In the documentary film Hate Rising, award-winning Univision and Fusion news anchor Jorge Ramos lays out his case against the hate-filled campaign Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has run over the last 16 months. Through chilling interviews with leaders in the KKK and other white supremacy groups, and emotional interviews with victims of hate, Ramos explores how Trump has negatively impacted society with his Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
During an interview with Remezcla, Ramos talked to us about how Trump successfully tapped into the darkest corners of America this election season and how Latinos can move the needle toward a more progressive country by making their voices heard with their votes. Here are the highlights.
On the damage Donald Trump has done to race relations whether he wins or not
“I don’t think this election is going to end this hate that Donald Trump started.”
I think the damage has been done. I think he makes racism and hate the norm. That’s very dangerous. Before he announced [his presidency], many hate groups and neo-Nazis and white supremacists, the place where they lived was the internet. They used to have these secret gatherings, but that’s about it. But when they heard a candidate attacking Muslims, immigrants, women and people with disabilities, they felt emboldened. They felt validated. Now, hate speech is out in the open. You hear it out in the streets. They feel that what was politically incorrect before is legitimate now. I don’t think this election is going to end this hate that Donald Trump started.
On his message to children afraid Donald Trump will separate them from their undocumented parents
A part of the “Trump effect” is the fear and anxiety that he is creating in the youngest in our country. For them, they are following the election, but they don’t care who is going to win. But they are afraid if Donald Trump wins, their parents or their grandma who takes care of them will be deported. My frustration is that I can’t tell them it’s going to be OK because I don’t know. That’s the truth. I’ve never felt like that before. If Trump wins and he goes ahead with his plan to deport 11 million [immigrants] in two years, I can’t tell those kids everything is going to be OK. Things are going to get worse. We think this is a conversation between adults, but that’s not the case. Kids watch and listen to everything.
On the fact that by 2044 whites will become a minority in the US
“It is really shameful that in the [2012 election], only 48 percent of Latinos eligible to vote went to the polls.”
[In Hate Rising] I talked to an Imperial Wizard of one KKK group in Texas. He’s a racist. He told me openly that because he’s white and I’m Latino, he’s superior to me. That’s precisely the problem. White supremacist groups are afraid and are very angry because they are becoming a minority in the United States. By 2044, whites not Hispanics will be the minority. It’s already happening in Texas, California and New Mexico. They believe we are taking their jobs and political power and opportunity. Whenever you have economic problems or security problems in a country, they tend to blame immigrants. That’s what Trump is doing. They’re wrong.
On the possibility that Latino voters can turn a red state like Arizona blue
We have power, but we have to vote. It is really shameful that in the [2012 election], only 48 percent of Latinos eligible to vote went to the polls. Right now there are 27 million Latinos who are eligible to vote. If a majority of them go to the polls, we will decide not only the fate of Arizona, but who is going to be the next President of the United States. But we have to go to the polls. The Latino community is no longer the sleeping giant. If we are really upset about the attacks on immigrants, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, women, our only voice is our vote. It would be incredibly shameful having that opportunity to change the destiny of the United States and missing that opportunity.
On Donald Trump’s claims that the election is rigged against him
“I know about rigged elections. I’m from a country in which candidates used to get 100 percent of the vote on election day.”
Well, I know about rigged elections. I’m from a country in which candidates used to get 100 percent of the vote on election day. I saw in Colombia how a president won an election after receiving $6 million from drug traffickers. I saw in Venezuela how Hugo Chávez changed the constitution so he could stay in power. So, I know what a rigged election is. [The U.S. election] is not a rigged election. I think Donald Trump is looking for an excuse for his possible loss. I can’t believe in a country with 240 years of democracy we have a candidate who refuses to say he’ll accept the results of the election. That’s something you would expect from certain countries in Latin America, but not in the United States.
On what he would ask Donald Trump if he sat down with him for a one-on-one interview
The first question is, “Are you a racist?” I don’t know what’s in his head, but I do know what is coming out of his mouth. What I’ve heard and what everybody else has heard are racist comments.
Fusion TV will re-broadcast Hate Rising on Tuesday, October 25 at 10 p.m and is playing at select theaters.