Lalo Alcaraz is an editorial cartoonist, the creator of the daily comic strip, “La Cucaracha,” and producer/writer for the forthcoming TV series “Bordertown” on Fox. You can follow him on Twitter at @LaloAlcaraz
Unrelated to my usual daily grind of marketing and video promos, I felt compelled to write a blog posts on Trump . After being invited to serve as a guest panelist at New Jersey City University Latino Talk event, I started to consider my role as a Latino women and its representation in the presidential race. Here it goes — enjoy.
Let’s set the record straight: Trump, by no means is a threat to the Latino community. This emotionally reckless real estate tycoon turned reality TV star has transformed our evening news into a spectacle variety prime time show – welcome to American politics. His rants on Mexico sending rapists, drug lords, and criminals have landed him headlines on all national media outlets. And who can forget his infamous one line insult to Univision Host, Jorge Ramos, “Go back to Univision.” Ah yes, dear ol’ Trump, your name has become synonymous to the phrase “Latinos” – ay Dios mio!
Yet, his xenophobic Trump campaign has taught the Latino community some indispensable political lessons:
Wake Up the Sleeping Giant
Since Obama’s reelection in 2012, the Latino issue has moved to the back burner by both Conservatives and Democrats. Sure, we all remember Obama’s was a supporter of the DREAM Act back in 2010, but all it gave birth to was a watered down version known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which stipulated few of the provisions and benefits included in the original DREAM Act.
Trump, on the other hand, has recently ignited the fire for Latinos. Arguably, one can claim that Trump has made the Latino matter a hot button issue for this presidential election. His threats on deporting 11.5 million illegal immigrants, buildings fences that stretch across the frontier, and his provocative claims to make “America white again” have antagonized the sleeping giant: Latinos.
We know that the Hispanic vote was a crucial voting block for Obama’s presidential victories. In fact, pollsters consider the Latino vote the fastest growing segment of eligible voters. Consider the Latino voting influence: by 2016, we will have 26.7 million Latinos eligible to vote – a 58% jump from a decade ago. And although the Latino vote lagged behind the African American vote and the White vote in 2012, this powerful and influential electorate could result in a large voter turnout.
David vs. Goliath
In his self-proclaimed doctrine, Saul Alinsky (for all those polisci enthusiasts) asserts that social movements are successful when one is able to strategically identify the protagonist from the antagonist. Perhaps Trump is a perfect illustration of Alinsky’s argument. Love him or hate him, the multi-billionaire entrepreneur embodies the idea of power and white supremacy. His unfavorable comments to the Latino community, however superficial they may be, have painted him as the cynical one-eyed Goliath preying on the defenseless illegal Latino community.
More beyond than this, the phrase Latino – a unique identifying ethnic idiom – embodies a larger community that extends beyond illegal immigrants. As cliché as it may sound, Latinos stick together. Perhaps having Trump attack a sub-group of the Latino community has inadvertently made the Latino community more united. He’s even got political commentaries and celebrities jumping on the “I despise Trump” bandwagon. Singers Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and former Miss Universe have openly voiced their disapproval against Trump.
Creating Social Movement Mobilization
The National Council of La Raza—political advocacy group helping Latinos in civic engagement, civil rights, education, and immigration– , held a conference in Kansas City , with the hopes of registering more Latinos to vote for this upcoming election. The Latino Victory Project, an organization founded by Eva Longoria aimed at helping Latino politicians win local, sate, and federal offices, produced a promo video with actors uttering anti-Latino racist slurs originally stated by Republican candidates.
Is an anti-immigration stance a political suicide? As paradoxical as this may sound, Trump’s political comments are conducive to the Latino voting power.
But as we learned with Don Francisco’s 53-year career (he was Chilean host of the longest running international Latino variety program in history), the show can’t go on forever. We must learn to use verbal attacks as attributes, insults as opportunities, set backs as comebacks. This may be the year for Latinos and Donald Trump is just the guy we need to help us get there.
Vicky Llerena is SVM’s host, content creator, and public relations strategist. No amateur to the media industry, Vicky brings with her over eight years of experience having worked at Univision WXTV-41, Hudson Media Group, and PRNewswire. She works with clients to manage all their media communications needs. Aside from managing SVM, Vicky is also an adjunct professor at Saint Peter’s University, New Jersey City Institute of Technology and Hudson County Community College. Vicky is a member of the New York Journalism Press Club.
By Orcuil Crichton
The American people know more about the family of Donald Trump than perhaps that of any other presidential candidate — beside Jeb Bush, of course. It is common knowledge that Trump’s father was a real estate developer in New York, that he married three models, and that he fathered Ivanka in addition to four other children. But less known is the story of the woman who raised “The Donald.” So who is Donald Trump’s mother?
Her name was Mary MacLeod Trump, and she passed away in New York City in 2000, at age 88. According to her obituary, in addition to her role as wife and mother, Trump was a prominent philanthropist in the city. Much of her philanthropical work centered in Jamaica, Queens, where the Trump family lived. She actively supported the Woman’s Auxiliary of Jamaica Hospital and the Jamaica Day Nursery. And there was plenty of money to give; by the time of his death, Trump’s father, real estate developer Fred Trump, had accumulated a fortune worth $300 million.
Mary MacLeod was born in Tong, Scotland in 1912 and met Fred Trump on a trip to New York. She emigrated to the U.S., and the two married in 1936. She visited her home country often, and sometimes brought young Donald and his four siblings with her. She spoke Gaelic, and taught her children some of the language.
She was a religious woman, according to statements by Trump. She was also traditional, according to her son. “Whenever anything was on about, ceremonial about the Queen of England she could sit at the television and just watch it. She had great respect for the Queen and for everything she represented,” CNN reports Trump said.
Trump’s mother buried a son, Trump’s older brother, Freddy Jr., when he was just 43. According to The New York Times, Freddy Jr. drank heavily. Donald became his father’s protege instead. He worked with his father in real estate until Fred Trump’s decline due to Alzheimer’s, and his eventual death in 1999. Mary passed away only a few months after her husband, in 2000.
In 2008, Trump traveled to his mother’s birthplace in Scotland to meet with his maternal relatives. He originally planned on building a $1 billion luxury golf resort in the area in honor of his mother’s family. “I wanted to do something special for my mother,” Trump said, according to The Guardian. After local environmentalists protested the hotel’s construction and Trump butted heads with a wind farm located near the proposed property, he abandoned the plan and chose to develop in Ireland instead.
Trump has been surrounded by immigrant women for most of his life. In addition to his Scottish-born mother, both Trump’s ex-wife Ivana and current wife Melania were born outside the U.S.
New pictures of Donald Trump’s mother bear witness to a family saga he cannot bear to tell, the black and white photos track the life of Mary Anne MacLeod, the island girl who became the wife of New York property magnate Fred Trump and mother to his controversial son.
Together with the memoirs of Mary’s teenage penpal Agnes Stiven, they highlight the immigrant heritage of the US politician who wants to build a wall against the world.
In these portraits of one girl from Lewis is the story of how modern-day America came to be.
The three phases of European emigration – the Old World home, the ocean voyage and the opening door to wealth and happiness in the New World – are captured in prints from the 1920s and 30s.
The teenage Mary MacLeod sitting on the windowsill of a “white” house near Stornoway
Born in 1912, Mary was part of a large family in the crofting village of Tong, the biggest such settlement in the Outer Hebrides and three miles from the island capital, Stornoway.
Mary’s father was postmaster in the village as well as a fisherman and so one of the first to elevate himself out of the endemic rural poverty.
When she started her penpal correspondence with Agnes – an east coast girl of her own age whose prize-winning painting and address had appeared in the Dundee Courier – Mary described “her lonely life on the island”.
The story most often told is that Mary went to the US on “holiday” to see her older sister Catherine who had left for New York.
But the memoir of their friendship that Agnes left behind puts that Trump myth to rest.
Agnes wrote: “Mary’s older sister in New York invited her to visit her there…and soon afterwards her sister found her a job as a nanny with a wealthy family in a big house in the suburbs of New York.”
Mary became the fourth of the MacLeod sisters to migrate to seek her fortune in the New World.
According to Agnes, she and Mary met in Glasgow in the late summer of 1928 when Mary was on the way to America for the first time.
“Mary had long fair hair and blue eyes, my hair was short and dark and I had hazel eyes. Each thought the other was pretty,” Agnes recollected in her journal.
“Mary’s news in 1929 was not so optimistic. Her employers had been involved in the Wall Street Crash which shook not only America but the whole world. Mary lost her job and went to New York City to find employment.”
Meanwhile Agnes, a gifted linguist, had became a post-graduate scholar at Marburg University in Germany.
She recalls in her memoir that she next met Mary in 1934 in Glasgow when Mary left again for New York “where she now seemed to have settled”.
Agnes wrote: “We spent a hectic day together in Glasgow. In the morning, we went on a shopping spree and I particularly remember that in a big store on Sauchiehall Street, she bought a pair of fur-backed gauntlet gloves for her boyfriend Fred. I said I hoped he’d like them and she said, ‘He’d better.’”
On her 1934 visit, Mary and Agnes went to view the Queen Mary, then the world’s largest passenger ship, on the Clyde. She was being fitted out and without her distinctive four funnels.
Mary at Clydebank in 1934
Agnes snapped Mary on the quayside, a flared coat and jaunty hat adding to her glamour. “I thought Mary was very pretty, with her hair still quite long and permed,” wrote Agnes.
“I saw Mary off on board the ship at Clydebank that evening and that was the last time we saw each other until 61 years later in London.”
Between 1880 and 1920, more than 25million foreigners arrived in the US.
Scottish emigration reached a peak in the 1920s, with 363,000 Scots leaving for the US and Canada in that decade.
The pictures are marked on the back by Agnes as being “en route” on the SS Transylvania, the Anchor Line passenger vessel that ran between Glasgow to New York in the inter-war years.
Shipping records show that Mary MacLeod, by then 22, arrived again in the United States in 1934.
Mary in a swimming costume on the steps of a pool in Long Island, where the elite of New York decamped for the summer.
The coy look of the girl on the Hebridean beach is replaced by a glossy poolside pose reflecting the golden years of Hollywood.
From domestic service to glossy glamour girl, Mary MacLeod had made it.
Two years later, she was married to Fred and would have five children: Maryanne, Fred jnr, Elizabeth, Robert and Donald, or Donald John as he is known in Tong.
Agnes noted: “She didn’t tell me the man she married in January 1936 was ‘the most eligible bachelor in New York’.”
War separated the two friends and altered the course of Agnes’s life.
The German man she married in 1938 went on to become a Panzer tank commander.
He came out of the war a damaged man, and the couple divorced, forcing Agnes and her children to return to Britain.
Most of her correspondence with Mary, apart from a few letters and photos at her parents’ home in Scotland had been lost.
The meeting was brought about because Donald Trump’s growing fame meant he was the subject of a documentary made by the newsreader Selina Scott.
Agnes recalled in her memoir that she was paying little attention to the programme at first.
But her ears pricked up at the mention of “Donald’s mother, who was a Scot originally Mary MacLeod from Lewis.”
A hopeful letter to “the apartment on the 64th floor of Trump Towers” received a swift reply and the friendship was picked up again with enthusiasm. The two women met in London in August 1995 to their great delight.
Mary regularly returned to Lewis before her death in 2000 at the age of 88.
Agnes died in March 2002, leaving a trove of photos and memoirs.
Mary’s eldest child, Maryanne Trump Barry, a senior US judge, visited Lewis often with her mother and made a £150,000 donation to the island’s Bethesda hospice in her memory.
But Donald Trump appears to have little interest in his island roots.
He visited Lewis in a great wave of publicity to promote his Scottish golf interests but public references to his mother’s background are conspicuous by their absence.
Maybe that is because these pictures of Mary MacLeod tell a very different history from the anti-immigrant bombast of his campaign trail speeches.
From the foreshore of Lewis to the exclusive swimming pools of Long Island, from sea to shining sea… Mary MacLeod’s pictures tell the story of a country made great by immigrants – people just like Donald Trump’s mother.
Your Editor Muses: Although she is no longer alive to comment, I wonder what she would say about her son’s ambition to make it harder for immigrants, documented or not, to start new lives in the United States, as she did herself.
Last summer, Univision went to war with Donald Trump after he called Mexicans drug dealers and rapists — a move typical of the network that views itself not just as a media company but as an advocate and defender of the Latino community.
Now Univision is launching a major voter registration and engagement campaign aimed at turning out 3 million new Latino voters ahead of this year’s presidential election.
The network published an online voter guide Tuesday and is partnering with several organizations to register eligible Latinos — a population that has grown 40% in the past eight years alone. Univision will broadcast public service announcements across its 126 local television and radio stations about the importance of voting and is enlisting one of its young stars to tell his own story about becoming a voter. A spokeswoman for the network said Univision’s campaign news team will be bigger than any previous election, with 36 reporters and producers already assigned to campaign coverage.
Critics of the network questioned whether the ambitious effort would be nonpartisan, given the tussle with Trump and the fact that Latino voters tend to favor Democratic candidates. But star anchor Jorge Ramos defended it, saying Republicans had only themselves to blame if the network’s emphasis on immigration news reflects poorly on the GOP.
“The Republican Party has had an incredible opportunity to reach Latino voters, and they failed,” Ramos said in an interview. “You cannot say, ‘Vote for me, but I want to deport your mother or your brother.'”
Univision and other Spanish-language news outlets have conducted similar voter engagement campaigns in previous years. But its efforts are coming under extra scrutiny this campaign cycle because of the network’s starring role in the presidential race.
After Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants in his presidential campaign announcement in June, Univision officials announced they were cutting all business ties with him and would not air his Miss Universe competition. Network officials said they had a duty to stand up for their viewers, many of whom are Latino immigrants or have family members who are. Trump sued, and the parties settled their lawsuit this month.
In Iowa last summer, Trump had Ramos ejected from a news conference after Ramos questioned him repeatedly about the cost of Trump’s plan to deport the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.
Ramos and Univision’s co-owner have been criticized for their own ties to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which some conservatives believe calls into question the network’s objectivity. Univision co-owner Haim Saban has donated several million dollars to an outside group working to elect Clinton, and Ramos’ daughter is working on the Clinton campaign.
Because Latino voters tend to side with Democratic candidates, with two-thirds of Latinos voting for President Obama in 2008, that has led to questions about whether Univision’s latest efforts are an attempt to create more Democratic voters.
Ken Oliver-Mendez, the director of an organization that tracks what it sees as liberal bias in the Spanish-language media, said Univision has not covered Republicans fairly in the past, and its voter-registration efforts should be closely examined.
“We all believe in getting more people to vote,” said Oliver-Mendez, director of MRC Latino. “But we’re going to be looking critically at what issues they present as important.”
He complained that Univision puts too much emphasis on immigration coverage — which he says favors Democrats — and doesn’t spend enough time on other issues that are important to many Latinos, such as abortion or the economy.
Ramos disagreed, saying the network covers a multitude of Latino issues and is even-handed in its coverage of all political candidates.
Ramos said his network has an obligation to its viewers, noting that 66,000 Latinos turn 18 and become eligible to vote each month. “There is truly a demographic revolution,” Ramos said. “In order to go from big numbers to true power, you need people going to vote on election day.”
Igniting action among millennial voters is always a challenge, regardless of race. But Latino millennials tend to vote at even lower rates than their white and African American counterparts. As part of the network’s election efforts, it will set up voter registration booths outside the Copa America soccer tournament in June around the U.S. and will broadcast public service announcements during coverage of the matches. Fusion, the network’s English-language Web platform geared toward younger Latinos, will also be part of the voter outreach campaign.
The network has partnered with several Latino voter registration groups, including Mi Familia Vota and League of United Latin American Citizens.
Brent Wilkes, national director of LULAC, said his organization has registration efforts underway in 22 states. It helped register more than 10,000 Latinos in Iowa ahead of the state’s February primary — an effort Wilkes said was helped by Trump’s comments.
Wilkes said he hopes the Univision partnership will help empower Latinos at a time when they have come under attack.
“We’re hoping the Latino community will stand up and defend itself,” he said.
Your Editor Wonders: