After speaking out strongly against anti-immigration advocates in 2016, Zoe Saldaña’s now earned the ire of those who stand in stark opposition to Donald Trump. Over the weekend, she told AFP that Donald Trump became the president because Hollywood bullied him. “We got cocky and became arrogant and we also became bullies,” she said. “We were trying to single out a man for all these things he was doing wrong… and that created empathy in a big group of people in America that felt bad for him and that are believing in his promises.” She immediately faced backlash for defending Trump, a man who constantly bullies others. Just in the past year, he seemingly mocked a reporter with disabilities and vilified entire groups. And though it’s receiving far less attention, it wasn’t the only time she spoke about Trump this past weekend.
On Al Punto, Zoe told Jorge Ramos why Trump deserved her respect. “I have faith in [Trump] because he is my nation’s president. I wasn’t raised to choose one person over the other,” she said in Spanish. “I was raised to be an American. To do my duty and offer my respect to America. Therefore, I will give him my respect, the respect he deserves, until the shoe drops, as we Dominicans would say.”
The short clip shared on Univision’s Facebook page also garnered mixed commentary, with some saying that she was brave for going against the norm and others criticizing her for automatically accepting the person elected into the highest office in the country. To be fair to Saldaña, Univision’s Facebook page is only a clip. (You can check out the full video here.) It doesn’t include the part where she vows to use her voice to help groups fighting push forward, or that she doesn’t want to feel despair.
However, her argument that Trump deserves a chance won’t sit well with the same people that he targeted throughout his entire presidential campaign. On more than one occasion, Trump has shown us that his vision of America isn’t welcoming of all. After the election, he further proved that by tapping Jeff Sessions for the attorney general position.
In 2006 during an immigration reform debate on the US Senate floor, Sessions denigrated Dominicans. “Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in our society,” he said, according to the Huffington Post.“They come in because some other family member of a qualified relation is here as a citizen or even a green card holder. That is how they get to come. They are creating a false document to show these are relatives or their spouses and they married when it is not so.”
[h/t Latino Rebels]