Twitter was set ablaze on this week when Indiana Governor Mike Pence was questioned by Virginia Senator Tim Kaine during the vice presidential nominee debate. Pence was put to task by responding to a query by Kaine about Donald Trump’s comments concerning Mexican immigrants, in which he claimed that they were rapists and criminals.
According to Mic.com, Pence, visibly uncomfortable with being questioned by Kaine on Trump’s statements, replied, “Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again. There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives.”
Twitter’s response was epic.
#ThatMexicanThing is going to decide who’s going to be the next President. No one can make it to the WH without the Latino vote. You’ll see
— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) October 6, 2016
Users initially began using memes in lieu of Pence’s remark, with one user Twitter commentator asking, “I’m sorry. Did he say, ‘You whipped out that Mexican thing again?’ *puts on reading glasses* Did that happen?”
did he say
“you whipped out that Mexican thing again”
*puts on reading glasses*
did that happen?
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) October 5, 2016
While the statement began as a meme mocking the governor, it became a moment for Latinx users to challenge toxic xenophobia concerning themselves, their families, and the political reality that they face in the United States.
#ThatMexicanThing my abuela picked cotton and dropped out of the 5th grade bc she couldn’t speak English. My mom was first to go to college.
— 🌰🍁JuanPa🍂🎃 (@jpbrammer) October 5, 2016
“#ThatMexicanThing my abuela picked cotton and dropped out of the 5th grade because she couldn’t speak English. My mom was the first to go to college,” one user explained. “#ThatMexicanThing is where you sacrifice over and over again to give your children a better life so they’re safe from people like Mike Pence.”
Dear Mike Pence, you are not in Indiana anymore #ThatMexicanThing could cost you the election.
— Stephanie (@socalsteph_) October 5, 2016
Another user wrote, “Dear Mike Pence…you are not in Indiana anymore. #ThatMexicanThing could cost you the election.”
“Illegal border crossings overall have dropped to the lowest levels since the early 1970s, with the number of Mexicans caught at the border at the lowest level since the late 1960s,” says Julia Preston of the New York Times. The governor also dropped misgivings about the Clinton administration’s future policies towards immigration, particularly her current position concerning amnesty.
#thatmexicanthing is my mom who immigrated to this country, pays her taxes and put two kids through college while managing a business ??💪🏾💪🏾
— Frank Ramirez (@frankemilio) October 5, 2016