To cap off his coverage of the 2016 presidential election cycle, Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos hosted a documentary, titled “Hate Rising”, designed to hammer home the central narrative of his election coverage: that Donald Trump represents a racist, hate-driven threat of virtually Hitlerian proportions to the Latino and immigrant population of the United States.
In order to pull it off, Ramos and his documentary team conflate a few isolated, racially-tinged anti-immigrant and anti-Latino hate crimes, along with footage of some recent gatherings of white supremacy groups that never number more than one or two dozen people, and then go on to ominously extrapolate these as the harbinger of things to come in an America with Donald Trump as President.
Ramos’ scene with Somali immigrant Asama Jama, who was hit in the face by a beer mug thrown by a troubled and admittedly intoxicated fellow patron at an Applebee’s Restaurant in Minnesota, elicits just the right message Ramos is looking for.
ASAMA JAMA, SOMALIAN IMMIGRANT: If Donald Trump is President, I think we should all pack our bags and go. ‘Cause they will kill us.
From beginning to end, Hate Rising relies on a staggering amount of similar scare tactics and sundry contortions. For example, the documentary selectively shows a scene of Trump supporter Zach Fisher’s profanity-laced outburst following a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, but deliberately ignores the fact that he was provoked by (paid?) anti-Trump demonstrators.
ZACH FISHER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Get the f--- out of here! … I’m a proud f***ing American, made in the USA!
JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION/FUSION: It really doesn’t matter if he [Trump] becomes President or not because what he has done has been such a traumatic experience for this country already. The damage has been done already. I think we're going be judged by how we reacted to Donald Trump.
Ramos and his team studiously ignore the fact that just prior to the outburst they feature, Fisher also told the protesters hounding him that “I love Mexicans, I love ‘em, but I f--- hate illegals, bro.” Following the incident, Fisher also offered an additional, telling explanation of the intensity of the provocation he and fellow rally-goers were under.
“They started saying to me, ‘we’re going to take this country over, we’re going to make this Mexico.’ I got spit on my face, you can see on those videos, it’s clearly on my face. I don’t know who has AIDS, or who has anything disgusting, but I don’t want that on my face. You don’t do that, that’s very disrespectful. I lost my temper, man. My friend was over there getting harassed, they ripped his sign out of his hand…you shouldn’t have to put up with that, I don’t get it. They’re bringing the hate to the rally.”
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In the documentary, Ramos also heavily relies on his obviously staged spat with Trump at an August 2015 Iowa press conference, where he was tossed out by security for suddenly, and in very unjournalistic fashion, directing at Trump a series of statements (instead of questions) without first being recognized by the candidate. Just as predictably, the documentary also features Ramos’ standard portrayal of Trump as having launched his presidential campaign allegedly insulting all Mexican immigrants as criminal and rapists.
Throughout the film, just as throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Ramos studiously ignores Trump’s extensive use of inclusive language on the stump, along with the candidate’s repeated disavowals of any and all endorsements by racists. For Ramos, any consideration of the possibility that Trump’s positions on border security and in favor of the enforcement of federal immigration law might not necessarily be anti-immigrant and racist is verboten.
In equally preposterous fashion, Hate Rising also extrapolates a few white nationalist meetings and protests (with the number of participants shown on screen never exceeding more than one or two dozen) as indicative of the rise of a menacing wave of racist hate in the country.
Just as disturbingly, Ramos employs a race-based logic that is also inimical to the core, color-blind values of the United States. Asked by a white nationalist leader about how many Latino U.S. Senators he wants, Ramos says 14, in his words, because “we’re 17% of the population and we only have three senators, so therefore we don’t have that political representation that we deserve.” As if only a Latino Senator can represent the interests of U.S. Latinos.
In truth, ever the showman, Ramos probably doesn't really believe such unAmerican nonsense either. Test him. Ask Jorge Ramos if he would really prefer - and really feel better represented by - 11 more Marco Rubios and Ted Cruzes in the United States Senate, as opposed to 11 more Harry Reids and Bernie Sanders.