Who is the Payaso (clown) Now?

Who is the Payaso (clown) Now?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Javier Palomarez and Ivanka Trump

Javier Palomarez and Ivanka Trump


Latinos will never forget that Donald Trump launched his campaign for President by attacking us, referring to us as “rapists” and “thieves”, and calling for a “great wall” to be built on the Mexico border. On the first day of his campaign, Trump put immigrants and Latinos in the crosshairs. He hasn’t let up, surrounding himself with white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

During last year’s election, our community responded in unity to fight back. We voted in record numbers: 79% of Latinos voting against Donald Trump. Javier Palomarez, leader of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was then a vocal critic of Trump. In one interview he said, “I don’t know if you guys speak Spanish, but I want you to remember this one word “payaso”, it means clown and [Trump] is a complete payaso.”

Flash-forward. A few days ago, Palomarez wrote an Op-Ed to the LA Times calling for Latinos to not resist Trump, but instead engage Trump. This on the very same day that Trump named Kris Kobach, one of the nation’s most virulent anti-immigrant crusaders, to lead his “voter fraud” commission.

Let that sink in for a minute. In addition to leading efforts to block immigration reform, Kobach “perhaps America’s foremost purveyor of the myth of voter fraud”, has been named vice chair of an effort that is designed to roll back voting rights. And the leader of a major Hispanic organization who a few months ago was a “never Trumper” is calling for Latinos to join him in appeasing and supporting Trump.

Mr. Palomarez, have you no shame?

Throughout your Op-Ed, and in many interviews since the election, you brag about your “access” to the White House, including a meeting with Ivanka Trump. If photo ops and name-dropping are a measure of success in dealing with this White House, you are a winner.

But what have you actually done for the 4 million Latino business owners you claim to represent? What have you done as it relates to policy? What have you done for our community? As you are undoubtedly aware, “Trump's well-documented history of not paying small-business owners who worked for him” should signal to your members that he is no friend. Yet, you haven’t hesitated to wrap your arms around Trump and give him cover for his policies that harm our community.

Of course, it’s hard to trust someone who throughout the Presidential Election supported Hillary Clinton, and then mere hours after the loss threw Hillary and her team under the bus in order to ingratiate himself with Trump. Palomarez told Buzzfeed, “We’re going to do everything we can to help the new administration move this country forward,” and “I’m very enthused and encouraged by the progress thus far.”

More recently, in an interview with Maria Hinojosa, Palomarez “likened his experience as a White House insider to that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Mr. Palomarez, you are no Martin Luther King.

There is an old saying, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything, and that’s exactly what you are doing. In your Op-Ed, you say that “Trump’s speeches and social media postings have prompted many to label him anti-Latino, and yet we discovered that he, members of his Cabinet, and members of his family have been nothing but supportive.”

Really? Taking healthcare from 24 million Americans is supportive? Deporting DREAMers and breaking up families is supportive? Rolling back civil rights is supportive? Deporting Roberto Beristain, a small business owner with 20 employees and no criminal record, is supportive?

You go on to say, “What are you doing to make things better? What have you done to improve the lives of fellow Latinos and fellow Americans?”

Let me tell you, Mr. Palomarez, what we are doing is resisting, and our community is united. I’m sure once the political winds change in a few short months you’ll be doing that too.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot