Trump’s recent pardon of racist asshole Joe Arpaio crossed a line for me, in terms of how I look at the fact that there are Latinos who inexplicably continue to support him. Up to this point, Trump’s racism, xenophobia and general-assholery has been obvious to anyone without blinders on, but I could always see how self-hating, ignorant Latinos could find a way to look around all of that and think “Trump’s my guy.”
When I think of what goes through the mind of Latinos who are pro-Trump, I think about, of course, the familiar escape mechanisms. When Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” he was talking about illegals, don’t you know? If you’re an American citizen, he’s not targeting you. When he degrades disabled people, women or Muslims – well, if you’re not one of those people, and completely lack empathy and decency, I can see how you wouldn’t care. I can understand how some conservative Latinos might think that when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” he’s talking about an America that fully includes them. Which isn’t true, but I get how a person can be deluded into thinking so.
But, unless a person is completely ignorant of what exactly landed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in violation of the law, I don’t understand how certain Latinos can not only silently accept the brazen racism-acceptance of Trump’s pardon, let alone continue to wear their dumbass MAGA hats and vocally support it.
The list of egregious human rights violations and affronts to decency that Arpaio committed is a long one, but for most of them, if you weren’t an inmate in one of his jails or an illegal immigrant, I can see how you might not particularly care. After all, Arpaio was only being a monumental dick to incarcerated criminals or people who weren’t American citizens, right? I guess in some people’s fucked up mindsets, those people deserve to be treated as shittily as possible, so who cares?
But Arpaio was also guilty of targeting and detaining people who were merely “suspected” of being in the country illegally. If you’re Latino, THAT POTENTIALLY MEANS YOU, ASSHOLE. I suppose if you have features that allow you to pass for a Caucasian, which many Latinos do, you might not think it’s you. But ultimately – yes, it still is. Because as much as you might not want to think so – at the end of the day, after all of the darker people have been harassed – they will come for you next, once they realize that you are of Latin heritage. You will never, ever fully “fit in” with the racist, conservative white people you want so badly to be. As much as you might hope, you’re not one of them. You are only fooling yourself into thinking so.
Of course, you could simply be a glutton for punishment, and actually enjoy being treated like a second-class citizen. In which case, hey good luck. But if not, ask yourself, what the hell happened to you in the course of your life, that made you such a self-hating sellout who wants so badly to be accepted, that you would continue to support racist assholes like Trump and Arpaio? One thing that the age of Trump has really exposed is the degree to which people can delude themselves – into thinking they aren’t racist, for example. But it also includes people who fool themselves into thinking that Trump really gives half a shit about them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. This is no better exemplified than by Latinos who think Trump and his supporters view them as equals.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons