The Trump administration proclaimed Nov. 1, a day that honors Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, will now also be known as the National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens. The date overlap is something I, and surely others, find extremely disrespectful.
This is not to say United States citizens who have been killed by undocumented immigrants are not deserving of a day of remembrance. Their deaths are all too tragic.
Yet, I feel the proclamation date was calculated and a direct statement to Mexicans in the U.S. It seems as though President Donald Trump specifically picked the one day, out of all 365 days, where Mexican culture is more visible inside and outside of the country to highlight instances where Mexicans may have committed crimes.
The day is one of celebration and remembrance of friends and family members who have died that has been celebrated for centuries. National Geographic gives insight in an article into all that the holiday means and describes different elements of it.
Considering the volume of deaths the world, let alone North America, has experienced this year, Trump’s actions are insensitive and disregard the positive elements of an entire culture and its people.
Pew Research Center cited, “Mexicans are the largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 62% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017. Since 2000, the Mexican-origin population has increased 76%, growing from 20.9 million to 36.6 million over the period.”
Additionally, Reuters reported in 2019 there were “1,923 total offenses for homicide” in reference to undocumented immigrants who have killed citizens. Considering the nearly 235,000 U.S. citizens who died from COVID-19, a much higher number than deaths caused by undocumented immigrants, perhaps the president’s priorities are misplaced.
However, this national day of remembrance is not the first instance where Trump has insulted Mexicans. In 2016, Time magazine listed all the times Trump insulted Mexico and its citizens.
“They are not our friend, believe me,” Trump said referring to Mexico in the Time article. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
This is a grossly vague overstatement and supplementarily disgraces millions of Americans who have family across the border and those who crossed the border themselves.
Trump’s intense feelings toward People of Color have existed before taking office. In 2013, he tweeted, “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed.”
Since he took office, he has pushed hard for building a wall along the southern border which gained him significant supportand criticism throughout the country. With recent discussions about racial injustice in the U.S., tensions have increased.
NPR published an analysis and comparison between Trump and president-elect Joe Biden’s plans for racial equality into the next presidential term. The NPR article stated, “Trump has not outlined a broad policy plan to address racial inequity. Trump has repeatedly questioned whether systemic racism is a problem in the United States.”
Trump’s refusal to ignore minorities’ reality is inhumane, and even unpresidential. He acts like both the bully and the victim in regard to his treatment from the media and other world leaders.
An article by The Atlanticquotes Trump saying, “I think I was very unfairly treated from before I even won, I was under investigation by a bunch of thieves, crooks. It was an illegal investigation.”
This is not the only time where he “wallows in self-pity,” as The Atlantic put it in their article.
Time reported on a situation in 2016 where Trump was constantly pushing the idea that Mexico would pay for the border wall to be built.
According to the Time article, former Mexican President Vicente Fox “compared the Republican presidential candidate to Hitler and said, ‘I’m not going to pay for that f-king wall.’”
Trump demanded Fox apologize, which he did, and Trump commented, “Honestly, I thought it was very, very nice because I was giving him a little hard time about something, and he apologized.”
Trump is a leader to the majority and not the minority. He has slandered Mexican people and this sham of a holiday placed on a historically important day for Mexican culture, was the final straw that broke the back of what little respect I may have had for him.