By Elmer G. Roldan, @grand.supreme.chapin
Who the fuck are these Latinos who voted for Trump?
67% of us voted for Clinton, 29% for Trump. Yeah, 1/3 of us went with him. But, why?
Let’s start by explaining what it means to be Latino. Latino/Hispanic is an ethnicity, which creates a lot of confusion about our identity.
Think of it like washing a load of dark clothes: there are some clothes that definitely go in that load, some that you’re pretty sure go in, and then, there’s the random shit that doesn’t fit anywhere else, so you stick it in there too: that’s what it’s like for us to be a Latino in the U.S. means to be in the race to fit into a race. The truth is we don’t fit in.
For those of us Latinos who aren’t definitively White or Black or Native American or mixed-race: we have no real option to mark on the application. So we are forced to check a box: that box tends to be White cause don’t nobody wanna be anything less than White in America. The problem is, so many of these muthafuckas believe they ARE White and embrace the racist ideals of Manifest Destiny.
Another definitive trait is religion: so much of our identity is consumed by Jesus y Maria. All the conservative, hierarchical, oppressive, outdated wonders & perplexities that blend in nicely with the Republican Evangelical message that abortion is evil, Islam is evil, and weed is evil, but not the death penalty, big guns, or holy wars…. as long as it’s people of color who are dying!
Latinos have varying interests and contradictions. At the end of the day, neither Clinton nor Trump truly spoke to every Latino issue, which range from: education to healthcare to jobs to immigration. We are also disproportionately impacted by low-education attainment and high incarceration rates. But, 29% of Latinos going for the candidate who directly attacked la mara is outrageous.
So where do all these self-loathing, anti-immigrant, anti-negro, anti-establishment coconuts come from? The same places where all the racist White people come from: rural America, the South, and states like Florida where White Latinos are Republican. I mean, where do you think they get their puterías from?
As much as I want to pretend that these aren’t my people and joke about it, the truth is that many 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos lean ultra conservative… think Brown Uncle Ruckus.
Some immigrant Latinos also have deeply-rooted racism that we carry as a result of colonization and globalization, thus newly-naturalized gente love them some Taylor Swift and think a green card equals a free pass into White society…..I can’t defend these pendejxs. They just have to learn the hard way.
This election is sad on epic proportions, but our people have overcome worst shit than this. The bright side is that there are now 27.3 million Latinos who are registered to vote…. that’s 4 million more than there were in 2012. There’s a lot of room to grow that 67% margin.
Just look at the many networks that are gearing their programming and advertisement towards us: Caliente!