The multimillionaire businessman and Republican front-runner to lead the U.S. has lost major contracts due to his xenophobia, and has received criticism from many artists, institutions and companies with great influence on the important Latino vote.
The racist statements of the controversial and outspoken entrepreneur Donald Trump (see his profile: Trump, the eccentric millionaire) that were made at the announcement of his candidacy for president of the United States, have come back to him like a boomerang. His comments were aimed at Mexico but the flying object hit him in the face.
The businessman accused his neighboring country of bringing “drugs” and “rapists” into the United States. “They’re sending people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting,” he said without even blushing. “Mexico is not our friend,” he added, without taking into account the enormous importance of the Latino vote in the U.S.
Things did not stop there; the candidate also announced his intention to deport more than 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States; to scrub out the nationality of children born on American territory; and to build a 5,000 kilometer-long wall in order to “keep illegal immigrants out.” “How do you propose to build a wall that long?” the Republican was asked — the length would be equivalent to three times the width of Spain — to account for the investment that would be needed for such a piece of infrastructure. “The Mexicans will pay for it,” he replied without even blinking.
Artists Take a Stand
There has been a global and immediate reaction manifested on different fronts. The Latino community has mobilized against the tycoon, warning the world of the danger in electing to the Oval Office a character with his eccentric past and aggressive policies.
Many artists, institutions and even powerful private companies led by Latinos who have settled on American soil, have attacked Trump for his xenophobia and for using Mexico as a projectile weapon in his race to lead the Republican Party and the battle to enter the White House. In just two months, the businessman has already lost several lucrative contracts and has seen his image plummet, if it ever did enjoy good health.
One of the public figures who has responded with greatest force is the singer of the Mexican band Maná, Fher Olvera, who did not hesitate to compare the businessman’s speech to those made by Hitler. The group, one of the most influential in the Spanish-speaking world and currently embarking on a world tour, portrayed Trump as an “ignorant” man who does not understand the social context which characterizes his country.
Meanwhile the Spanish actor, Antonio Banderas, made a moving speech when collecting the Platinum Award of Honor; he stated that he was proud of being Latino and defended Hispanic culture and art. “Despite Mr. Donald Trump’s interest in kicking our ass, we share the pleasure of feeling united against no one, with curiosity as our flag,” said the man from Malaga.
The Colombian singer Shakira also spoke out, this time via Twitter, describing Trump’s speech as “racist and hateful.” The list of celebrities who have made their feelings known (including Ricky Martin, Julieta Venegas and Pitbull, to cite a few examples) is growing longer. Romeo Santos (a singer in the band Bachata that manages to fill stadiums on both sides of the Atlantic) lambasted him at a concert in New York, “You got a problem with Mexicans, but they built your f—ing buildings, motherf—–,” he snapped between songs.
All of these individuals share great power in mobilizing the masses, a significant hindrance for the candidate who in the end wants to be proclaimed a candidate for the White House; especially as the Latino vote is so important in American elections. It is a factor that does not seem to worry Trump very much, who seems convinced he has Latino support.
Trump has also experienced the bittersweet taste of discord in the business arena. Univision severed its contract with Trump to broadcast the Miss Universe pageant. The businessman responded to the punishment by filing a lawsuit against the corporation for $500 million. The dispute led to one of the most bizarre stories of the summer, when the complainant threw a journalist from the company out of the press conference, citing the excuse that he had asked about the immigration policy (see the confrontation between the journalist Jorge Ramos and Trump).
A growing trickle of media is slowly adding to the boycott. NBC Universal and Macy’s have decided to sever all “business relations.” The large department store chain has nearly a thousand establishments from coast to coast.
The multimillionaire again touched on the ridiculous a few weeks ago, when he said he would never eat Oreo cookies again because they are manufactured in Mexico and not in the United States, something which is actually false.
One of the most significant cases, attracting the greatest amount of media coverage, was that of the Spanish chef José Andrés, a well-known character in the United States for the cooking show he presents on television, for his chain of restaurants, and for the award he received last year from President Barack Obama for his “contribution to the country.”
The chef, motivated by statements made by the Republican favorite, decided not to open a restaurant in one of the hotels owned by Trump in Washington, as had originally been planned. Because of this, Trump again reacted with a lawsuit, which in turn has prompted an Internet protest through a crowdfunding campaign in support of the chef.