By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 17, 2015: Donald Trump and Chris Christie’s immigrant deportation plan and rhetoric is definitely emboldening their GOP conservative White base and leading to a new wave of anti-immigrant actions.
Recently, I wrote about two men in Boston who took Trump’s call to deport “illegals” to heart and beat a homeless Hispanic man while telling him to go back where he came from. Last week, in North Carolina, a civics teacher placed a handful of student-made posters opposing immigration outside her class room.
The teacher, Jesse Reeck, according to the Asheville Citizens-Times newspaper said the posters made by students, were “a reflection of what we see today on the news in the presidential campaign and in the world around us.”
Congratulations Trump and company! Now you’ve managed to plunge the divisive knife of hate into the heart of students at the Clyde A. Erwin High School on the outskirts of Asheville that is notably diverse with a Hispanic body.
Yet a student-made sign posted read: “Illegals Go Home” while a second one contained the words “America is for Americans.”
The signs did not go so well with many Hispanic parents who were outraged even as Reeck, a bi-racial teacher, apologized and cried and begged for forgiveness at a school meeting.
But the apology isn’t going so well with parents like Valeria Gamez who insisted: “School is supposed to teach knowledge, not hate. That’s not okay.”
This as Joshua Ramirez, a 2014 Erwin High graduate, insisted: “We’re not going to let this go at all. We’re just all fed up and this is a time for change, for our change.”
Erwin High principal Jim Brown meanwhile has said it is not the intent of the school to discriminate against any kid even as Buncombe County Schools board chairwoman Ann Franklin, which oversees the school, suggested that more training for teachers and other employees is the way forward.
So who is “training” the GOP Presidential hopefuls who are fanning this atmosphere of detestation and abhorrence in the United States against immigrants?
Perhaps it’s time they are given a refresher course in history and reminded that unless they are Native Americans they are also descendants of immigrants.
Further, the Mexico bashing is not helping given the history of Mexico and the US.
Most of the southwestern US had been a part of Mexico. This included the Mexican territory of Alta California, the southeastern strip on the Rio Grande which had been part of Santa Fe De Nuevo Mexico and east of the Rio Grande which had been part of Mexican Texas.
When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, Mexican Texas was part of the new nation. To encourage settlement, Mexican authorities allowed organized immigration from the United States.
That’s right – Mexican authorities allowed organized immigration from the United States!
Let’s remember that it was the Mexican Cession of 1848 that allowed the now southwestern United States to become U.S. territory in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The Mexican Cession amounted to 915,000 square miles of the total area of the current United States, which means Mexico lost 55 percent of its pre-1836 territory in the Treaty.
History is a great teacher and one that can help break the chains of ignorance that separates us. Let’s take a lesson from history and make the 2016 election “a time for change, for our change,” as Joshua Ramirez so artfully summed it up.
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.