Mr. Trump, kiss my anchor baby.

September 25, 2015

Since the traffic to my blog this week has increased by 8321.6% (true), I feel obligated to lob another brain grenade at America’s favorite gameshow host and his intellectually challenged followers. Hundreds of thousands of folks have been kind enough to read and share the previous Trump essays, “Donald Trump is the new face of white supremacy” and “Trump Part 2 – This is what fascism looks like,” so I thought I’d tackle another issue related to Trump and my family. And I figure I shouldn’t wait because it seems like the Trump bubble is starting to deflate. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking by myself and pathological liar Carly Fiorina.

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I’m not going to go after his great lack any specific policies. All we know is that, whatever the issue, he has people (Can we meet them?) looking into it and that he’s going to hire (Does he mean appoint, subject to Congressional confirmation?) amazing people and that he’s going to fix the problem so fast your head is gonna spin. It reminds me of when I ran for President of Student Council in seventh grade. I had no platform, just the slogan, “Randy B. for presidency! Make Woodridge Elementary great again!”

And this post is not about his pseudo-fascist claim that he is going to round up 11 million undocumented people on his first day in office. He hasn’t explained how he’s going to do this but I have a suspicion he’s been watching Schindler’s List for ideas. Welcome to the Trump police state. Any man, woman and child who looks “illegal” gets tossed over the Texas fence. (Don’t worry illegal Russians, you’re safe.) He also hasn’t said who is going to do all the work those 11 million undocumented folks do, whether it’s working in strawberry fields or in his hotels. (The answer is his plan would destroy the American economy and it just ain’t gonna happen as much as Trumpie racists wish it would.)

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This post is about Trump’s obsession with anchor babies. And not his bizarre belief that he can magically change the Constitution to rewrite the 14th Amendment. (He claims he has “many scholars” that agree with him. Wrong.) It’s about this repeated refrain that people come to America just to have babies and then “we have to spend the next 80 years taking care of them.” It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, but his sub-moronic hat-wearing base loves it. (Hey, those hats are only $23.95 and may or may not be made in China or Mexico.)

I’ll start with a story. I was in a Jiffy Lube in Metairie, Louisiana a few years ago, on my way to Atlanta. The Prius needed an oil change and I was stuck in the waiting area with a couple of good ol’ boys (AKA white gentlemen). Since I was white, they started in on the racist crap, complaining about how Obama was letting in all these “illegals.” I pointed out that illegal immigration has actually decreased under Obama and deportations have increased. I got a look like, who is this fact-talking stranger? Then their fallback position was, “Well, they live here and don’t pay no taxes.” To which I said, “You’ve got sales tax in this state, right?” They nodded. “Then every time they buy something, they pay taxes. You’ve got property tax in this state, right?” They nodded. “Then every time they pay rent, they pay taxes.” The good old boys then started talking about the weather. You gotta shut this bullshit down every time.

The truth is that undocumented immigrants pay all sorts of taxes, including income tax. If you are working on a fake Social Security number, you are paying into a fund you will never be able to withdraw from. These funds go to what the Social Security Administration calls the “suspense file,” and you old white Conservatives should thank those “illegals,” because they are helping to keep SSI afloat. A study released this year by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that undocumented immigrants paid more than $11.8 billion in state and local taxes last year. And that doesn’t even include fees and federal taxes. But the “I’m not a racist but…” crowd that rallies around Trump can’t be bothered with facts and figures. Brown people are ripping them off! Off with their heads!

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What Trump and his rabid flock deny is that every immigrant, undocumented and otherwise, has a personal story to tell. I’ve written about the families that come to America to provide for their children, not traffic drugs. Some, like my wife, walked across the border in the middle of the night. Even more arrived on airplanes with visas and stayed after their visa expired. (Trump’s fantasy wall won’t help there.) The Donald’s racist comments about them have brought these people to the front of the American story. (And if you don’t understand how racist those comments are, you are also racist. But there’s help for you, I promise.) These “killers and rapists” have started to tell their stories. And their children have started to tell their stories. They are not a burden on you “legal” Americans. They are making this country strong and profitable. Most are doing the work you whiners won’t do, for pay and in conditions you never would accept. They are working twice as hard as you and getting less for it. Sometimes nothing at all. (Just Google: Wage theft.) There are millions of stories, like the one 28-year-old Adriana Almanza went on YouTube to tell. Here’s your anchor baby and you and your demographic don’t have to “take care of” her. She will take care of you.

My wife and child are on Trump’s hit list but they are not a drain on your pocketbook. Trump’s corporate welfare friends in the finance industry are, but I promise you my Mexican family is not. My “illegal” wife worked hard to earn a green card and through her I have met many other hard working people who do not yet have papers and live in fear of deportation by Obama’s ICE. Trump would deport them all on “Day 1,” but they are more important to the health of this great country than he is. Our daughter, who Trump might call an “anchor baby,” is an American citizen because she was born here. I am willing to wager that Trump’s children got more unearned handouts than she ever will.

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The reality is that Republicans (including many of my family and Facebook friends) are scared shitless that America is changing in a way that looks less like them and more like my bi-racial daughter. They want to scapegoat an easy target the way that desperate dominant groups have always done when they feel their dominance slipping a tiny bit. The want to “restore” America to an imagined time when straight white males were the unchallenged authority. Sorry, old white guys, you can ride that sinking ship to the bottom of the ocean or join us at the fiesta. The stories of our immigrant friends prove the American dream is alive and well, pero el futuro es cafe.

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And just to be clear, I am not writing this as a PhD in sociology who has studied racism for over 25 years. This is not a policy blog. I am a father and husband who is angry and sad that his family has been devalued and dehumanized by a loud minority of Americans (not a “silent majority”) who are too ignorant and/or fearful to understand that this is a nation of immigrants and that’s what makes us great. We don’t need Donald Trump or his xenophobic mob to drag us into the past.

And if you are a Trump fan, just watch this music video to see the human side that Trump’s ignorant rhetoric covers up. Maybe it will reach your corazon.

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9 thoughts on “Mr. Trump, kiss my anchor baby.

  1. Randy,

    I want to thank you for these 3 posts. A friend of mine posted a link and instead of making my morning cup of joe, I spent my time fascinated by your words. (and that reminds me, I still need that coffee.)

    Again, thank you for your thoughts and well constructed arguments. If you don’t mind, I will be adding them to my bag of facts and stories when I counter such hate filled speech.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank You for your Trump columns. I have felt and expressed fears about Trump from the day he announced. I am a student of history. Both in my years at school and until today. I have watched hours of excellent documentaries on World War Two. Its is instructive to learn what our greatest generation saw first hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. True story.

    The other night going home from a restaurant I got a non-mass-murdering Uber driver: 40-ish black guy here in Georgia, from California, with roots in Alabama. He asked me about dinner: had I had a “few drinks”? I said a couple, and joked that the best thing about the evening was that fistfights didn’t break out when the discussion turned to politics.

    He asked who I was voting for. I tried to ease into the discussion, you know, to make a reasonable case for my position: I can’t vote republican because they (among other things): 1) hate the gays, 2) love the drug war, 3) will start another hot war in the Middle East before you can say MilitaryIndustrialComplex, and will nevar, nevar, nevar impose fiscal responsibility on anything, anytime, anywhere. Not to mention appointing justices to the Supreme Court. So: Bernie or Hillary.

    “Who are you voting for?” I asked.

    “Trump,” he said, and if ever I wished I had a candid picture of me doing a WTF-double-take, it was then. I actually said “Who?” again, even though I’d heard him clearly.

    “Trump.”

    “Why?” I asked.

    (Here, I paraphrase): Because he’ll stand up to ISIS. Because he’s not a crybaby, like Obama. We don’t need a president crying in public. Because we need to reclaim our “standing” on the world stage. Because we (America) need to be a leader in the world, not a follower. Yeah, he’s got some wacky positions and says some wacky things, but we need someone who’ll represent for America and make us strong/great again.

    Is it possible both left and right are missing the analytical boat, re: Trump. It’s easy to trot out pictures of goobers shouting for Trump and hustling protestors out of his rallies. (Just like, from the other side, it’s easy to post pics of jobless ragamuffins “organizing” for Bernie.)

    It’s easy to intellectually rebut his “positions,” manners, language, etc., both from the left and the right. But that misses a big point. The country is not mostly goobers, and it takes a lot more than the goober vote to get elected. (It’ll take a lot more than motivated college students and progressives to get Bernie elected, too.) The country in general, and as usual, unlike the pundits or political junkies, has lives to live and is not micro-analyzing Trump (or Bernie or Rubio or Hillary) or spending vast (or even small) amounts of time thinking through his positions or “philosophy.”

    My Uber guy seemed neither racist nor fascist nor anti-immigrant nor misogynistic nor “extreme”; he just wants to feel better about his country, which I take to mean: we (the US) should control our destiny more than letting outside interests control us. Truth: you might forget what a person says, but you rarely forget how they make you feel. “Feel the Bern?” Exactly.

    It’s easy to intellectually dismiss the Uber guy, or make fun of him, but he seemed like an average non-ideological, non-crazy guy, and he’s the average guy you need to win the presidency. And right now, he’s feeling and voting for Trump.

    Like

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