By Herman Baca / President of the Committee on Chicano Rights (CCR)
On January 20, 2017, Russian elected Donald (grab them by the p#$%y) Trump, the epitome of white privilege (no experience needed), who many believe was illegally elected, will be sworn in as President of the U.S. A young mother spoke to the fears, deep concerns, uncertainties & consternations of 60 million Chicanos/Latinos/Mexicanos by asking; “What’s going to happen to my children?”
Trump a billionaire, psychopath, sexual predator, racist, demagogue, misogynist, con artist & fascist, answered that question when he announced his candidacy for President on June 16, 2015. In campaign mode, Trump’s political narrative was similar to German Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler. He expressed his white supremacist political fascist philosophy/ideology & what he intended to do. Hitler like Trump told the world exactly what he intended to do. Unfortunately for the world, few in Germany believed him, as is now the case with Trump in the U.S.
During Trump’s campaign, Women, Afro-Americans, Native-Americans, Asians, POW’S, Muslims, handicap, Gays, & the news media were all attacked, but as adversaries. With Mexicans, Trump declared open war & tagged Chicanos/Latinos/Mexicanos as the U.S.’s, public enemy number one. Using Mexicans as his political piñata, Trump scapegoated & demonized our people to white Americans as criminal “rapists, murderers, and drug dealers.” Repeatedly he called for construction of a wall along the southern border (but not the Canadian northern border) that Mexico supposedly will pay for, and the deportation of 11-12 million mainly Mexicans (8 million) so-called “illegal aliens,” from their ancestral lands. On CBS’s 60 Minutes he bragged he would immediately deport three million “criminal immigrants.”
Many naïve persons in our community still question if Trump intends to carry out his draconian anti-Mexican policies. In my mind, there is no doubt he will. Why? Because after Trump is sworn in as President, he will get his hands on every law enforcement agency in the U.S. The military, CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Border Patrol (“La Migra”), state militias, & local police departments. After he does, Trump’s campaign rhetoric of demonizing & criminalizing Mexicans will become “law.”
So what will happen to us? Power respects power and if 60 million of our people organize massive political resistance against Trump, little or nothing will happen. However, if we do not resist, then persons of Mexican ancestry i.e. citizens, legal residents and undocumented will suffer the same historical oppression & violations of our rights as past generations. Oppression that has historically been documented with the 1930’s “Mexican Repartition,” 1940’s “Bracero Program,” & 1950’s “Operation Wetback.” All racist Gestapo-type operations (to the present day) have been part & parcel of the U.S.’s white supremacist history.
The histories of the above anti-Mexican programs are as follows:
- 1929 “Mexican Repartition” was caused by the Great Stock Market Crash that plunged the U.S. & world into an economic depression. White Americans and organized labor blamed Republican President Herbert Hoover for causing the economic crash. To stifle political criticism, Hoover scapegoated Mexicans. The government’s rationale was if Mexicans were repatriated it would free up jobs for “Real Americans” (whites) and save money. California, in 2005 passed an official “Apology Act” (SB 670) regarding the unconstitutional removal and coerced emigration of United States citizens and legal residents of Mexican descent to Mexico.
- California’s estimated two million people of Mexican ancestry were forcibly relocated to Mexico, approximately 1.2 million born in the United States. The 1920 U.S. Census listed the U.S. Mexican population at 1,286,154. After the “Mexican Repartition ethnic cleansing,” Mexicans were not counted in the 1930 Census, until the 1940 census.
- 1940’s “Bracero Program” was created to address the manpower shortage caused by WW II. Supposedly a wartime measure (World War II ended 1945) the program proved so profitable for agribusiness that it remained intact until 1964. In those 22 years, the U.S. brought in an estimated 5 million Braceros to plant, harvest & pick America’s food. Democratic President Harry Truman deported 3.4 million Mexicans as troops returned home (1945-53) after the war.
- 1950 “Operation Wetback,” Republican President Ike Eisenhower launched the derogatory military program in 1954 that officially deported 2.1 million Mexicans, out of a population (1950 U.S. Census) of 3,231,409.
- 2009-17 Democratic President, Barack “Deporter in Chief” Obama deported 3.2 million Mexicans, more than any Republican administration.
Will history repeat itself again? It is almost a certainty under a Trump administration, especially if political resistance is not organized by us.
However, in 2017 there are differences, which did not exist in the 1930’s, 40’s or 50’s. The main one: white America today is a deeply divided nation. Less than half of American voters elected President Trump, with Clinton winning the popular vote by 3 million votes. Also, Trump has a minority political mandate to carry out his political agenda.
The Chicano/Latino/Mexicano population is close to 60 million. The main historical political difference in 2017 is…DEMOGRAPHICS. If politics is a game of interest, white Americans then voted for billionaire Trump out of fear to protect their white supremacist interest/privileges. Most Believe naively, that he will magically stop whites from becoming the minority population & will turn the historical clock back to the 1950’s — to “Make America great again.”
What is politically surprising is Trump’s elated advisors, such us dye in the wool white supremacist, Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, KKK’s David Duke, Nazi Party & hypocritical so-called evangelist “Christians” etc. have ignored raising the DEMOGRAPHIC issue. Especially when white fear of DEMOGRAPHIC change is the main reason for Trump’s presidential victory. That a DEMOGRAPHIC change is taking place in the U.S. is self-evident. In 1950’s (U.S. Census) the white population was 89%, in 2016 63% & by 2045 whites will be the minority (48%) in the U.S. From 2024 to 2060 the white population will decrease by 20.6 million, & 56% of whites will be 65 years or older. On the other hand, the nation’s so-called minorities will comprise 57% of the majority population by 2060. Chicanos/Latinos/Mexicanos (median age 27 years) today number close to 60 million & will increase to 128.8 million or 33% of the U.S. population by 2060.
To Trump’s “basket of deplorables,” you have won power & for the next four years you can attempt to enjoy your white supremacist anti-Mexican party. Build your stupid wall. Violate our peoples constitutional & human rights & hypocritically deport workers who pick & cook your food, baby sit your children, take care of your elderly parents, landscape, & contribute to your social security, etc. But remember the old proverbs, “blood is thicker than water, be careful what you wish for, you might get it & not like it, & what goes around, comes around.”
So then, “What’s going to happen to us,” as we confront the greatest historical crisis in the U.S. as a conquered people?
Historically if DEMOGRAPHICS is destiny, then the question will be answered by our own self-determination? As a people we have withstood centuries of oppression & have endured. As Cesar Chavez used to say; “the oppressors have the watch, but the poor have the time.”
However the major question confronting the U.S. is; what will happen to Women, Afro-Americans, Native-Americans, Asians, Muslims, handicap, Gays, and others under a Trump Administration?
Herman Baca is a resident and business owner in National City and the longtime President of the Committee on Chicano Rights.