According to the U.S. Census bureau, the Latino population in this country is roughly 54 million people, or about 17 percent of the total population, making Latinos the largest ethnic or racial minority in the nation. Pedro Herrera is one of those 54 million. As the rapper/actor/comedian Chingo Bling, he has amassed a large fanbase that regularly tunes in to his social-media channels for music, comedy, and even current events. Monday afternoon, Chingo released a very passionate open letter on his Web site.
The letter is in response to billionaire and current GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who announced his candidacy on June 16. In his announcement speech, Trump included the following remarks:
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.
The immediate reaction for any sane person, at least anyone not named Donald Trump, was one of shock, incredulity and anger. For an individual of such stature and influence to not only think, but also verbalize such beliefs, is downright outrageous. The backlash has already cost Trump a series of severed ties with television networks Univision and NBC.
Which is why the following letter is so brilliant. Over the last few years, I've been fortunate enough to work with, write about, and travel with Mr. Herrera. He is one of the smartest, most business-savvy, quick-witted, family-oriented, artistic and passionate individuals that I have ever encountered. He is at the same time focused and ferocious, ready to stand by his culture and educate those who discriminate against him and his people.
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You see, this isn't the first time Herrera has tackled the issues of immigration and racism. His 2007 album They Can't Deport Us All lead to various threats against his career and his family. In the following years, he has continued to serve as an example of a success story, a living embodiment of The American Dream, a bright light in a world filled with good and evil, funny and sad, tacos and tamales.
Similar to Mr. Herrera, I am also of Mexican heritage. I'd like to take time to thank Chingo for his hard work and dedication to his people. Yes, Mr. Trump, the majority of us are good people, which is more that we can say about you.
So sit back, press play, and read along one of the best responses to bigotry the world has ever seen: