Donald Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric set the climate for the presidential election of 2016. His announcement speech took the nation by storm when his comments stigmatized the Mexican immigrant figure. Trump went on to blame Mexicans for crime and drugs, he even labeled them as “rapists,” before adding insult to injury by assuming that “some may be good people.”
The realty of the situation is that people risk their lives everyday crossing the border in hopes for a better tomorrow. The crossing of a border often means physical pain and emotional trauma. Some individuals don’t even make it alive to see the other side of the frontier, the promise land, where their dreams of a better life can come to fruition with hard work. Sacrificing everything they have ever known and loved, everything they have ever attained, sacrificing their own dignity for hopes of benefiting from the opportunities offered in the “land of the free.”
Although I am not Mexican, nor an immigrant (by legal standards), I felt personally assaulted and attacked by Trump’s comments. As a Colombian-American, I felt that tactic of unity come into play, thinking that those in higher or more optimal positions would give voice to our black and brown communities, the very ones disallowed by the mainstream. But making this assumption was my first mistake.
As hate speech like the kind Trump continues to spew became more and more apparent in social media, news headlines and political forums, organizations such as Latinas For Trump were created and, soon enough, empowered by growing numbers. My curiosity (and moral compass) lead me to question the support of a man who, on a regular basis, sabotages the very identities that make up Latinas For Trump, which is to say women, and of Latino descent.
Meet Denise Gálvez, the 41-year-old first generation, Cuban-American entrepreneur who actually co-founded the controversial organization. Below is a lengthy excerpt from our conversation. Take heed, this might get uncomfortable…
VIBE Viva: What political party do you identify yourself with?
Denise Galvez: The Republican Party. I used to identify as an independent, but the older I got and the more financial responsibilities I attained—being an entrepreneur and a business owner—the Republican Party seemed like the best fit. I can see why a lot of millennials are registered as democrats, because socially the policies make sense when you are inexperienced with minimal responsibilities.
Based on your response, would you say that conservative ideology is based on immediate loved ones as opposed to overall society?
Absolutely, especially when you are living paycheck to paycheck. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart, it’s just that reality doesn’t allow you to afford to.
What was your initial reaction as a Latina to Trump’s opening speech?
I find it important to state that initially, I was not a Trump supporter. I was always supportive of the idea of a business owner running to be president, but not Trump due to his lack of experience in politics. In the primaries, that’s when I decided to be in support, but [I had to go] back and thoroughly listened to his opening speech, which most people that interviewed me have not heard it in its entirety…
So, what were your thoughts then?
The image the mainstream media portrayed of the speech is not what I got out of it. Granted, I am not Mexican and I am not an illegal so I didn’t feel like it was personal to begin with, but my takeaway is that he was addressing only the criminals. And speaking to people that are here illegally, most didn’t take it personally either, because they felt the same, he’s only addressing the criminals.
So, you see some sort of validation in his speech?
In hindsight, I understood his perspective, but as a PR person he could have been more eloquent in his choice of words. “Some” should have been replaced with “A lot” but he’s clarified since then that he’s only talking about criminals. It’s a result of him saying things without thinking twice of the ramifications.
Is that a concern for you?
Of course, it makes it difficult for him to get through to the people that are undecided. But being in business, I’ve dealt with businessmen like Trump and I’ve had no choice but to toughen up and deal. But I also know that these men that talk politically rough around the edges have the biggest hearts. I’m less concerned with him being polished and more concerned with what he believes in his heart and what he ends up doing.
What Trump policies stand out to you the most throughout his campaign?
The fact that he’s not a politician, and it’s clearly noted throughout his speeches, [which are] not politically correct. He also does not have any corporate funding to manipulate him.
A photo posted by Denise Galvez (@denisevgalvez) on
OK… Trump’s comments in the final debate connected undocumented citizens directly to heroin, regarding the epidemic. How do you feel about that?
He’s not a teleprompter expert like Obama, but I don’t think it’s offensive because it’s a real issue. In my own neighborhood, unfortunately, there’s a lot of Latino gang members dealing “la flaka” and the epidemic is a real issue with numbers that support it. All those drugs being trafficked are coming through Mexico, not necessarily from Mexico, but through Mexico.
But the leading drug overdose is pain relievers, which are made from opiates, the same as heroin and could lead to heroin use.
I personally don’t think he should off the cuff like that without very detailed information, even though I know there’s data to support what he said.
What do you think is the direct reason for this Trump sensation?
In the perspective of Americans, we’ve had a president for the past eight years who’s amazing at giving speeches, who is politically correct but has no actions. So, [with Trump] I think people need to worry less about his words and focus more on change and action.
Are you saying that the current political state is directly responsible for the Trump sensation?
Our political state has allowed me as a Latina to be tolerable with Trump.
So, is it safe to say he’s not the perfect candidate?
Of course not, there are a million things wrong with him, but he is who we got right now. Neither candidate is ideal. But I am not voting for Trump because of Hillary, but because I want to see a businessman in office. I don’t agree with how he says things, but at his core and at my core I agree with him. I agree with wanting to bring back jobs in this country and renegotiating trade agreements, in removing the death taxes, and the tax cuts because the corporate taxes he wants to lower applies to small business owners. Reducing the burdens and regulations on business owners will increase the economy by allowing business people to create jobs. “When people are given the right opportunities they make the right decisions.” He’s extreme on abortion; I’m a little more moderate.
How do you feel about Trump’s comments concerning building the wall?
I agree with it, houses need walls for protection and no one that is coming here legally should take offense to that.
And what about his stance on immigration?
People come and go as they please, and all the money earned isn’t for here in the U.S., it’s all money being sent back to Mexico.
So, what about the hardworking undocumented immigrants that contribute to society in paying taxes and don’t commit felonies?
Once we unburden the system with all the criminals that we’re here supporting and the visa overstays and stuff then we can put everybody else in line.
So, you believe in the legalization of undocumented immigrants?
If families want to bring their family and start a life here I’m all for it, but that’s not that case. The dad comes and works and they send all their money back to their wives and kids.
Some parents may not want their child or loved ones to cross the border, because it is life threatening.
But that’s not the case because I ask them, and they say it’s because they live great over there. But coming here to mooch off our government, food stamps, and our education.
How can they “mooch off” the government if they are essentially invisible?
I know for a fact that illegals come here and get declared mentally-disabled and right away start collecting disabilities.
I’ve never heard of that.
Of course not because you’d have to investigate that. Not to mention that no one in this country is refused medical treatment, so they’re allowed to go to our hospitals and clinics and receive services. They come here to have their babies because they get great treatment, top of the line treatment and then go back after they take our services. And no one is checking that we’re providing money and government funds for someone that doesn’t live in this country. And I’m not saying that’s a majority, but there are a lot of cases like that. And it’s not only Mexicans, it’s all Latin American countries.
How do you feel about the hypocrisy in the Trump allegations? What with his slandering undocumented citizens for not paying taxes, but he has yet to pay any…
That statement is not true, people need to understand the difference between personal taxes and corporate taxes. The allegations are that he hasn’t paid personal taxes in 20 years, which is not true because the leak of his 2013 taxes showed he paid in millions, where he overpaid in taxes, which was verified by the IRS to be true. [This was eventually proved to be a false statement after the interview] But he has contributed in society in paying payroll taxes, corporate taxes, real estate taxes, and property taxes. None of these allegations are factual, they are just tactics by the Democratic Party. I personally have not paid personal taxes in the last three years because I cashed out more in the overhead. But that doesn’t mean [Trump] hasn’t paid taxes and contributed to the system.
But the company paid taxes. He, personally, has not.
But guess who owns the company, so if at the end of the year if you show you’ve taken more losses than profits, so legally he can.
So, why do you think he doesn’t release his taxes?
I think because he has a big ego and he’s not worth as much as he says he is. But regardless, everything he has done is legal.
But legal does not mean moral.
If we were in the discussion of legal and moral than Hillary wouldn’t be in office, because she has done stuff that is illegal and hasn’t been charged for it.
A photo posted by Denise Galvez (@denisevgalvez) on
So, you’re stating he is not hypocritical for the employment of undocumented persons, manufacturing overseas, or paying taxes?
He has a licensing deal and the products being manufactured are out of his control, he should have looked more into where the product was being licensed, but he didn’t. His decisions are the product of a system, you can fault him for exploiting these options in a country that doesn’t allow for you to do so. If he did things how he was supposed to and in-house his products would need to be charged double of what they are now. You can’t fault a private business owner for failures of a system. Every company does it.
But every company is not condemning the acts he practices and running for president at the same time, that’s why it is viewed as hypocritical.
It’s more hypocritical of the left to make promises they are not intending to keep. I would rather vote for a businessman that did what he did to make his company profitable as opposed to one who gives false promises.
As a woman how do you feel about the audio of the “locker room talk?”
Obviously, I prefer men not talk like that around any women, especially around my daughters or any children. I feel like it was a political tactic used to sabotage him. He didn’t know he was being recorded. And just like the majority of men who talk like that amongst themselves, women do the same when they are amongst themselves. But the media painted an image of him as someone who is promoting sexual assault.
You don’t think his comments promote sexual assault?
Nope, not at all. He was saying that because he is famous and rich he can get women to do almost anything. You know who’s fault that it is, women, stupid women that date men and allow the men to do whatever they want because they are rich and famous. And he never said, “I am encouraging all men to do this.”
But his comments as a public figure influence the masses, don’t you think?
But he said that in private amongst other men. And by the way, he said that how many years ago? Not when he was a public figure.
But he was and still is a public figure.
He was a private person, he is a businessman who happens to be idolized, and that is society’s problem. The fact that society idolizes him is society’s problem, not his.
So, you don’t think he chose to be a political figure?
Of course not, he chose to be a successful businessman.
But he was hosting the show The Apprentice.
Yeah, but do you think he came up with that idea? And the same channel that wanted to promote him as a celebrity is now dedicating to sabotaging his character. And unfortunately, he said “yes” because he has an ego, but he didn’t set out to be a God-like figure.
He’s always had a public persona.
His public persona is a byproduct of his success as a businessman.
You can be a successful businessman and be more reserved and private, he chose to not be private and that was a choice he made.
How do you feel about his stance on the Central Park Five and its relation to the “locker room talk?”
I don’t know about the Central Park Five so I won’t speak on it, but as for the “locker room talk,” the recordings have been over charged and scrutinized. They made him sound like a criminal, and once again he is not a criminal. He was NOT endorsing or promoting sexual deviance, he was saying because of his celebrity status he can get women to do almost anything. That’s not saying he raped them or he forced himself upon them, he is saying that the women give in and let him do anything. That’s not anything more than talking crap about how women are so stupid. To me, that is more of a conviction of woman on how stupid they can be when around celebrities and money. If you’re offended by that you must be one of those women, because it does not offend me.
But comments such as “grab them by the pussy” shouldn’t be a norm.
But I’m sure you’ve been out with the guys and comments like this float around and you just stuck around or partaken in it to be cool.
No, I actually never heard similar statements in a conversation. But I have been around conversations that demoralize women. I personally don’t partake in it and actually challenge the statements.
So, you’ve never looked at a woman and said “she has a nice ass” or “I’d like to grab her ass.”
No, and there’s a difference between physical attraction and derogatory terms implying physical assault.
Again, I’m not condoning this behavior, but this type of speech does happen, but it does not mean that they act on it. And in the past, we’ve had presidents that talk all pretty and sleep with women in the oval office. So do we care about how they talk or how they act? People live in a world that doesn’t exist, with an unrealistic utopian view on what our president should be like. But they are human, and men are men. As long as what they are doing is not illegal, I don’t care about what they are saying behind closed doors. I’m more concerned with what Hillary is saying behind closed doors, what does she really think about Latinos or blacks?
His character isn’t a concern for you at all?
No, I’m more concerned about his actions. We have three branches of government that won’t allow him to just drop nuclear bombs off irrational thought. So we’re just taking a gamble on a guy who has a character that is less than perfect. Would you rather a man that makes mistakes and admits to them or a woman who lies and never admits to making mistakes?
How do you feel about Hillary?
Unfortunately, I think her thirst for power has allowed her to make a lot of bad decisions, which were only for her benefit. I can’t support someone like that. If she admitted to her mistakes with humility I would support her over Trump.