Race & Ethnicity

Issues ››› Race & Ethnicity
  • Prominent Hispanic Anchor Asks For Help Getting Trump Interview

    Trump Has Done Only One Interview With Hispanic Media, But He Gave Fox Over Three Hours In June Alone

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart asked Helen Aguirre Ferré, the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic outreach director, to help him get an interview with Donald Trump this week. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has only given one interview to a Hispanic media network since announcing his presidential run.

    During the July 17 edition of Telemundo’s Sunday interview show, Enfoque, Díaz-Balart requested Aguirre Ferré’s help, saying, “Helen Aguirre, what I want is for you to help me get Donald Trump in this chair with us this week, to talk more clearly about these details, but you’re always so kind being here with me.” Díaz-Balart, a Telemundo and NBC anchor, is regarded as one of the “most prominent voices in Hispanic journalism in the United States.”

    Trump’s presidential run has been marked by clashes with Hispanic media, including denying press credentials to Univision correspondent Lourdes Del Rio, ejecting Univision’s Jorge Ramos from a press conference, publishing Ramos’ personal contact information on social media, and shutting down Díaz-Balart at a press conference by telling him “You’re finished” and that Telemundo “should be ashamed.”

    Despite the anemic support he’s receiving from the Hispanic community, Trump has granted only one interview to a Hispanic media network, sitting down with Telemundo back in June of 2015. To date, he has continued to ignore requests for an interview from Univision, the largest Hispanic network. In a recent sign that Univision is still attempting to get an interview with Trump, Jorge Ramos revealed on July 18 that Trump had reached out to him with a “personal” letter, whose contents have not yet been disclosed.

    In marked contrast, Trump has given Fox News 3 hours and 20 minutes of interview time in the month of June alone. If Aguirre Ferré manages to grant Díaz-Balart’s request, it would mark a break in Trump’s pattern of largely ignoring Hispanic media, even though the Spanish-language outlets have proved their value in their coverage of the 2016 election. But Aguirre Ferré, who was critical of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate before joining the RNC, has noted that she has yet to meet Trump.

    UPDATE: Ramos has become the second Hispanic journalist this week to request the help of a Republican National Committee official in trying to get Trump to sit for an interview. While interviewing RNC communications director Sean Spicer during Fusion’s July 19 convention coverage Ramos asked Spicer, “Do you think Donald Trump would give me an interview?” adding that “everyone is talking to us, but he doesn’t want to talk to us.” Spicer said he would “try” to get Trump to agree. Trump recently responded to Ramos’ interview requests by sending the anchor a “personal” letter containing a bumper sticker and a donation request.

  • Univision News Spotlights Latino Voters' Growing Concern Over Racial Discrimination

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Univision News highlighted cases of police brutality against Latinos that have received little media attention and reported that, amid demonstrations condemning police brutality against minorities, Latino voters are increasingly worried about racial discrimination, which experts believe is on the rise, due in part to "the normalization" of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric.

    In the July 13 article, Milli Legrain pointed to a poll showing that Latino voters’ concern over racial tension “has been increasing since 2012 and particularly in the last three months,” climbing from 4 percent to 10 percent. Experts who study trends in the Hispanic electorate have attributed much of this anxiety to “the normalization” of Trump’s “‘discrimination and anti-Latino discourse.’” The piece honored “5 young Hispanics [who] also died by the hands of police between July 3 and July 7,” noting that this news was “less reported.” This lack of visibility for Hispanic victims of police brutality is representative of a pattern in the media to “silo” Latino issues to solely immigration and ignore other issues that may be pertinent to them.

    Legrain carefully distinguished between the unique obstacles that burden each minority group, explaining that "although discrimination against minorities manifests itself in different ways, there seems to be a point of overlap between the different racial communities of the country." She highlighted efforts by groups such as the Black and Brown United Coalition to organize and unite blacks and Latinos against racial discrimination, and concluded that “what is clear is that inflammatory discourses of Donald Trump, police violence, and discriminatory policies are contributing to placing the theme of race at the center of the electorate debate.” Translated from the Univision News July 13 report:

    In 2012, the election year where Barack Obama ran against Mitt Romney, only 4% of those surveyed saw race as the most important issue. But for the past three months, the issues of discrimination and race have been a concern of 10% of the Latinos surveyed.


    Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, an organization that promotes civic participation among Latinos in the U.S., explains this trend with the attacks Donald Trump has levied on the Hispanic community.

    Sylvia Manzano, an expert in Political Science and one of the higher-ups at Latino Decisions, is in agreement on this: “Discrimination and the anti-Latino discourse are on the rise and Trump is the leader of that. When you hear him say that he wants to build a wall, and his supporters respond that Mexico is going to pay for it, you are more sensitive to that kind of discourse if you areLatino,” Manzano explains.

    According to the expert, the “normalization” of the discourse fans the flames of discrimination.


    One piece of news less reported is that 5 young Hispanics who also died by the hands of police between July 3 and July 7. According to the Killed by Police database that monitors deaths caused by law enforcement, there have already been 100 Hispanics killed in interactions with the police in 2016 in the United States.


    Although discrimination against minorities manifests itself in different ways, there seems to be a point of overlap between the different racial communities of the country.

    What is clear is that Donald Trump’s inflammatory discourses, police violence, and discriminatory policies are contributing to placing the theme of race at the center of the electorate debate.

  • Univision Explains Why Potential VP Pick Gingrich's Record On Immigration Might Do Nothing To Help Trump With Latinos

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Amid speculation that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is among presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s top choices for vice president, Univision News explained that Gingrich is unlikely to to "help rescue votes" from those disgruntled by Trump, including Latinos, because Gingrich’s immigration plans haven’t been “well-received by the immigrant community” in the past.

    Trump, whose anti-immigrant rhetoric has made him extremely unpopular with Latino voters, is rumored to be considering Gingrich as his pick for vice president, a potential outcome championed by many Fox News personalities. Univision News pointed out that one flaw with a possible Gingrich vice presidency is that Gingrich wouldn’t necessarily help solve Trump’s Latino problem due to his controversial past proposals on immigration.

    According to Univision News, the immigrant community didn’t receive Gingrich’s 2012 plans to reform immigration well because it included “setting up citizen committees, similar to World War II-era draft boards” to determine who among the undocumented “should become a resident.” It didn’t extend a pathway to citizenship, required the newly minted residents to “pay for their own health insurance” and only included “the undocumented immigrants left out of President Ronald Reagan's 1986 amnesty.” Gingrich was also in favor of a “federal registration system for immigrants, which he compared to a FedEx tracking system.” From the July 13 Univision News article:

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is one of several potential candidates for Donald Trump's vice presidential pick, which the presumptive Republican nominee will announce Friday.

    But it’s unclear whether Gingrich, a more measured and experienced politician, can help rescue votes from those who are most disgruntled by Trump.


    When Gingrich ran for president in 2012, his campaign sought to promote policies that allowed more Latinos to "achieve the American dream" and permitted more Latinos to assume leadership positions.

    That year, Gingrich criticized President Barack Obama's failure to pass immigration reform and promised to address immigration on a platform that included security measures, employment verification, and swift deportations of criminals. He launched a site in Spanish and wrote columns for Spanish-language newspapers. In fact, he studies and speaks Spanish, a language Trump has shunned during his campaign.

    But Gingrich's 2012 immigration reform plan wasn't well-received by the immigrant community.

    He proposed giving residency to undocumented immigrants who'd been in the United States for at least 25 years and had no criminal record. And most controversially, he suggested setting up citizen committees, similar to World War II-era draft boards, to decide who should become a resident, based on merit. The new legal residents wouldn't have a path to citizenship, and would have to pay for their own health insurance.

    The plan aimed to legalize only the undocumented immigrants left out of President Ronald Reagan's 1986 amnesty that gave residency to three million immigrants, the majority of them Mexican.

    During his campaign, Gingrich also proposed a federal registration system for immigrants, which he compared to a FedEx tracking system, much like Christie did during his unsuccessful presidential bid.

    Gingrich’s problems with the Latino community aren’t limited solely to his position on immigration, his record also includes spewing racially charged comments against President Obama, referring to Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- a prominent figure in the Latino community -- as “racist,” and describing bilingual education as teaching “the language of living in a ghetto. Gingrich’s ambiguous stance on combating climate change -- which he defended before he opposed -- could also be an issue that would push away Hispanics, who overwhelmingly favor government action against climate change.

  • Fox News Attacks Black Lives Matter As “Lawless” After Cheering Cliven Bundy’s Lawless Militia

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Fox News has rediscovered its love of law and order.

    In the wake of protests across the country by Black Lives Matter activists following the deaths of two African-American men at the hands of police, Fox has spent days loudly denouncing the group for its allegedly violent ways. Under the headline, “Time to end Black Lives Matter lawlessness,” Fox’s Todd Starnes recently insisted “the rules of law matters, folks. Without it, we’ve got anarchy.”

    Starnes was angry that Black Lives Matter activists weren’t arrested when they marched on a bridge in Memphis and shut down traffic there over the weekend.

    Fox hosts and guests have all been piling on Black Lives Matter, continuing the network’s long-running campaign to demonize the group. Bill O’Reilly announced that an NAACP director and African-Americans in general need to “distance themselves from Black Lives Matter” in order to create “good racial relations,” while a panel of Fox News talkers last week insisted Black Lives Matter has its “roots in violence.” And Sean Hannity recently claimed that Black Lives Matter’s “advancing narrative is killing cops.”

    In other words, just rancid stuff, as Fox whips up racial tension under the guise of defending law and order. (Rudy Giuliani on Fox: Black Lives Matter “puts a target on the back of police.”)

    Fox News’ hate rhetoric isn’t just dangerous, it also reeks of hypocrisy when you recall that back in 2014, the same Fox News flaunted its disdain for law enforcement in order to champion Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. For two decades, Bundy refused to pay federal grazing fees on the public land his cattle used. According to Fox and the conservative media then, there was no more important battle than Bundy’s symbolic showdown with the federal government.

    The rancher’s battle was supported by heavily armed militiamen and women. Insurrectionism was the ugly theme of the day. Law enforcement was the enemy. And for Bundy, Fox News acted as his publicist/public defender, rallying conservatives across the country to support a rancher who didn’t want to pay his taxes.

    • Bill O’Reilly suggested Bundy “probably is a hero in many people's eyes because he's standing up against this colossus."
    • Sean Hannity relentlessly promoted Bundy, who called the Fox News talker his “hero.”
    • Andrew Napolitano called the law-breaking rancher a "patriotic, heroic American."

    And yes, the same Todd Starnes who today is so worried about “anarchy” if Black Lives Matter activists aren’t arrested was out front defending Bundy’s lawlessness. Referencing federal employees' attempt to legally confiscate Bundy's cattle after his fees and fines, Starnes noted, "Don't they still have laws on the books about cattle rustling out in Nevada? ... Back in the day, they used to string folks up for stealing cattle."

    At the height of Fox News’ Bundy frenzy and irresponsibility (like when Hannity wondered on-air if the federal government would kill the rancher), conservative media couldn’t stop fanning fears about "government overreach" in the Age of Obama.

    The Drudge Report recklessly hyped the possibility of a violent confrontation with the anti-government militia members, and Bundy himself threatened a “Range War” against the government, claiming his son was a “political prisoner.”

    The Southern Poverty Law Center later reported,The standoff between federal agents and armed supporters of a Nevada rancher earlier this year was a highly coordinated effort by far-right militiamen.” The group noted the Bundy confrontation “was seen as a victory within the antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement after federal agents pulled out despite Bundy owing more than $1 million in grazing fees and fines to the federal government.”

    Make no mistake, the Bundy stand-off was aggressively anti-law enforcement. “Militia snipers lined the hilltops and overpasses with scopes trained on federal agents,” SPLC noted. During one confrontation, protesters taunted federal agents with insults, denouncing various officers as a "terrorist," "loser," "chickenshit," and a "fucking pussy.

    Reminder: In April 2014, Bundy uncorked a racist rant ("I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro") and thoroughly embarrassed his media supporters who foolishly portrayed him as an American hero.

    But before his sudden fall, Fox News touted Bundy and his anarchic militia supporters as symbols of American resistance. Keep that in mind next time a Fox talker denounces Black Lives Matter as lawless.