In case you forgot how despicably grotesque Donald Trump can be, here’s a little reminder of something he said in his presidential campaign announcement speech:
“When Mexico sends its people they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. 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’re telling us what we’re getting.”
Adriana Almanza, a young woman who works in the admissions department at Grand Valley State University in Michigan — and whose father is from Mexico – took exception to how Trump characterized people from her father’s place of birth and wrote an open letter to him on Facebook.
Dear Mr. Donald Trump,
I’d like to take a minute to introduce you to my father, Raul Almanza. As you so eloquently put it, he is one of the many that Mexico “sends” to this country.
Yesterday, I turned 28 years old and I was blessed to have had the opportunity to share my special day with my dad as it was Father’s Day, as well. In fact, yesterday wasn’t about me at all.. It was about him. Let me tell you why.
30 something years ago, Mexico “sent” my father to the United States.. or “El Norte” as we call it. It is no secret that he came here undocumented, unauthorized, or “illegal” as you call it. He worked his ass off in the fields.. traveling from state to state to find work. He helped provide for his parents and 9 siblings back home. And when I was born, he no longer held the title of just a son, brother, provider, and migrant worker- he finally earned the title of Father.
Raul doesn’t have what you call a “formal education”. He left high school early on to work and contribute to the household financially. But that doesn’t mean anything. When I was young, I would come home where my dad never hesitated to help me with my homework; he instilled in me the importance of education and a degree, even though he didn’t have one. My dad has worked 5-6 days a week since I was a child and I’ve never heard him complain about it one time. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t use drugs. He is certainly not a criminal, rapist, or drug trafficker, as your speech suggested.
Mr. Trump, in your speech, you claimed that Mexico doesn’t send the U.S. their best. But I beg to differ. If my dad is any representation of the type of people Mexico “sends”, there is no doubt in my mind this country is getting the best. The problem is that you and I have a different definition of “the best”.
I sit here now with a Masters degree and a rewarding career. You know what that means? Absolutely nothing. My entire life the only thing I ever wanted was to make my dad proud. I wanted to be sure he knew that his sacrifices would never be taken for granted. We are not rich in wealth, sir. But we are rich in what matters.. knowledge, culture, & faith. We come from humble beginnings.. and every year we are reminded of that when we travel to Mexico to visit our beautiful family. To us, THAT is what matters.
The best, to me, are those that work hard and still remain humble. That is exactly what my father embodies; that is exactly what the other millions of Mexicans embody.
Perhaps you should get to know more people like my dad; there are millions just like him. Then, you’d see for yourself .. & instead of bashing Mexico.. you’d thank Mexico.. for sending us their “best”.
So far, the post has received over 135,000 likes and has been shared over 88,000 times.
[Featured image credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford]