When Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring for the GOP Presidential nomination, he made some of the most racist and offensive remarks ever made by a modern-day Presidential candidate, calling Mexican’s “rapists” and criminals.
In making these charged remarks he ignored a critical new reality in modern American politics: the road to the White House goes directly through Latino neighborhoods. His campaign also forgot the lessons of Mitt Romney’s failed bid for the White House which included tone-deaf calls for Latinos to sign up for “self-deportation” and essentially handed 71 percent of the Latino vote to President Obama in 2012.
Yet, Trump went further and deeper in his anti-Latino rhetoric and, in doing so, instantaneously alienated some 54 million Latinos—64 percent of whom are of Mexican origin—who call the United States home. In addition, he turned his back on the 25.2 million eligible Latino voters, a group that has grown by 3.9 million since 2010.
The folly in Trump’s approach became quickly apparent, with Univision, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, multiple Latino celebrities, and hundreds of thousands of average citizens firing back and cutting their ties with the Trump brand. This week, all eyes turned to NBC—Trump’s longtime partner in television programming—to see whether the giant television network would follow suit. On Tuesday, NBC handed the Latino community a huge victory, announcing they would also sever business ties with Trump over his derogatory comments, despite Trump’s threats of litigation.
NBC’s decision is not only a testament to the growing political power of America’s Latino community but also a smart business decision. Businesses understand the importance of Latino consumers. In 2014, the purchasing power of Latinos totaled $1.3 trillion (a 495 percent increase since 1990) and it is projected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2019, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. NBC is making the correct moral, as well as economic choice of standing with “54 million Latinos who deserve the dignity of not being called “rapists” or “murderers”…who deserve the grace for fair and accurate representation.” This was a no-brainer for NBC and is a lesson for those who would disparage this important bloc of voters and consumers.
In a matter of days, the Latino community came together using its political and economic power to hit Trump in the only place he cares, his pocket book. The swiftness and organization of this response is yet another demonstration of the growing strength of Latinos in the U.S.
Photo by cfperda.