Life for Latinx identifying folks in America changed almost instantly when Donald Trump became president. It might sound like an exaggeration to some — but after reporting on the spike in hate crimes against Latinx since 2016, the increase of mental health problems that plague our community, and the overall fear that Latinx live with every day, I can affirm it’s most certainly a fact.
Since the mass shootings in Gilroy, California, and El Paso, Texas — two deadly occurrences that proved to be hate crimes against Latinx — the fear that our community struggles with has only worsened.
According to The Guardian, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism report that hate crimes against Latinx in the U.S. have steadily risen since 2016. “Crimes targeting Latinos have increased by nearly 80 percent in California since 2016. In 2018, nearly four out of ten Latinos in the U.S. said they had experienced discrimination in the last year.”
'It's worse than ever': how Latinos are changing their lives in Trump's America https://t.co/yTi1vF6OyL
— Guardian US (@GuardianUS) October 7, 2019
In the report, folks from the Latinx community say that they have had to change their lives in more ways than one because they fear being targeted in a shooting or fear harassment. Some people pray even more now. Others refrain from wearing their favorite Mexican jersey or don’t speak Spanish so as not to be a target.
In fact, the majority of Latinx living in the U.S. claim that their lives have only gotten harder and they have only experienced more discrimination since Donald Trump went into power.
“Every day, when I take my daughter to school, we pray. I ask God to protect her,” Lidia Carrillo said in an interview with The Guardian. “I don’t know if I’m going to see my daughter or my husband at the end of the day.”
This Latinx Heritage Month and always, @HRC stands firmly with those in the Latinx community who are under attack — including young people like Yuridia who are affected by the Trump-Pence administration’s cruel decision to end DACA. #HispanicHeritageMonth pic.twitter.com/tL20fUxe6V
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 6, 2018
Last year, the Pew Research Center also conducted an extensive study that showed a majority of Latinx have a significant concern for their life under the Trump Administration.
“About half say the situation for [Latinx] has worsened over the past year; majority worry that they or someone they know could be deported,” the study showed.
Another Pew Research poll asked Americans how they felt about all federal agencies, including the FBI, the U.S. postal service, and the results were all favorable except for one. The poll showed that “54 percent of those polled [said] they held an unfavorable view of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] compared with 42 percent who felt favorably.”
There’s no denying that Latinx feel under attack in the country.
One positive aspect of the increased turmoil surrounding the Latinx community is that some have sought the help of mental health specialists. While therapy has often been seen as taboo among older Latinx generations, more and more people are opening up to it because the anxiety and stress are overwhelmingly worse.
Reading headlines across the U.S. today you wouldn't know that one of the deadliest hate crimes against Latinos happened 3 days ago. You wouldn't see victims faces or get any hint of how Latinos feel. You would know that Trump condemned bigotry, assailed hate, denounced racism. pic.twitter.com/DKVkTFWZ9q
— Esmeralda Bermudez (@BermudezWrites) August 6, 2019
This year, the University of California, Berkeley, released a study that tracked the mental health of U.S.-born children of Mexican and Central American immigrants in California before and after the 2016 presidential election, and the results showed an increase in anxiety and sleep deprivation due to worries about immigration policies.
Now more than ever, we need to stand as a united front to protect the black and brown communities that continue to be attacked and oppressed by the Trump administration.