PORT ISABEL, RGV – What do Carlos Slim, NBC, Univision, and Olivia and Walter Birdwell of Laguna Vista, Texas, have in common? They are all upset with Donald Trump right now.
While Slim, NBC and Univision independently dropped various projects they were working on with the hotel and casino developer, the Birdwells took to the street to make their views known. They held placards aloft at the entrance to the Queen Isabela Causeway in Port Isabel to show their disgust at Trump’s recent comments about Mexicans.
“Mr. Trump has insulted the whole Latino community – especially the Mexican people – and I want all the citizens to fight back against this racism that is killing us here in the Valley. We have more poverty and more inequality than any other area. And we need all our representatives, all our people with power to start speaking up against racism,” said Yolanda Garza Birdwell.
“Mr. Obama says he understands the pain. We are in pain. I have cried. When I came to this country I did not have one single penny. I pay taxes and he (Trump) insulted me. This man has to go. Mr. Trump has to be taken to another country where he does not have to be with minorities.”
Trump made his derogatory remarks about undocumented immigrants from Mexico on the same day the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas – RGV Chapter was holding a luncheon in McAllen. The keynote speaker at the event, former UT-Pan American President Blandina ‘Bambi’ Cardenas said she was outraged by Trump’s remarks. Members of the HWNT said they understood Trump was interested in buying property on South Padre Island.
Yolanda Garza Birdwell said Trump was not welcome on South Padre Island or in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I know what the Mexican people do. I live in a condominium. All the labor is Mexican. He (Trump) makes money out of our labor,” she said. Asked what her Spanish language placard said, Yolanda Garza Birdwell responded: “It says Donald Trump is a racist clown. Latinos are 100 percent against this racist – we are getting 100 support.”
Two weeks ago, while launching a bid to become president of the United States, Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people who have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
As a result of these comments, Univision pulled out of Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe TV shows. NBC later announced it would not work with Trump on the Miss USA and Miss Universe events. And Slim, the Mexican communications magnate, severed his working relationship with Trump when one of his TV production companies pulled out of a project it was set to embark on with the real estate developer.
The Financial Times reported Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law Arturo Elias as saying: “His (Trump’s) statement was totally out of line…working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work.”
Walter Birdwell, husband of Yolanda Garza, said he was standing in the street with a placard not only to criticize Trump but also to oppose the racism that recently engulfed South Carolina. “You can consider me a southern white man. But that does not make me a racist. All races share the same genetic material. We are one human race. I am opposed to bigotry, prejudice, and the reactionaries. Trump’s remarks are racist and idiotic. He is symbolic of the rich one percent. They are making money off the work other people do,” said Walter Birdwell.