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Saturday Night Live Is Mainstreaming The #TrumpEffect — And That’s Really Dangerous

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On November 7, 2015, Donald Trump will host Saturday Night Live, one of NBC’s most popular shows. Trump’s invitation to host the popular sketch comedy show comes just three months after NBC claimed to cut ties with Donald Trump over his insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants – an offense to every Latino in the United States.

Back in June, NBC released a strong statement saying:

“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,[…] “

“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

NBC’s decision was the right decision and was celebrated widely in the Latino community. But the network’s breakup with Trump didn’t slow him down one bit.

Since June, Trump’s derogatory statements have only increased. And the release of his immigration plan to remove 11 million people from the United States in 18 months confirmed his radical and dangerous demagoguery.  If his plan were successful, it would be one of the worst global humanitarian atrocities in recent history.

Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Latino comments aren’t just shameless political theater, they are having a dangerous real-life effect in many immigrant communities.

A Donald Trump supporter in Virginia is caught on camera spitting on an immigration advocate.
A Donald Trump supporter in Virginia is caught on camera spitting on an immigration advocate.

The emergence of white nationalist and neo-Nazi support for Trump show he is fostering a climate that demonizes and dehumanizes Latinos because of the way they look or speak.

Just this week, Trump supporters were caught on camera spitting on immigration advocates in Virginia and this type of behavior has become the new normal at Trump events.

Since August, America’s Voice has been tracking anti-immigrant and anti-Latino incidences tied to Trump on our “Trump Hate Map” and the pattern is disturbing to say the least.

Here are just a few examples of Trump supporters verbally or physically attacking immigrants listed on our Trump Hate Map:

  • At a Trump rally in Alabama, an audience member yells “White Power!” during the candidate’s speech. At the same rally, a Trump supporter “jokes” to AL.com about shooting and killing undocumented immigrants at the border for their vacation.
  • Two brothers terrorize a homeless Latino man with a metal pipe,  When arrested and questioned, the brothers told the police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”
  • In Iowa, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was confronted by a man identified as a Trump supporter, who, in front of cameras, tells the journalist (and U.S. citizen) to “get out of my country.”
  • And at a Donald Trump-led rally one young DREAMer was left in tears after her hair gets violently pulled by a Trump supporter.
  • According to Politico, a Trump supporter took over a microphone connected to loudspeakers at the Dallas rally and shouted, first in Spanish, then in English, “The Mexicans are the hairs of ass–. Viva Donald Trump.”
  • During a Iowa-Iowa State football game, a Caucasian woman was filmed ripping up a Latino protester’s poster. On Monday night, the woman identified as Shelby Mueller, 20, released a statement indicating that she is “a Christian” who made “an ignorant mistake.” Another man reportedly told an immigrant advocate at the rally, “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.”

All of these incidences occurred after NBC broke ties with Trump because of his “derogatory statements.”

But now NBC has changed the course in an attempt to boost their ratings and it’s no surprise that Saturday Night Live was the first to cave in to the #TrumpEffect. The NBC and MSNBC news shows have continued to provide an unchallenged platform for Trump and his message.

For years, Saturday Night Live has misrepresented the Latino community by playing off stereotypes and refusing to hire full-time Latino cast members. Having Donald Trump serve as host of the program, further cements Saturday Night Live’s indifference towards its Latino viewers.

SNL should have politicians on their show, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.  But Donald Trump isn’t simply a politician — he’s a racist demagogue inciting violence toward Latinos and immigrants. By putting Trump on stage, SNL is prioritizing their ratings over the safety of Latinos.

On November 7, it won’t just be Donald Trump on the SNL stage. He will be standing with all of his supporters who want to purge America of Latinos and immigrants and aren’t afraid to use any means necessary.

Racism is not funny, and NBC should not try to bill it as either comedy nor entertainment. NBC and SNL are rewarding Trump – and mainstreaming the hate that powers his campaign. That’s dangerous for immigrants and for the country.