Following the 2016 presidential election decision on Nov. 8, some Latinos may have questioned how they would fit into “Trump’s America.”
Regarding Trump’s initial foot in the door to the presidential candidacy, he infamously referred to Latinos as rapists, criminals, etc., all while calling for a big wall on the border, having Mexico pay for it and bringing fear to the Hispanic community.
“I don’t like that Donald Trump is the president-elect and for all the right, but scary reasons,” said Deeda Garza, junior and criminal justice major. “Violent movements are happening under his name and yet all he has to say is ‘Stop.’”
Born in Morelia, Mexico, Dr. Gabriel Ferreyra, former director of the Hispanic Center at Southern Utah University and current Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi associate professor in criminal justice, said he was startled considering America’s president-elect choice, but when looking back, he understood the potential from the beginning.
“Nobody expected that he would be a serious candidate,” Ferreyra said. “I was surprised for the final result and how it led to Donald Trump to be the one who [the] American people have chosen, but when you look at the components of the political landscape, somehow you will understand that it was coming to a certain extent.”
Some members of the Latinos community at the Island are upset about Trump’s victory and fear him being the nation’s leader.
“I honestly feel like all the hatred from whites is coming out without any fear for their consequences because of our president-elect, which is racism,” said Lisa Marie, junior and nursing major. “Not only that, my girlfriend even asked me if I was scared to hold her in public because of the violence and prejudice that is being shown towards the LGBTQ community.”
Ferreyra said there are different layers of how the Trump presidency can impact America.
“Many of the principles that have sustained America’s foreign policy might change for a period of time, meaning that, for instance, there will be less support in having military bases overseas or giving resources, but at the same time there can be some positive elements, too,” Ferreyra said. “Somehow, allegedly, there is this kind of mutual reverence between President Putin and Trump, so that might change with the fact they can negotiate and solve problems. And if the U.S. decides for a time to withdraw from, let’s say, the Middle East or to try to intervene less in other countries, that’s how it might help the United States to focus more inwards without being in an isolation from other countries.”
However, Ferreyra does not believe Trump will be able to fulfill his duty as well as one elected president should, and many decisions will come from his advisors due to his inexperience.
“It depends on how the people who will give advice to Trump handle the issue because actually, he does not know that much, he is very ignorant,” Ferreyra said. “[He is] very unpredictable and in politics that is dangerous because he doesn’t have the status of a man who will self-control his decision-making power, so it remains to be seen.”
Despite the hard feelings toward the president-elect, Ferreyra focuses on the “glass half full” perspective.
“I like to be optimistic so, it’s just four years and time goes by really, really fast so we’ll see how things unfold,” Ferreyra said.
The inauguration held to swear in Trump in as the 45th President of the United States is scheduled for noon on Jan. 20, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol.