We Mexicans Welcome Muslims as the New Public Enemy Number One

Hey, Muslims: congrats! You’re America’s new Mexicans, and it’s all gracias to our common enemy, Donald Trump.

Let me explain. Anyone with a brain is rightfully upset by Trump’s recent remarks that he wants to ban Muslims from migrating to the United States, never mind that he has extensive business dealings in Muslim countries or that he’s also hypocritically professed to love Muslims. Republican presidential candidates are jumping over each other to decry Trump’s remarks even as they say there’s some truth to Trump’s heresies.

Meanwhile, a big part of America hoots and hollers in approval and awaits the next horrid pronouncement. (Here come the internment camps).

Thanks to all this, Muslims are now public enemy número uno. Welcome to being a Mexican in the United States.

Forgive us for feeling a bit of déjà vu. After all, he pulled this same type of mierda earlier this year. Remember? That whole thing about Mexicans being rapists and criminals and drug smugglers? Followed by him proclaiming to love Mexico – and the revelation that his jacket line is made there?

Republican candidates condemned Trump’s anti-Mexican babbling at the time, but then adapted his ideas as their own even as Trump leveled up with even more outlandish proposals, like deporting 11 million undocumented people (read: “wetbacks”) or building a massive border wall. And a big part of America agrees that it is a good idea.

It’s a natural nadir of race relations in this country that America has finally placed y’all as high as we are in the totem pole of who to hate. After all, we represent the two biggest nightmares of an American psyche that still acts like it just landed in Plymouth Rock: race-mixing for us, a non-Christian background for ustedes. 

Don’t feel lonely as the hate escalates in the coming year. We Mexicans are here for the ummah. After all, the guidebook Americans will follow to properly loathe Muslims was written long ago to use on us.

The stereotypes thrown against Muslims – bloodthirsty, invaders, misogynistic, clannish, swarthy, wanting white women, secretive and bent on destroying America – have been developed and deployed against Mexicans for the past 175 years in this country, in print, politics and media.

And the government overreach you’ve had to deal with since the days since 9/11 and will have to undergo even more now is like looking at a high school yearbook for us. Getting pulled aside by TSA? The migra has done that to us at border crossings from San Ysidro, California to McAllen, Texas since the days of Pancho Villa. Scared looks by Americans for your beard or hijab? Talk to any Mexican male with a shaved head about all the valentines police throw their way daily.

Clampdown on immigration? Americans have tried to stop us from coming since the days of the Ottoman Empire – and now, of course, the fear is your kind jumping the border with our help. Casting Muslim refugees fleeing from terror back home as sleeper agents? Ask Mexicans fleeing from this decade’s narco-violence how dispiriting that is (or our Central American cousins fleeing Reagan-supported death squads during the 1980s).

Fear of federal agents swooping up one of your relatives and never bothering to tell you why? That’s so ingrained in the minds of Mexicans that I remember a childhood game called “La Migra”, where someone would yell “¡La migra!” and everyone would scatter. That was the game, nothing else, and that was in the 1980s.

Best of all is how the actions of a few idiots in our respective tribes get thrown back at us as indicative of our collective failure as a minority. Already, Americans are asking y’all to police yourselves and stop protecting the “bad” Muslims, just like Mexican Americans get asked again and again to fight gangs in our neighborhoods or why don’t we improve the chaotic situation in Mexico. Funny how Americans never ask themselves the same thing every time some crazy gringo gets an assault rifle and massacres innocents.

It’s going to get tiresome to defend yourselves, Muslims. So how to deal with being America’s new Mexicans? Embrace it. Revel in the fact that millions of Americans are freaked out at everything that you do. Continue to organize and decry demonization at every step, and just roll your eyes at the umpteenth Fox News expert who couldn’t tell a falafel from kibbeh the way he can’t tell a sweet tamale from a savory one.

Most importantly, it’s time we form a Mexican-Muslim alliance. The numbers are there, and the similarities between us are astounding – besides how we both scare Americans.

We both come in a dazzling array of shades. Like Muslims have converts, Mexicans do as well: just look at all the coeds who like to sport sombreros for frat parties, or chefs who take our culinary traditions and get rich off of them. Spanish has thousands of loan words in Arabic gracias to the Moors, from almohada(pillow) to ojalá (hopefully, similar to your insha’Allah) to Donald Trump is Satan (Donald Trump is Satan).

There’s already more than a few Mexican Muslims, just like Muslims are starting to love Mexican food (I’ve had conversations with one of your finest spokespeople, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles chapter head Hussam Ayloush, about great tacos in Orange County). Virgin of Guadalupe? She’s part-Mexican and part-Muslim.

Let the Republicans rant – after all, they’re going to be the ultimate losers in all this. Like Mexicans, most of the Muslims I know seem natural for that party: fiscally and socially conservative, with a particular affinity for family values. Yet Republicans push us to the Democratic side because they’re so obnoxious and clueless and really think we don’t belong to this country.

So, let racism unite us. We Mexicans have been waiting for someone else to bear America’s cross of bigotry, and we’re more than happy to teach you the ropes--and help with the load. Alliances between Muslim and Chicano students groups have blossomed in recent years, so there’s precedent for us to hang out. You brothers and sisters bust out the shawerma (which our al pastor is based on), we cabrones will bring out the goat stew, and let’s plot the conquest of America – with love, votes, and a bunch of beautiful brown babies.


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