By Herma Baca / President of the Committee on Chicano Rights
“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left, to speak out for me.” Pastor Martin Niemoller, German anti-Nazi theologian.
After the presidential elections, I received phone calls from persons in San Diego, Tijuana, Los Angeles, Fresno, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, etc. asking me four basic questions:
- What I thought about Trump being elected President?
- Why & how was Trump elected?
- What will happen to us?
- What can we do to protect ourselves?
Some callers expressed concern, fear, dismay, alarm, horror, panic, & terror. Others simply stated, “I am going to arm myself & defend my family!”
Some of the comments were: “Now I know how the Jews felt when Hitler was elected!”
Another person: “Today I see white people differently.”
A Vietnam War veteran: “For the first time I don’t feel like I belong in America”
A young mother: “What’s going to happen to my children?”
After thinking about these questions and concerns, I knew that the election of a racist, white supremacist Donald Trump as President would pose one of the gravest historical crises we as a people would have to confront since the end of the US-Mexico War in 1848. There are 60 million U.S. born & legal residents, 39 million of them persons of Mexican ancestry, 20 million Latinos, & according to genius Trump 30-34 million “illegal aliens.” I started to think, if fascist Trump & his ilk are attempting to shut down the news media, I better say something while I still can.
The first question people asked: what I thought about Trump being elected President?
My first reaction after being in the Chicano movement close to five decades was: “This is what we have come to?” Then, as I have always stated, “White people are crazy, but not stupid” — until now when they elected Trump, a billionaire, psychopath, sexual predator, racist, demagogue, misogynist, con artist & fascist as President of the US. Isn’t it crazy or stupid to elect someone (Trump) to head the world’s most powerful country, give him the codes to the nuclear arsenal, knowing he has never served one second in public office? Would the Chargers pick a quarterback that never played football?
To me the 2016 presidential election was not political, but personal (nobody calls my father a rapist). What about Trump & those who voted for him? My position is the same as before, “Pa’ pendejo no se estudia.‘” And then there’s Winston Churchill’s quote: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
Also, do the Brits know something we don’t? First, Churchill’s above quote & then an article from the British Independent News (11-09-16) commented on the Trump election. “The US, despite its wealth and resources, remains one of the most ignorant countries on earth. One American adult in five believes the Sun revolves around the Earth, two thirds can’t name the three branches of government, and more than half don’t know which parties control the House and Senate.”
As to the second issue of why and how Trump was elected President? Simple. In my political opinion, the 2016 presidential election was not about traditional politics but WHITE SUPREMACY & DEMOGRAPHICS.
The political facts are: Trump got elected President by appealing to America’s shrinking white supremacists that are shaking in their boots due to changes in the U.S. Not just the traditional KKK Southern “Billy Bob” rednecks types, but the so-called “average” White Americans who elected Trump President. Both sexes, all ages, educational levels, and from mid and higher income levels.
Consider the 2016 election facts. Voter breakdown for Trump:
- Whites 69% of total voters, 58% voted, white men 63%, white women 53%. Non-college-educated whites 67% total, men 72%, women 62%.
- College graduates men 54%, women 45%, & young person’s 18 to 29 year-old 48%.
- Include phony & hypocritical so-called Christians White Protestant Evangelists 66% & White Catholics 48%.
Those “good Christians” voted with full knowledge of Trump being thrice married (so much for what God has joined), the owner of casinos with strip clubs, and a ‘First Lady’ that proudly posed in the nude. Their hypocritical preaching that the U.S. is a Judeo-Christian nation & the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control has been exposed for all people to witness.
The majority of the above white vote for Trump was due to his demagogic promise to, “make America great again.” The “last gasps” of whites attempting to turn the clock back to the 1950’s. A time when whites were 89% of the population, white supremacy & privileges were king, segregation the law of the land, KKK ruled & public signs read, “No Mexicans, Ni&$*r’s, or Dogs allowed.” Minorities were all in their “place.” Blacks got hung for looking at white women. Mexicans were in the fields, women in the kitchen, gays in the closet and Native Americans on reservations. To Trump’s supporters, his “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” language didn’t matter if white supremacy/privilege would be preserved. In my opinion, if Daffy Duck would have run the same campaign as Trump, Daffy Duck today would be President of the U.S.
Many persons have asked, what is white privilege? Simply put: the social, economic & political ideology that determines who lives in La Jolla or National City, who goes to Harvard or Southwestern College, who owns an $800 thousand home & who rents, who accumulates wealth & who is poor, who’s treated with respect (whites) & who gets shot by police (blacks & browns), etc.?
The other main political factor rarely discussed in the election of Trump was …demographics! Consider in 1950 (U.S. Census) America’s white population was 89%; by 2016 it had dropped to 63%. In 2011 the census reported more minority babies were born than white babies. Then the census projected that demographics would regulate U.S. whites to a minority population (48%) status by 2045.
Historians have concluded that demographics is destiny, as evidenced by what happened to Native Americans when Europeans arrived in the Americas. So who then are the so-called minorities that white Americans fear? One only has to remember Trump’s first words when he announced his candidacy for President. Immigration (code word for Mexicans) followed by a declaration of war against 60 million U.S. persons of Mexican/Latino ancestry in the U.S. Then also the 123 million in Mexico, 46 million Central Americans and 422 million South Americans. He said that Mexicans were “rapists, murderers, and drug dealers,” and that he would build a great, great wall on the southern border that Mexico would pay for. Finally, he wants to deport 11-12 million mainly Mexican (8 million) so-called “illegal aliens” from the U.S.
Herman Baca is a resident and business owner in National City and the longtime President of the Committee on Chicano Rights.