By Javier Rodriguez Los Angeles 14 July 2015
“We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation,” Macy’s said. “In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.” From CNN News July 1, 2015
A MoveOn.org petition calling on Macy’s to sever its relationship with Trump had collected well over 700,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning July 1. It was Angelo Carusone, the executive vice president of Media Matters, who initiated the “Dump Trump” movement in 2012 to protest Trump’s “birther” theories about President Barack Obama who also initiated the Macy’s petition through MoveOn.com, the powerful progressive 5 million member online US organization, which astonishingly, in a matter of days collected almost ¾ million signatures. The activist media executive considers Trump is not just an opinionated and expressive communicator but also a reckless and destructive bigoted bully.
Well-deserved recognition should also go to UNIVISION and anchors Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos for being the first to spot Trump’s offensive and racist attacks on all Mexican people and their homeland and the first to drop the hammer on the previously believed “INVINCIBLE WHITE BILLIONAIRE.” The move to cancel the Miss Universe Pageant on their network momentarily brought him down to size but it was also seen by Latinos and the influential Latino media as a call to arms and it set the political fightback rolling. Mexico came in heavily with TELEVISA cutting all business relations including cancelling the Pageant and so did the official Miss Mexico Pageant headed by Lupita Jones. Then it was Mexico’s number two world billionaire Carlos Slim and his empire which dwarfed Trump. The petitions on Change.org by two Latino online activists which put on the pressure on NBC to also drop the Miss Universe Pageant went viral, gathering approximately 350,000 signatures. When NBC executives publicly broke and cancelled all business dealings with the real estate mogul, that was a signal the mainstream momentum was on. It was followed by Macy’s and you can bet the 700,000 MoveOn signatures weighed also heavily on NBC. The rest is well known, NASCAR, The Golf Players Association, yesterday’s announcement by the huge LA Unified School District cancelling their golf tournament in Palos Verdes and we also had a lineup of Latina of show business stars which diplomatically thanked the bigot for awaking and unifying Latinos nationally. It was a victorious moment.
But beware, another real empowerment battle began last December when 26 far right Republican Governors obtained a federal judicial stay, which halted President Obama’s 5 million people immigration relief dead on its tracks. By May 19, a day before the historical program was to begin, Latinos and the Justice Department Civil Rights Division had lost three battles in the realm of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The fourth battle of the Texas Vs DAPA-DACA Executive Action was heard in the New Orleans Court last Friday July 10. By all indicators the three judge panel will rule against us and because this court is considered the most reactionary and activist circuit in the country, the Justice Department Civil Rights Division will appeal to the Supreme Court, where the 55 million Latinos and their Undocumented American brethren, will have a better opportunity to wrest a portion of their 29 year quest for justice, freedom and democracy.
DO YOU SEE THE RIGHT WING JUDGES CONTINUING THE SERVILE POLITICAL DIRTY WORK FOR THE REPUBLICANS? THE WHIFF OF XENOPHOBIA IS CLEAR AND SO IS THE WRITING ON THE WALL, UNLESS A POLITICAL ONLINE MIRACLE RISES.
The roots of racism and xenophobia between Trump, the far right, the Republican Governors and their judges are the same, except that Latino leaders and the liberal and progressive communities primarily pointed their cannons on Donald Trump, with over a million petition hits online plus the corporate cancellations and media hype. But notice he’s still running strong. If our stars are thanking Donald for the gift of unity, from an ultra-conservative perspective, his caustic remarks have emboldened the country’s ultra-right, which still dominates Congress and his popularity is skyrocketing, pushing him to the top of the polls and maintaining him in the national discussion.
On the other hand however, the petitions to push the conservative judges to rule for immigration relief and also channeled through Change.org or the LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office link, have yet to go viral.
I believe trumping Donald was imperative. Undoubtedly his public anti Mexican and anti-immigrant racism strategically vented on the first day of his Republican presidential candidacy has unified Latinos from all walks of life, not only in the US, but also Mexico and the rest of the continent. But just as important was dumping on the federal judges who are doing the dirty political work for the Republicans, holding hostage the future of 5 million Undocumented Americans and their families. In a way, Trump’s entry unto the presidential race is like a ruse, a political diversion and therefore the sequestered 5 million people victory of November 20, 2014 the real empowerment, will have to wait another year until the Supreme Court takes it on. Unfortunately, the mega suffering of millions of families will continue.
However as the old saying so incisively points to, “The show is not over until the fat lady sings.” I believe there may still be time if UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO-NBC, LATINO REBELLION, Presente.org, MoveOn.Com and Change.org could all take on the 5th Circuit Court before the conservative dominated panel renders its ruling. With the Latino, liberal and progressive unprecedented momentum against the white racist billionaire, a 1-2 million petition directed at the other reactionary bastion could be mounted in a short period of time and it may, it just may change the political correlation of forces in this historic judicial battle. Javier Rodriguez is a co-founder of the March 25 Coalition and Millions of Voices Coalition