Donald Trump exposes fans' bigotry
I don’t know whom Donald Trump has been socializing with so I have no idea why he brands Mexicans as criminals.
Trump chose to bash the nation that lost much of its territories to the United States’ fulfillment of “manifest destiny” or its self-proclaimed divine calling to expand throughout and beyond the continent.
The billionaire has made his way onto headlines since announcing his candidacy in next year’s presidential elections. And promptly propelled himself to the top of the heap of Republican challengers to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the race for the White House.
You’d think the guy who last year shamelessly traded schoolyard-type insults with entertainer Rosie O’ Donnell would take the high road in his stab at this country’s highest office, but no. Instead he picked on our neighbors south of the border, lumping them all as miscreants, accusing their government of dumping "rapists...drug dealers" into our country.
To be accurate, Trump qualified his reference to “illegal” immigrants from Mexico and he did say “maybe some of them are OK.”
Clearly you can’t buy class. Or humility. How about brains?
Oh but arrogance? Hate? Well within his alleged $8-billion fortune.
His tirade triggered a barrage of reproach from the Spanish-speaking world and also exposed his closet acolytes.
Trump just verbalized what everyone’s thinking, someone declared at a recent party I attended that was totally fun until too much wine loosened lips and revealed secret prejudices.
The commentator meant himself, of course, adding he would not vote for anyone who would "support illegal immigration."
Ah, but there’s little old Philippines, opening its doors to 3,000 “illegals,” interjected another guest, who should have known that his homeland was merely complying with the UN Convention on Refugees by welcoming the Rohingya people fleeing persecution in Burma.
The subject of the unwanted reminded another guest that Cat Stevens had been deported from the United States for being a suspected terrorist. As if it was breaking news.
The singer now known as Yusuf was deported all right, but that was in 2004, as he was en route to Washington from London. Apparently authorities thought his name was on the no-fly list but later realized the singer’s name was spelled differently. That was just three years after 911, hence the hyperparanoia.
Two years later the 1970s icon traveled to the United States unmolested, but his deportation is what sticks in memory. In 2008 he recorded a song about the incident with most uncontroversial colleagues Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton, whom he was supposed to meet when deported.
Known in the UK as a humanitarian and education philanthropist, Steven Demetre Georgiou took the name Cat Stevens when he began performing and then Yusuf Islam when he converted. He penned “Father and Son,” “Moonshadow” and “Wild World.” His dreamy “Morning has Broken” is a favorite of peace advocates.
But guess what, said the one worrying about his homeland giving haven to refugees: That song is being sung in Catholic churches, he chortled, which means “we’re actually singing a Muslim song at a Catholic Mass.”
If the inspiring lyrics and glorious melody lift the spirit, what could be so wrong about Roman Catholics singing: “Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning born of the one light Eden saw play.”
“Praise with elation, praise every morning God's recreation of the new day.”
Only an atheist would object.
No doubt Yusuf (he has dropped the surname “Islam”) is a devout Muslim. I would surmise that like most of Allah’s believers, he prays for peace.
He spoke of “heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people” the day after what he called “this sorrowful moment.”
“No right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action,” he said in a statement of sympathy. “The Qur’an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity.”
I don’t know if my friends can distinguish ISIS from thousands of God-fearing peace-loving Muslims that horde has massacred this last year.
These friends are well-educated individuals who will not miss a day of obligation and declare themselves as “Christian.”
They are people dear to me for their loyalty and sincerity.
What I don't love is their bigotry: How can I separate that from their virtues? How can they be kind to me but unkind to others?
These are folks like me, born elsewhere who found new purpose here, while the U.S.-born fan of Trump is married to an immigrant. That we did not break laws to be part of this nation is no excuse to disparage those who do not have family to petition for them to unify or a company to sponsor their work visa. Because we have been blessed, we should be able to empathize and not judge.
I’m not sure if they think their faith legitimizes their diatribes against those who do not share their beliefs. Or along Donald Trump's view, those who seek refuge in this country.
Indeed, an undocumented man deported six times to his native Mexico found his way back to San Francisco and on July 1 fatally shot a young woman walking on the pier with her father. With a gun a federal agent had reported stolen while left in a vehicle.
But every population has its many shades of good and not. There will always be those who are productive and cerebral, constructive and compassionate, as well as those like the undocumented shooting suspect, Donald Trump and his fans.
Trump is a bully preying on the powerless. He does not deserve attention, not even of Mexicans, and this space would be a waste had he not exposed the bigotry of some of my dearest friends. – Rappler.com
Cherie M Querol Moreno is a keen observer of the evolving Filipino American community in the San Francisco Bay Area, subject of her 30 years of reporting for and editing Filipino American publications. She founded and directs the family violence prevention nonprofit ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment and sits on the San Mateo County Commission on Aging. 'Unbound' is her long-running column which will now publish regularly on Rappler.