes and galleries outside of our borders, and stands proudly in international museums; our music is enjoyed, danced to and sung by people that don’t even speak any of our languages.
Our culture is rich and layered, and represents who we were, who we are and hints, somehow, at who we can become.
We believe in the power of inclusiveness –both our art and culture are a living proof of that.
And in our diversity we are one.