By Dennis Figueroa
Back when Donald Trump first announced his presidential campaign and infamously called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” I encountered my first Trump troll. After tweeting about how livid the remark made me, a half-brained Trumpkin replied with “BUILD THAT WALL.” I checked the user’s feed and almost every exchange he had with anyone who wasn’t a fellow Trumpkin somehow included “Build that Wall” in one form or another. On one hand, the idea of someone actively supporting the wall frustrated me. On the flip side, I was confused over why a phrase, which really means nothing, had such a strong effect on me.
Since that first encounter, “Build that Wall” has become the most favored racist taunt among Trumpkins. The fact that people not only supported, but elected Trump, a man who genuinely believes that it is economically sound to build a $15-25 billion-dollar wall that spans 2,000 miles across the southern border will forever baffle me. More than six months into his presidency, and Trump has yet to pass any major legislation or do anything remotely productive aside from clog our social media timelines and news outlets with stories about his golfing trips and controversial tweets. But he sure fuels the relentless bigotry of online and in real life trolls.
And “Build that Wall” isn’t just for Twitter twits. On Cinco de Mayo, Hennessey’s Tavern, a bar in Dana Point, decided that the best way to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in the Battle of Puebla was to have an patrons climb an inflatable wall in order to earn a “green card,” good for one free drink (with purchase of another). The owner of Hennessey’s Tavern issued a statement on Facebook where he claimed that the inflatable wall was supposed to start a dialogue about how ridiculous Trump’s border plans are, but of course, people didn’t buy his half-ass explanation.
More recently at Ruido Fest, a three-day outdoor Latino music festival in Chicago, a Home Depot-sponsored booth included a wall that people were allowed to decorate. Anti-Trump protesters arrived at the scene and took it upon themselves to knock the damn thing down. Home Depot commented on the incident saying the wall was a “very disappointing misunderstanding.” Was it really a misunderstanding, though? How exactly is anyone supposed to interpret a brick wall at a Latino music festival sponsored by a corporation whose CEO is a Trump supporter? What precisely are people supposed to take away from that other than that immigrants are being made a mockery?
The only thing the Trump has accomplished is giving his precious Trumpkins new ways to be racist without more overt racial slurs.