Today’s Random Act of Racism comes at you from the State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. Progressive activist Zaira Livier observed the whole incident and recounted it on Facebook.
Livier reported seeing a crowd of armed Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol building. The protesters seemed to be targeting anyone nearby who appeared to be Latinx, getting in their faces and shouting slurs, following them when they tried to walk away.
The Trump supporters confronted a young Latino id standing next to Livier, shoving a phone in his face and accusing him of being “an illegal” and a criminal. Livier stepped in, when it became clear the the boy was intimidated and flustered. She physically put herself in between the kid and the Trump supporters and told them to back off – in so many words.
After the incident, Livier walked away but noticed the Trump supporters approaching a police officer. The cop approached Livier, who was alone, with a phalanx of Trump supporters behind him. He reprimanded her for using foul language and told Livier that she was not allowed to curse at these people. If she repeated the infraction, he intimated that the situation might escalate for her.
The cop made no move to intervene on behalf of Latino bystanders as the Trump supporters harassed them.
Racial tensions are running high as lawmakers debate the fate of the Dreamers, 800,000 young people living in the US after being brought to the country illegally as children. Congress has been debating the issue for weeks, resulting in a government shutdown last weekend after Democrats and Republicans failed to pass a continuing resolution tied to the fate of the Dreamers and the DACA program.
The debate continues as Democrats haggle with Trump over the details of immigration reform, with Democrats advocating on behalf of the Dreamers and pushing Trump to accept a path to citizenship for them. Trump, meanwhile, is holding fast to his commitment to building a wall on the Southern Border and putting an end of family immigration or “chain migration” as he refers to it.
The fiery immigration debate is trickling down to the population at large, resulting in these kinds of exchanges targeting immigrants and an uptick in hate crimes. Until the government comes up with a way to codify protection of immigrant Americans, it creates an atmosphere of hate that continues to jeopardize their safety in exactly the way Zaira Livier reported from Arizona.