With roughly 42 hours of speeches, shout-outs, and sing-alongs spread out over four days, it was pretty hard to keep track everything that went down at last week’s Democratic National Convention. So hard, in fact, that you may have even missed the moment when San Antonio’s independent film pioneer Robert Rodriguez stepped up to the stage in his characteristic black cowboy hat and urged his fellow Latinos to vote for Hillary Clinton.
The brief but powerful one-minute speech went down after Rodriguez premiered a moving short video entitled Our America. Cutting between stock footage and still images, the patriotic short showcases a vision of a diverse United States that “opens her arms to the future.” If you listen closely, you can even hear the menacing growl of Rodriguez’s perennial collaborator and second cousin Danny Trejo reminding us that “every single day we earn [our freedom] all over again.”
Once the video concluded, Rodriguez shared the stage with a rainbow coalition of speakers coming from politics, the media, and Native American tribal councils, all of whom used their time to repeat the same chorus: we must vote. Rodriguez also took the opportunity to speak a little bit about his background and name drop his El Rey Network before speaking directly to Latinos: “Storytelling amplifies our voice… That voice is our vote. It can be more powerful than ever before. We can decide this election but only if we wield that power. It’s not enough to agree. We have to get out there and vote.”
And in case Rodriguez and company didn’t make all of this clear enough, the showcase of Democratic diversity was followed up by a painfully under-rehearsed rendition of the original song “America,” written by Gloria and Emilio Estefan. On hand to interpret the original composition were La India, Huey Dunbar of DLG, and Tony Award-nominee Raúl Esparza, though we’re sure they’re trying very hard to forget about it.