Yes, I am Latino. Yes, I watch Univision. And yes, I am a fan of Jorge Ramos.
However, the recent exchange between Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump has made me wonder where some folks really stand on this issue. It’s not just about how Jorge Ramos got kicked out of a press conference, but how some folks across the media landscape are providing cover for Donald Trump’s hate — and in some case, blaming Ramos for asking the tough questions on immigration.
On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough took the opportunity to claim that Ramos wants to be the center of the story:
“No reporter that I know would go to a conference… and delivered a speech. If he had actually asked a question up front we wouldn’t be talking about it. He doesn’t want that, he wants to make it about him.”
The alarming thing is that it is this type of statement is how quickly it paints Ramos as the bully — while figures like Donald Trump, who said “go back to Univision” as a response to Ramos, and his supporters, continue to spew out all kinds of hateful comments, get a free pass.
For me, Jorge Ramos has been someone who has always asked the tough questions.
I don’t identify with Ramos because he speaks Spanish, or because he is of Mexican descent. I identity, listen, and trust Jorge Ramos because has always reported on stories that have been important to me, asked the questions that I want the answers to, and has gone out of his way to use his platform to connect with my community.
Some might believe that what Ramos did was him trying to be an activist, and somehow less of a journalist.
As anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate speech continues to flow from extremists, we ought to consider why exactly the media is going after a journalist instead of those who are insulting immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.
— America’s Voice (@americasvoice) August 26, 2015
Another clear example, also coming out of MSNBC, is what Chris Matthews recently said about people who use “undocumented immigrants” as a way to describe individuals who lack a legal status:
“Trump is on to something when he talks about either we have something or we don’t, and nationalist. I think that people who use phrases like “undocumented workers” are not really seriously concerned with illegal immigration. They find a better way of phrasing it, rather dealing with the problem. If you don’t care about illegal immigration fine, but if you do — trump is the only one who seems to have a proposal.”
This kind of language is what leads anti-immigrant groups, with ties to white nationalists, to take these clips and use them to promote their agenda across social networks. And no matter what, it is still a negative portrayal for those U.S. Citizens who have undocumented parents, community members who fear their friends could be deported, or families who want to remain together.
Just in case you need further explanation regarding the importance and implications of language, here is what Trump-inspired supporters said after beating a Mexican-American man in Boston:
“‘Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.’”
This is 2015. And yet, derogatory terms such as “anchor babies,” words that have been deemed offensive even by those who use them today, are being used — nevermind that people like Jeb Bush try to dodge criticisms by saying that we as a society are trying to be too “politically correct” and we need to “chill out” about said terminology.
What will pundits try to sweep under the rug next? Join us in asking MSNBC pundits to change the way it covers immigrations.