I do not see Donald Trump as a racist. The U.S. presidential candidate may be culturally biased (dismissive of Mexico and its values), but most Americans are. This isn’t racist; it is nationalist, or “clanist” (my word).
If anybody tells the truth, Mexico’s culture — its politics, its law enforcement, its cartel tolerance — is problematic at best. There are many dilemmas in Mexico. Trump, I think, is interested in keeping those dilemmas there, which is certainly a valid American stance.
What most Mexicans don’t want to hear is that Mexico is far more dependent on the U.S economically than anybody grants.
US $148 billion per year goes to Mexico in different ways. Mexico’s GDP is $1.3 trillion, so 12% of Mexico’s economy is supported by the U.S. (This is a low estimate; some economists put it at more like 20%.)
Mexico is that very expensive “young adult” the family can no longer afford to maintain! Mexico’s petroleum revenues are currently less than $23 billion per year — i.e., less than its income from U.S. remittances.
The highest estimate for Trump’s border wall has been around $25 billion. Built over five years, Trump needs only $5 billion annually to construct it. Mexico should want this wall, as it will reduce cartel activity and curtail violence in the nation.
The only reason it doesn’t want a wall is that the absence of one will allow the continuation of the border-business-as-usual scheme from which Mexico benefits economically.
If Trump is elected, the Mexican economy will be hit hard. If the U.S. diverts remittances and retains money earned by illegals, it will hurt poor Mexican families, especially in rural areas. I hope this doesn’t happen.
But honestly, I’d like to see the Mexican people admit that this is at the core of their argument for Trump’s racism. Trump says, “We’re taking care of our own now. If you’re a legal immigrant of any race and obey the law, you can enjoy the benefits of American citizenship. If you’re not, go home.”
Why is this unreasonable? I’m uncomfortable with this being dubbed racist, although it may be closed-minded. Trump is ignorant of the powerful contributions Mexico makes to North America, and like most non-minorities in the U.S. he has fears and judgments of “others.”
Instead of vilifying Trump, though, Mexico should invite him to Mexico City and wine and dine him — show him what is beautiful about Mexico and the Mexican people, of which there is plenty.
I am northern European racially and have lived in Mexico for four years. I have grown to love Mexico. Yet I’m not deceived: there are profound headaches here.
Corruption is everywhere; it’s an “un-state,” as Mexican essayist Sergio González Rodríguez describes it. Every taxi I get into charges me double and goes the (very) long way to any place I ask to be let off.
Trump is essentially pointing to this on a national scale and saying, “America needs to hold on to more of its resources and leave Mexico to its own problems.” I agree. It will be hard on Mexico, but the time has come for Mexico to grow out of its adolescence and start taking responsibility for its governance — to build a democracy.
This is not a racist position, for I have Mexican blood. I hold to it out of love for Mexico.
I am considering voting for Trump, mostly because I do not like Hillary Clinton. I am an American with a Mexican legacy. I am not a racist, and neither, I feel, is Trump at heart, even if he’s a judgmental prick. We’ve elected a lot of judgmental pricks to the U.S. presidency and some made pretty good presidents, especially if they got the job done, which I feel Trump intends to do.
Every president before Jimmy Carter could hardly be said to have not had prejudicial issues, and this includes John F. Kennedy, who slept with a lot of white women but I doubt he ever slept with a Mexican or African American.
The U.S. is ready to take care of its own; this is not, as some contend, isolationism. I am considering voting for Trump because he’s calling a spade a spade in Mexico, where thousands and thousands of people disappear every year — and sometimes such disappearances are aided by the police, who are in collusion with the criminals.
It is time for Mexico to become an adult in the world. I sense Trump’s ideas may service this aspiration. Clinton, I fear, will only inure Mexico further, allowing mexicanos to kid themselves that they are a mature, functioning democracy. Mexico is not a mature, functioning democracy, but she is a beautiful country.
This is Mexico’s quinceañera, its “childhood’s end.” Trump is the father who has said flatly after much patience, “It’s time for you to move out of the house.”
For Mexico, this time has come; Mexico must now live on its own and pay bills for the first time. In that way, she may grow. This beautiful country needs to grow.
Eduardo McKay Díaz is a novelist who grew up in Silicon Valley, California. He has been a technical writer for Hewlett Packard and LSI Logic (among others) and is currently working on his first work of fiction, a novel about Mexico in the future.