There have been so many “last time” in our lives that we never paid attention too. Often we take things for granted, like the last hug we got from a child, a spouse, or a parent. Or something said that lasted a lifetime.
A pastor once told me that I didn’t belong in his congregation; I hurt for a long time. But one day I realized that his judgment of me had nothing to do with my belief in my Church, in my God. And in all honesty, I can say today that I am glad he told me that because his words did not push me away. On the contrary, they brought me closer to the Church and to the realization that the pastor needed me, as stepping stone, to demonstrate who he thought was in charge.
We are at a cross point in our history as a nation, at a fork, where we have to realize who we are as people. We stopped at this fork once before, but it would take almost ninety years and 640,000 deaths before we got there, and we made the right turn. So we thought.
It has been 165 years since the Civil War, and another 644,000 men and women have died for our liberty and freedom, yet we continue to neglect the reason for division among us which is not entirely different from the one in 1865. Selfishness.
Our ego is our worse enemy; our self-inflicted blindness is our deterrent. It would take another ninety-nine years after the 13th Amendment for blacks in this country to be almost free of fear of injustice, prejudice, hate and discrimination, the 1964 Civil Rights Act. An another forty-three years before we elected the first President of color or a mutt as he calls himself, a minority nonetheless. Progress.
According to Tim Clark, Trump’s California Campaign Director, Donald Trump is in Northern California; today in the Bay Area and tomorrow in Tulare County, our backyard. Both appearances are to raise funds for the Republican National Committee (RNC) which supports and distribute funds among Republican candidates. Visiting and fundraising in the Bay Area today is a testament on how concerned Republicans are in keeping the majority. San Francisco is home to RNC Committeewoman and Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party, millionaire Harmeet Dhillon, and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; it is a battleground for money at its best!
But, I find Trump’s visit to an area represented by Republicans most interesting. The Central Valley is home to GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and GOP Representatives Jeff Denham, Devin Nunes, and David Valadao. But it is also home to the largest population of undocumented farm workers in the country. Mr. Trump announced last week that he would be unveiling his amended views on illegal immigration, and what he plans to do about it. On Meet the Press yesterday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that Trump “will build and complete the border wall,” that his stance on immigration has not changed. “You are not going to have a pathway to citizenship with Donald Trump,” Priebus reaffirmed. One thing remains clear to me: Support of McCarthy, Denham, Nunes and Valadao for Donald Trump remains high, and he will need all of them to put his immigration policy on wheels. They need each other!
Trump’s demagogy and defamation of Mexican nationals, the largest Hispanic nationality among Hispanics in the United States, can only take me back to the struggle of blacks since the beginning of our nation. Yes, we Hispanics, cannot even imagine the pain, suffering, and degeneration inflicted to blacks in America. But at this fork in our history today, Hispanics are confronted with a sense of not belonging, of inhumane treatment and verbal abuse by a citizen who is seeking to uphold the highest office in the land. How can an elected official or candidate who aims to represent his fellow citizens support Donald Trump?
We are at a fork in our history. We can either choose a path that leads to desperation, uncertainty, fear; inequality, seclusion, and control of religious freedom or we can choose a stable one. Yes, the stable one is far from perfect, but it represents what we have been striving for these last 165 years. It has been a road with millions of potholes but together we have made a much better union than the one in 1865. We have always driven over many potholes on our the way, but we have always avoided foreseeable sinkholes. The Trump Ticket is foreseeable; we have been warned.
** Al Moncada was a lifelong Republican until recently. He is the former Chairman of Republican National Hispanic Assembly in Los Angeles and a former CA Republican Delegate. He has served as Hispanic Advisor for several campaigns in recent years including CA Lungren for Governor, Bush/Cheney 2000, and Jeb Bush 2016. Mr. Moncada was a Hispanic Advisor to many local Republican Leaders including former CA GOP Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen and CA CRP Chairman Jim Brulte. He has written many articles on immigration reform, and he has called for the Republican Party to be inclusive, not divisive.