el cucuy trump . 10.11.2015
This article originally appeared in the internet magazine: The Media (fvckthemedia.com) in 2015. It's relevance is forever, unfortunately. As a former facebook user, I noticed the lack of anger when trump first came on the scene. immediately he attacked my family, my neighbors, my friends, my culture and my people. yet, i was surprised and enraged by the laughs and jokes facebook friends + their community were giving him. I did not feel that this was a laughing matter and yet his tweets were passed around the internet and likes mounted up as they made fun of him instead of being enraged by him. I believe this behavior contributed to his rise. as the internet society sat and laughed, he grew in popularity and by the time the real world realized what was happening, it was too late.
The lowercase stylization of donald trump here is intentional; el cucuy is not deserving of such symbolic respect.
Growing up, my family, like many Mexican (American) families, tell the legend of el cucuy. El cucuy is a monster or a very bad person -- which you are told to stay away from or watch out for. It is similar to what others call the boogeyman.
As a child you strike fear into the hearts of your younger siblings by whispering el cucuy is coming to get you at least once or twice before bed. It is all fun and games until your own fear takes over while you sleep evoking terror in your dreams. Parents talk of el cucuy when you misbehave to warn you of what happens to bad kids; el cucuy will come and take you away! You cry and scream as it is no joke - el cucuy is a bad time.
For centuries only ideas of what el cucuy looks like have been rendered, known to be amorphous. It has been described as half man, half animal, the next door neighbor or even the shadow of death. A mystery indeed, until now! We have discovered the true el cucuy among the tall buildings in New York City and his name is donald trump. He is half monster and it is rumored he may also be half human! Ay, dios mio!! Get your kids out of the street, lock yourself in your house and hide under your bed. El cucuy trump is coming!
El cucuy is no longer just a childhood nightmare. It is a real monster out to eradicate the Mexican population from the USA. And this monster's immigration policy calls for an immediate deportation of 11 million immigrants. Not only is it inhumane to deport such a large number of human beings, his immigration plan would call for police and federal agents to racial profile communities, essentially enforcing anyone that looks Hispanic to show their papers. It is similar to the original intentions of Arizona's Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, SB 1070, the most controversial anti-immigrant law.
In Texas, children born in the USA are illegally denied birth certificates, even though they have the right to a birth certificate under the 14th Amendment regardless of whether their parents are citizens. This is a new interpretation of the law by Texas state officials spurred by the anti-immigrant hate speech of trump and will only get worse as trump supports ending birthright citizenship. The racism doesn't stop at the population, trump wants to eradicate the entire culture of Mexico from the United States, banning Mexican flags on lawns and the Spanish language. In his exclusive with Breitbart News he stated, "I like Jeb, he's a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States." A United States free of any trace of ethnic culture is trump's ideal country. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.
Even scarier than el cucuy trump himself is the popularity he has gained from being a racist, specifically towards Mexicans. In Phoenix, trump laid out his immigration plan telling telling anyone who didn't agree, "I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here, I think so. We'll take our country back." Anytime anyone says anything against trump, he blasts Mexico, dismissing the idea that there is something wrong with him. If it is bad, it is from Mexico. His racist ignorance is now an anthem for his followers. Protestors are told to go back to Mexico, signs are torn by his bodyguards and people are treated as punching bags in his name. On September 3rd, trump's head of security, keith schiller, grabbed a blue sign that said, "Trump: Make America Racist Again" -- a sign belonging to 50-year-old Efrain Galicia while he protested on a public sidewalk outside a press conference in New York. Galicia ran after schiller and to get his banner back, but the guard turned around and whacked him in the face with an open hand as reporters snapped photos.
This is acceptable in the trump camp and that is concerning. The popularity is made clear by his surge in the polls; the more racist he is, the more popular he becomes. Regardless of how much money they have, they flock to him and call him their leader, their hero, and say that he is coming to save them from living in a country with Mexicans, Hispanics, Latinos -- whatever we are, right? Oh I think the term they use is "illegals." It is an ignorant term: human beings can not be "illegal". These baby monster followers want this country to become their version of "great" again, but their version of "great" is terrifying. You know, "great," like back when white men pulled out their guns and women fetched them their meals and if you were non-white forget about even existing -- that's a strange and alarming version of "great".
Here is one of many twists: el cucuy trump might seem like a fictional folkloric entity, but the monster is very much real. Our allies need to be supportive in this moment, in our fight against him and his nightmarish version of a "great" America. If you consider yourself an ally to the communities that el cucuy trump wants to expel, you cannot laugh at this terror. And you cannot let loud cricket chirps after every incident of el cucuy trump's racism. People are finding him hilarious or not that big of a deal. I was recently told to "just ignore him and he will go away." What a luxury it must be to be able to just ignore el cucuy trump. WE SHOULD ALL BE OUTRAGED.
Our supposed allies post articles to their social media wall declaring that they don't like el cucuy trump, but they don't see him with as much urgency as we do. When we see him, we see a despotic and racist landlord over the United States of America who wants control over the racial makeup of its tenants. A white man, wanting to get rid of any one that looks Mexican, no matter if we were born here! These cucuys want the United States of America to bleed Mexicans out -- literally. And that my friends (can I call you my friend?) is what we call a serious reason to believe that el cucuy trump is real. This is not a time to care more about what your next instagram photo will be. This is serious.
Why is there not more outrage over el cucuy trump? In trying to understand the answer to this, there is a big elephant in almost every room, and it is called racism. This mass non-movement is acceptable to an entire nation because we live in a racist society in which it is believed that Mexicans are of a different human race. We are ignored, judged, passed and assumed as non-citizens of this country. This is racist on so many levels and ignores so much history: we were we one of the first people in this country; an entire section of Mexico was taken to form the USA. Minor forgotten details?
Some of us are also called American, some of us are called Mexican, some of us were born in Mexico, and then yet, some of us love the country of our ancestors so much that even if we weren't born in Mexico, we still consider ourselves Mexican. It is pretty special actually and it doesn't make us un-American it just makes us a little cooler than most people. We have a history here, families here, stories to tell and we contribute to this society whether you see us or not. If you do not recognize these truths, maybe it is time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are a part of the problem. Maybe you don't believe these are your problems. Maybe you believe you are a good person -- the best person -- who just has a little racism ingrained in them. THAT IS A PROBLEM: You need to realize that still means you are racist. And not admitting that you are actually racist is not helping anyone. If our so-called allies don't recognize their own racism, and the deeper racists don't care if they have a problem, then WE ALL HAVE A PROBLEM!
WE NEED YOU to see what you are doing or more importantly what you are not doing, and to understand how your non-action contributes to a culture of racism against the beautiful people of Mexico who also live here in America. Do you refer to entire race as "those people"? If so it is time to admit you have a problem because WE are the people.You need to admit you may have a problem. I am here to help you and have developed an eight step process to combat your issues. It only works if you want to take a hard look at yourself and see your lack of outrage at el cucuy trump as a problem. If you cannot admit to your own racism, how do you expect others more terrible than you to?
It is not okay to be a racist against an entire culture. When you don't stand up for others or make changes in your own life, you are still contributing to a racist society.
There is a silver lining in your life: you can change your ways! Here are eight stages that a racist individual must go through before they can deal with their racism against Mexicans. TOGETHER WE CAN DEFEAT el cucuy trump!
1. Shock and denial. At the beginning, the racist in question does not recognize or admit that there is a problem, and often denies it outright. In this phase they may also realize that their favorite Mexican restaurant, Taco Bell, isn't Mexican. Racism continues and escalates. Individual will probably react to learning of their own racism with a numbed disbelief (i.e. Kelly Osborne). Denies the reality that at the core they may actually be engaging in oppressive behavior. Shock that someone thinks they are actually racist helps to provide emotional protection from oneself. This phase may last for weeks, years or an entire lifetime.
2. Pain and Guilt. As the shock wears off that the person in question may actually be a racist, it is replaced with suffering or a pain. (The suffering and pain however is minimal to the actual suffering and pain that has been inflicted on an entire race). Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that the person experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or try to escape from themself. Don't do it! It is necessary to feel what has been done to others so that one can understand what it feels like; this may also be called guilt. Sometimes the ignorance of one's problem gets worse when trying to hide from others the recognition of this problem. Like that time you posted about someone mistaking you for Mexican and you were actually insulted. That is you being racist, you should be so lucky to be mistaken as one of us! At this point, the person beats on themselves emotionally, but it is necessary. It's important to feel what has been done to others.Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase, as it should.
3. Anger and bargaining. Frustration gives way to anger, and the racist in question may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for their racism on someone else. In this phase one may get upset about not understanding another language, or may get upset that English is not the official language of the United States. This is also the phase where they may try to convince themselves that Latinos are the minority in this country, which means they adhere to the racist idea of what white men deemed a "minority". They will grow angrier at their own ignorance as they realize "minority" is a racist term given to non-white people. It is a term to put a group of people in a category. Within a race, we don't say that we are minorities - we would have never labeled ourselves as lesser than another group. Do you see how this is wrong? It was a White culture that decided that they were the majority and we were the minority. This is not acceptable. At this phase, permanent damage to the racist person's relationships may result. This will likely lead to the release of bottled up racism. The person might even try to be a social racist, you know, just a couple of racist jokes here and here among friends. Don't do this! Ever! A racist person as this point may even try and go for a day or two without saying anything racist and use it as proof that they are in control of your racism. YOU ARE in control of your racism. That's why it's IMPORTANT that you STOP.
4. Depression, reflection, loneliness. Just when the person's friends are being bad influences, saying, "Don't change your racist ways! We miss your racist jokes!" (i.e. Amy Schumer), a long period of sad reflection will likely ensue. This is a normal stage of admitting to racism. One should not be "talked out of it" by ill-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from other racists is not helpful during this stage of trying to become a better person. During this time, one will finally realize the true magnitude of their ignorance and racism and it is depressing , as it should be One does not see their neighborhood the same way anymore. All of the lovely neighbors ignored all of these years, not even regarded as worthy of a hello, are now suddenly becoming more visible. One feels sad for not having noticed them as humans before; this should be a sad realization. One starts to think about the beautiful relationships that could have been cultivated all of this time with neighbors -- whose neighborhood they moved into. There could have been friendly tamales and posole brought over; conversations on porches. It's sad to think about all that has been missed out on. One may isolate themselves on purpose as life has been a horrible ride and it's just now the negative impact on others is truly clear. Feelings of emptiness or despair are prevalent.
5. Admittance. The person must admit that this racism is out of control. They may feel depressed or sad about the state of their life. Suddenly all of those reusable bags just don't seem like the answer to saving the world anymore. Instead, there is a realization that one's priorities have been mis-directed. Feeling of self hatred may surface, and for now, this is okay. There is still time to discover an entire culture, like music that isn't just in the English language. Entire catalog of Spanish punk music!! Tacos will no longer feel like just a trend. THIS IS A GOOD THING! Possibility awaits!
6. Acceptance. The person has finally accepted their racism, and acknowledges that even being a little bit racist still qualifies as racism. There is no such thing as a little bit racist! It's just racist. Person begins looking for help, and to engage in the active process of undoing the racism that has been ingrained into them. It is important to keep this at the forefront of the mind and to navigate every day with a distinctly anti-racist worldview. THe racism may still continue. The person may still think that everyone who speaks Spanish is from the same country. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil that has been caused onto others, one can never return to the carefree, untroubled life that existed before the admittance. But a path will emerge; a way forward.
7. Reconstruction. A life without ignorance comes into clearer view. Empathy for others starts to kick in, as the person begins to see human beings in Mexicans. A whole new world as this is the beginning of rehabilitation. You get involved in a consciousness raising group. One begins to work on personal development, to hear new languages and appreciate the sound of the native tongues of others. At the sight of someone that is hard working and happens to be from Mexico and happens to have a job as a construction worker (which is a HARD job), one will see that person as more than their job. This person might start to realize that Mexicans have a variety of jobs like every other human in the USA; to understand life, and that is a good thing, for everyone.
8. Recovery. The person begins to shed their racist friends and start helping to change them. One will find themselves seeking friends that don't look like them and may get involved in new interests that help other people. One will experience a general contentment with this new non-racist life. Importantly, if said racist was a trump supporter (or silent on related issues), they will start to realize that el cucuy trump is real and it isn't just a legend that Mexicans made up! Congratulations on this road to recovery! A lot has been accomplished, but there is still much work to be done
Racism is within all of our control,, and it is up to every single individual who has ever felt a tinge of it to STOP. El cucuy trump spreads racism all over the place and is creating cults of racists that are causing real harm to us in the United States and we need to collectively push back. Uprisings are happening in the name of el cucuy trump in which baby cucuy followers actually believe that the United States of America should be pure white -- sound familiar??? This is VERY SCARY and VERY REAL. These el cucuy trump followers are exploding with ignorance telling anyone that they think looks Mexican to go back to their country even if our country is here. This affects everyone even highly regarded reporters such as Jorge Ramos. Jorge was thrown out of press conference and told by trump to go back to Univision - which is code for go back to Mexico. After he was thrown out of the press conference for asking a legit question, he was told by a trump supporter to go back to Mexico. Ramos is a US Citizen. If such a cucuy feels he can do this to someone like a reporter, it is unimaginable what he feels he can do to those that have no outlet to be heard as easily. This is real.El cucuy trump is empowering an army of racists to create his pure white man world -- we haven't even touched on his sexism! El cucuy trump is not just someone else's problem or a tagline for comedians. El cucuy trump needs to be taken down and the only way to make him go away is for all of us to stand up and start believing that he is real. This is not the time to ignore el cucuy trump. This is a serious matter of life and death.
All of us people of color need to do a better job of standing together in solidarity. All of us need to stand up for each other and together. Our skin color is under attack and we must realize that when one race is brutalized by words and actions, we are all brutalized. Our histories are connected. Our lands were and are constantly taken over by people that do not respect our culture or our lives. Our traditions as a people are deep and beautiful. We need to embrace this and support each other.
We are people. We are human. We are here to stay. We need you to recognize that your non-actions are contributing to the racist society el cucuy trump is breeding. El cucuy trump should be your monster too. Is he?