‘¡Libertad y justicia!’ Latinx are calling for a change
Pre-COVID Election 2020 outreach: Mirna Orellana, left, a community organizer from the non-profit group We Are Casa, helps Karyme Navarro, right, fill out a voter registration form in York, Pa., on Sept. 30, 2019. | Will Weissert / AP

LOS ANGELES—Latinx are falling in love with voting. Getting out to vote is an exercise that carries so much truth and power. For Latinx, falling in love with voting means we are determined to protect our family, our neighborhoods, and create change for better and loving communities. Exercising the right vote is saying no to hate in our community. Voting is a powerful and beautiful community action and should be conducted with great pride and joy.

The Latinx community is standing up and proclaiming, “I’m voting to kick out the fascists. ¡Libertad y justicia for all!” This is the new rallying call for mobilizing Latinx for the November election.

Latinx, like many others in working-class communities, are tired of the attacks, lies, misinformation, the president’s racist attitudes, his inability to lead, his lack of compassion for the American people in crisis, and his simple-minded explanations for his decision-making. It is a clear case of a failure in leadership. This rallying call to vote is a direct reaction to this president and his administration.

Much of what the president seems to say nowadays is fabricated. There is another word for this. It’s called “trump-up.” Trump-up is an appropriate term to describe the president’s antics. The term is described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, to concoct, especially with the intent to deceive, fabricate, invent. He is simply a president who has not been successful, but claims otherwise. His administration has not been successful. They deny this. Unfortunately, all this is trump-up and will have a devastating impact on communities of color.

This narrow-minded, self-serving perspective by the president’s allies and supporters allows for the president to get away with his many failed policies, including his racist attacks on Latinx and other people of color. Those supporting the president are not friends to the Latinx community. They are dangerous and are a threat to our livelihood. Voting has become more relevant and important than ever.

There are those who want to suppress the vote. Many people within and outside the political arena want the Latinx community to believe that voting is somehow troublesome, threatening, intimidating, a very hard process to understand. Those who make his claim are fearful of all the positive aspects of voting in our democratic system. They are concerned about giving the power of the vote to others. The Republicans, for example, hope Latinx will stay home. They do not want Latinx voting. They are trying everything in their power to suppress the vote.

The Latinx community knows all too well what this means. Discrimination and voter suppression go hand-in-hand.

Divide and conquer is the agenda of the president and his administration. It has been since the beginning. Blaming people of color for the turndown in the economy, blaming immigrants for the coronavirus, acts of violence against people of color, marching armed secret police into cities, and suppressing the vote so people of color are excluded. While expressing the loss of white privilege, supporting white supremacists, criminalizing people of color, bringing back segregation, pushing a racist law-and-order policy. Divide and conquer is a desperate, but dangerous tactic that has been used over and over. Only this time it is being conducted as a reckless act of remaining in power by the president of the United States.

In Latinx communities, an uneasy and threatening feeling is circulating in the streets, a feeling that a rising tide of fascism is knocking at our doors. But at this time, conditions are set up that indicates there is one big miscalculation the president is making. People will resist every day, on every level, in any way now, until the November elections and beyond. The Latinx community has felt this type of oppression for a long, long, time. The developing maturity within the Latinx voting base understands that defeating this type of oppression can only be with the unity of all good people of conscience.

The Latinx community has made great strides, but there is so much more to do. It’s time to ask the question under what administration can the Latinx community have the best opportunity to advance a neighborhood community agenda and a working-class agenda. It will be difficult to push for full employment, equal education, health care for all, decent affordable housing, inclusion in all levels of society, economic equality, changing the culture to include respect and dignity for all, in any administration. This has been proven throughout our history. Considering these dangerous times there really is no other choice but to vote out the current president and his administration with the understanding that elections alone will not solve the nation’s problems.

Law and order?

One example is the issue of law and order. This has been an issue in the Latinx community for decades. It is viewed by many Latinx as a discriminating racial profiling policy, an excuse for the police authorities to conduct police abuse against the Latinx community. The new law-and-order activities currently being implemented by the president are viewed in the same way as in the past.

Blaming Black and brown people for a crisis in our communities manufactured by the president is creating tremendous blowback within the Latinx community.

Police abuse is nothing new to the Latinx community. For example, during the 1930s, the Los Angeles police red squad gathered information and framed many labor leaders, radicals, communists, socialists and their supporters. Yet the same police squad also targeted Mexican Americans for no other reason than being a minority living in the city.

History has shown us what community people have said for years. Arrest, beating, and abuse of community people is a common practice used by the various police departments. Because of Black Lives Matter, these historical and current cruel acts of discrimination and abuse are coming out more into light.

It is clear that experiencing police abuse throughout the community allows for intelligent decision-making in opposing the president’s policies on law and order such as deploying secret police into various cities, tear-gassing, beating and arresting peaceful demonstrators. It is not in the interest of the Latinx community to support the president’s law-and-order policies. As mentioned before, many of these policies have been and are used against the Latinx community and people of color.

The Latinx community knows exactly what it means when the president sends federal armed forces into the streets of a local community. It surely means the Latinx community is more at risk for such attacks.

Latinxs need to be vigilant and persistent in taking a strong stance against racism, inequality, sexism, and against any type of suppression (voting, economic, and social.) One way to accomplish this is to register, vote and remember that the Latinx vote is just as important as anyone else’s.

The president may have his supporters, but Latinx are part of a much more vital, inspirational social justice movement. Falling in love with voting and voting out the president, and taking back the Senate, could just save the Latinx community.


CONTRIBUTOR

David Trujillo
David Trujillo

David Trujillo is a member of the National Writers Union, a playwright, writer, and community activist.

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