To the racist man irate over Spanish speakers in a Midtown restaurant:
I don’t know who you are, but to me — a Spanish-speaking brown man, the son of Latino immigrants and a proud American — your name is unimportant.
I’ve seen what you are, and you are unremarkable. I have experienced bigotry from reactionary white people like you all my life. Your white supremacy is banal. And it’s dying.
Communities of color know that your brand of racism has been tailored over the past few decades to dog-whistle tactics.
And it’s undeniable that in the last two years, President Donald Trump and those he’s elevated have wound back the clock on bigoted discourse, emboldening hateful and pathetic racists like you to come out of the shadows of online places like 4Chan and Gab.
There’s a reason your behavior found sanctuary on those forums: It is not welcome in a civilized society. The values you espouse will find no safe harbor in the light of public scrutiny.
You have now been exposed. You are a meme, a Reddit thread. You and your camp may think you have renewed license to spew ignorance in public, but the rest of us see that behavior for what it is: Not an expression of power but the dying spasm of a depraved ideology.
As a nation, we are indebted to immigrants — documented or not. Trump’s election hasn’t given you free rein to spew hate speech. Instead, it has exposed this country’s racist foundation to many who were privileged enough not to see it before.
The United States has no official language, but the American English most popularly spoken between our borders wasn’t born in a vacuum. It’s an amalgamation that borrows from Native Americans, the French, German, Dutch and Spanish. It’s unfortunate the tax dollars you so covet failed to deliver you a better education.
Your tantrum at Fresh Kitchen is probably being celebrated as heroic in your corner of the internet. When your ephemeral celebrity comes to a predictable end, I’d like to introduce you to a real hero: My father, an Ecuadorian immigrant and Vietnam War veteran.
I grew up in a bilingual home — my father speaking perfect, clear English, while my mother spoke mostly Spanish. Together, they personify the promise of America. They came to a new country, worked hard, started a family, and became active members of their community.
They raised the first Ecuadorian-American elected to public office in this country. I know what honor and integrity look like because of the example they set.
And I know what cowardice looks like because of you and those who act like you. You drape yourselves in the American flag, but your “patriotism” is little more than a Trojan horse for white nationalism.
Brace yourself. The arc of history is bending towards justice, and where there is justice, white supremacy is a ghost.
Source: Ny Daily News