Moses Frenck, DiversityInc, Sept. 16, 2015
While Donald Trump was receiving cheers and vigorous applause for his comments on illegal immigration from a crowd of more than 15,000 inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas Monday night, nearly 2,000 Latinos had marched and gathered outside the arena to protest the GOP frontrunner for those very comments.
It was the first time Latinos have mobilized in earnest against Trump since June, when Hispanic groups joined together to force NBC to drop Trump as a business partner for his disparaging remarks about Mexicans and immigrants in general.
Protesters began marching at 5:30 p.m. from the Cathedral de Guadalupe through downtown Dallas, holding “Dump the Trump” signs and piñatas designed to look like Donald Trump. Marchers chanted anti-Trump cheers, and, once they arrived at the arena, the plan was to smash the piñatas.
Inside the arena, meanwhile, even though Trump spoke for close to an hour on a wide range of topics and went off on rhetorical tangents, it was his pledge to stop illegal immigration that garnered the most enthusiastic response from the crowd — and not just applause, but a prolonged standing ovation, including cheers and chants of “USA! USA!” from the mostly white attendees. “[Illegal immigration] is a massive problem,” he said. “We have to stop illegal immigration. We have to do it.”
While the city of Dallas is 42 percent Hispanic and 51 percent white, the demographics of Trump supporters in the arena appeared to be 98 percent white, 2 percent Black and very few — if any — Latinos.
According to an MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll released Monday, Latinos are much more likely than other voters to view him as insulting and offensive rather than as a person who tells it like it is, and they see Trump as harmful to the image of the Republican Party.
The poll found 70 percent of Latinos hold negative views of Trump — including 60 percent who said they have a “very negative” impression of him, compared to 55 percent of U.S. residents and 28 percent of Republicans who view Trump negatively.
Protesters reportedly shouted “Shame on you!” to which Trump supporters yelled back “Keep them out!” According to Reuters, police struggled to keep the two sides separate, though there were no reported arrests or reports of further violence.