Petition update

The aftermath of the NBC-Trump Petition (Long Version)

Guillermo A Castañeda, Jr.
El Paso, TX, United States

Jul 7, 2015 — Read when you have the time (ie. a bathroom break). This is long, but I wanted to get this off my chest. As written on July 4, 2015:

Happy 4th of July! What a day to celebrate the Independence from thirteen small British colonies in the Americas from a much bigger and powerful country in Europe to create its own nation. While brave men fought on the Eastern part of what is now the U.S.A.,the Spanish were settled in the Floridas, part of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California as part of the New Spain. New Spain extended from part of what is now the United States all the way down to South America. Later on, most of what is now the United States of America was part of New Spain, Mexico.

I don’t mention this to brag as to which country was bigger than whose, after all, size doesn’t matter. But, that would explain as to why you might see so many Hispanic names across the country, not just because of immigrants. Way before us, there were Native Indians all over the continent whose land we took over. They are the real Americans. Mexicans are a mix of those natives and the new immigrants. It’s kind of complicated,but at the end, unless your bloodline is truly native and has never been mixed with anyone else’s, you, my friend, are an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants.

Immigrant is used as a bad word now. While it’s nice for someone to try to clarify that the use of the word Mexican in a speech was used for all immigrants that cross the Southern U.S. border, and then clarifying that he was talking about all “illegal” immigrants, we must not forget that this country is composed by immigrants and their descendants. None of us had permission from the natives to overtake their land, so we’re all illegal.

On Friday, June 26, I wrote a simple letter on my views against a man that is spreading a hateful message using the candidacy for the presidency as an open forum against Latin Americans. Some might say that he wasn’t because of his explanations later on, but watch the video on The Daily Show’s website where he gives a great explanation of the candidate’s speech.

Before I wrote the letter asking NBC to cancel Miss USA, Miss Universe and The Apprentice, Univision had already decided not to televise the Miss USA pageant, Colombian singer J Balvin and co-hosts Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente had decided not to participate.Several organizations were united asking NBC for the same thing I was, as well.

To my surprise, many members of the Hispanic community as well as those that support us, had the same points of view and signed. We started making noise. While the organizations were knocking the doors, a virtual march of people was approaching from behind them to help open them. There were close to 220,000 signatures in less than 4 days before NBC listened. Who knows how many would have signed by now if they hadn’t. From there, we also moved to another old march that had stalled a bit and we became 700,000. Macy’s decided to listen as well. Many other marches have started now.

The fallout has been incredible.Businesses all over the continent have been saying no to hate and other Miss USA co-hosts and singers, Miss Universe contestants as well as celebrities have spoken out against hate as well. Sadly, many politicians do not yet understand the magnitude of our event and either fail to make a concrete statement against Mr. Trump, or they have shown their support. Yes, we’re looking at you, Mr.Cruz.

One thing needs to be understood, this is not a movement against one person. We do not hate him, we dislike his message and feel hurt and offended by it. Messages like those are violent and could incite violence against us. We understand that there are members of the media and writer wannabees (I will not give them free publicity here) that have been doing that for a while, but they have never used such an important forum as the one used by the candidate.

The new movement is against hate. As Felix Sanchez has called it, this is the Latino Spring. This is a movement driven by social media and the Internet to call on people for support. The virtual marches are peaceful in nature and the messages are direct and to the point. We don’t need to march on the streets to show our unity. We can speak out as one.

The country needs to move toward zero tolerance against hate not only towards the Hispanics, but against every person. Time after time we hear that racism is over, but every one of us knows that that is not true. There is a growing trend of intolerance now against races,cultures, religions, colors, national origins, sexual orientations and other traits. This is not about political correctness anymore. We all see jokes, make jokes and laugh at them, but when we know that the words and actions are weighed with hate, we need to put a stop to it. Hate speech is not free speech.

We also need to unite as a country. Wemust not forget that when African-Americans were forced to sit at the back ofthe bus, Hispanics were forced as well. What happens to them, happens to us and other groups and vice-versa. We cannot lose empathy for people defending their rights because we are (supposedly) not part of their group. We need to show oursupport as well.

I have been asked to write other petitions.Will I do it? Maybe, who knows? This movement is and never was about me. It’s about all of us. I urge those that are in discontent when seeing any form of oppression to speak out either by raising their own voices or joining others.We do not need to stay silent anymore. While the changes that we make might seem minute ($60 million to a person that’s worth $4.1 billion might be chump change), we are uniting more and more and others are listening. We are becoming a stronger force and just realizing how powerful we are.

We are setting a precedent not only for those of us in this nation, but also for the people in the countries where our roots are planted. Nobody needs to feel oppressed. Everybody needs to unite against it. Everybody needs to find a voice as one.

We have strayed far away from what the fore fathers of this country said “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” However, we are finding our way back, one step at a time. God bless America!

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