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writing for godot

The Latino Threat Narrative

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Written by Arturo Tha Cuban   
Tuesday, 08 January 2019 13:31

Tonight Donald Trump will announce that there is a crisis at our southern border (there isn't) and he will likely declare a state of emergency. A baseless declaration with the intent of stoking fear among those who wouldn't know any better.

Let's not mince words here.

This is white supremacy at work.

There is no crisis just as there was no invasion. Immigration is something I've studied for over two decades. We are seeing historic lows in regards to migrants coming to the United States. Especially at our Southern border. The data is there and it's easy to find.

In fact, I did an entire series of articles on this very topic at the end of 2018 that were published via Latino Rebels. The series focused on hateful rhetoric while attacking the key points that racists have been using to create fear and loathing of migrant people. There is nothing happening at our Southern border that warrants such language.

NOTHING.

The language Donald Trump uses is not new. The United States has seen this before starting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The same coded language has been used extensively throughout our history and it became more and more common as time went on. It's so common that Leo R. Chavez began referring to it as the Latino Threat Narrative in the late 1990s. His study of the use of such language is extensive and has been cited thousands of times.

Now that narrative is being used by a narcissistic man-baby who wants to try and build a monument to himself. We haven't seen such nonsense since the sons (and daughters) of the Confederacy started erecting monuments to those who fought on the wrong side of the Civil War. He's using the same language that was used during the Reconstruction Era of the United States to demonize freed slaves leading to some the worst atrocities the United States has ever seen. Frankly, it's disgusting.

The Trump administration continues to lie by stating that as many 4,000 terrorists have been apprehended at the Southern Border. I could sit here and unpack the myriad fallacies of that statement, but we all know it's a damn lie. Plain and simple. These people are shameless and we all know why.

Donald Trump knows he's losing his base over his trade policies, tariffs, and the government shutdown. His advisors, including the blatantly racist Stephen Miller, have been advising Trump that he can get them back if he would follow through on his promise of building the wall. Even if Mexico won't pay for it.

Do you really think his base thought Mexico would fork over billions of dollars for the wall?

Do you really think they care if taxpayers foot the bill for such a useless monstrosity?

Of course not. They knew that the American people would be stuck with the cost and it doesn't bother them one bit because it doesn't affect their everyday lives. If the cost came out of their paychecks every week, we might be having an entirely different discussion.

They don't care about having to pay for it any more than they care about the migrants who have died in CBP custody over the last two years. The art of dehumanizing a people has already taken its toll. Migrants are seen as criminals, rapists, and even terrorists. They are talked about as if they are animals not worthy of being housed in a dog house let alone a cage.

The truly sad part is seeing and hearing American citizens talk about other human beings in such a way. Don't get me wrong, some of these people actually believe the crap that comes out of Trump's mouth, and others know he's lying and don't care. Either way, it's a travesty.

The real crisis at our Southern border is the one created by this administration and every other administration that came before Trump. Previous administrations laid the groundwork to make what Trump is doing possible. Many of you may not want to hear it, but that's the reality. Now Trump has taken the baton and is pushing United States immigration policy to its limits. The history is there, you just have to look it up.

The biggest problem we face is discussing the facts of the matter. The truth. It's amazing how fast hyperbolic nonsense spreads on social media while the truth gets stuffed down behind all the noise from lies and made up "news" stories. It's as if no one wants to discuss the truth and instead we have chosen to react to the lies.

We have to change the narrative. The time to take over the conversation and be heard is long overdue. We have to start leaning into the hateful rhetoric and be willing to knock its teeth out. If we continue down this erroneous path, we are giving hate the power to win. I for one will not stand by and let that happen without a fight.

You can count on that.

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