Just when you thought Donald Trump, a.k.a. America’s worst nightmare, is too busy dealing with his campaign that’s spiraling down on him, here he comes attacking nine countries all in one go.
According to Agence France-Presse, the Republican Party presidential bet Donald Trump strengthened his fight against immigrants in his rally in Portland, Maine on Thursday (Aug. 4). “We are letting people come in from terrorist nations that shouldn’t be allowed because you can’t vet them,” said Trump. He then named these countries as Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Yemen and the Philippines, and piped up, “We’re dealing with animals.”
California State Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), a second generation Filipino American issued the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s call to ban Filipino immigration and tourism:
“The latest salvo of divisive and hateful rhetoric being spewed by Donald Trump demonstrates yet again that he is unfit to serve as president. As an immigrant from the Philippines and as the first and only Filipino American elected to the California State Legislature, I’m extremely proud of the contributions Filipino Americans have made to America, from fighting heroically in our Armed Forces to igniting the struggle for farm worker rights, and the list goes on. Trump’s call to restrict immigration and tourism from the Philippines doesn’t represent the America my mother believed in when she made the journey to this country decades ago. It doesn’t represent the America that my 1.5 million Filipino American brothers and sisters in California know. And it’s definitely not the America I want my children to grow up in. Trump’s sweeping, irresponsible and vitriolic pronouncements on race have no place in our America,” Bonta concluded.
Jersey City Council president Rolando Lavarro, the first person of Filipino descent elected to the council, denounced GOP nominee Donald Trump. “There is simply no end to Trump’s inanities.” Trump’s temperament and bigotry is not befitting of a president. These latest comments are an insult to the nearly 18,000 Filipino Americans residing in Jersey City, 127,000 in New Jersey and over 3.4 million across the country. All good people should be outraged by Trump’s hateful and divisive rhetoric.”
Reacting to the same Trump statement, Scott Weiner, a member of the San Francisco Supervisory board said: “Just when you think Trump can’t sink any lower, he now wants to ban Filipino immigration and calls Filipinos animals. Our Filipino immigrant community is a vibrant, hard-working, kind, welcoming part of the Bay Area. These are our neighbors. Back off, you racist.”
For us in the Philippines, we are gratified the three gentlemen, plus many in social media, have stood up for the Philippines. According to Mario de Leon Jr. and Henry Bensurto, our consuls general in New York and San Francisco, respectively, they expressed confidence that 65 to-70 percent of Filipino Americans would vote for Hillary Clinton. When asked if any Filipino American organizations have made similar statements denouncing Donald Trump, they did not know of any at this point in time. As of Wednesday, Aug. 10, I found no statements from the FILAM press or FILAM organizations. I find that hard to believe but, if true, I am extremely disappointed.
The Republican presidential candidate manages to misspeak again. On Aug. 9, he said at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Thomas I. Friedman wrote an OPED on Aug. 9. He recounted how Israeli Prime Minister Yatzhak Rabin got assassinated because of provocation from the opposition: calling him a traitor and a Nazi….. Well, you know what we do with people like that, don’t you? We kill them. “And that’s what Jewish extremist Yigal Amir did to Rabin. Why not? He thought he had permission from a whole segment of Israel’s political class.”
Friedman then referred to another column of his when he warned Trump statements about immigrants could incite a similar kind of violence as in Israel. “ I never in my wildest dreams, though, thought he’d actually …suggest that Hillary Clinton was so intent on taking away the Second Amendment right to bear arms that maybe Second Amendment enthusiasts could do something to stop her. Exactly what? Oh, Trump left that hanging.”
Media is full of comments insinuating that perhaps Trump did indeed incite violence. Hillary Clinton echoed the same sentiment even alluding to the Bobby Kennedy assassination.
Aside from his racist orientation, Trump’s pronouncements on international affairs indicate ignorance of the world with an isolationist/protectionist bent. For us in Manila, we have reason to fear him. Moreover, we pray Hillary Clinton will win in November.
As is common in diplomatic service, Philip Goldberg has completed his assignment and will depart mid-October. The Philippines has been fortunate in having talented and distinguished career American ambassadors: Chip Bohlen, William Sullivan, David Newsom, Richard Murphy, Mike Armacost, Steve Bosworth, Nick Platt, Frank Wisner, Richard Solomon, John Negroponte, Tom Hubbard and Frank Ricciardone. Phil Goldberg will join the ranks of these gentlemen, all worthy representatives of the United States. Phil, thank you for interest and support for the Philippines.