Hey, bigot, your hate’s dy­ing out

New York Daily News - - NEWS - FRAN­CISCO MOYA

To the racist man irate over Span­ish speak­ers in a Mid­town restau­rant: I don’t know who you are, but to me — a Span­ish-speak­ing brown man, the son of Latino im­mi­grants and a proud Amer­i­can — your name is unim­por­tant. I’ve seen what you are, and you are un­re­mark­able. I have ex­pe­ri­enced big­otry from re­ac­tionary white peo­ple like you all my life. Your white supremacy is banal. And it’s dy­ing.

Com­mu­ni­ties of color know that your brand of racism has been tai­lored over the past few decades to dog-whis­tle tac­tics.

And it’s un­de­ni­able that in the last two years, Pres­i­dent Trump and those he’s el­e­vated have wound back the clock on big­oted dis­course, em­bold­en­ing hate­ful and pa­thetic racists like you to come out of the shad­ows of on­line places like 4Chan and Gab.

There’s a rea­son your be­hav­ior found sanc­tu­ary on those fo­rums: It is not wel­come in a civ­i­lized so­ci­ety. The val­ues you es­pouse will find no safe har­bor in the light of pub­lic scru­tiny.

You have now been ex­posed. You are a meme, a Red­dit thread. You and your camp may think you have re­newed li­cense to spew ig­no­rance in pub­lic, but the rest of us see that be­hav­ior for what it is: Not an ex­pres­sion of power but the dy­ing spasm of a de­praved ide­ol­ogy.

As a na­tion, we are in­debted to im­mi­grants — doc­u­mented or not. Trump’s elec­tion hasn’t given you free rein to spew hate speech. In­stead, it has ex­posed this coun­try’s racist foun­da­tion to many who were priv­i­leged enough not to see it be­fore.

The United States has no of­fi­cial lan­guage, but the Amer­i­can English most pop­u­larly spo­ken be­tween our bor­ders wasn’t born in a vac­uum. It’s an amal­ga­ma­tion that bor­rows from Na­tive Amer­i­cans, the French, Ger­man, Dutch and Span­ish. It’s un­for­tu­nate the tax dol­lars you so covet failed to de­liver you a better ed­u­ca­tion.

Your tantrum at Fresh Kitchen is prob­a­bly be­ing cel­e­brated as heroic in your cor­ner of the in­ter­net. When your ephemeral celebrity comes to a pre­dictable end, I’d like to in­tro­duce you to a real hero: My fa­ther, an Ecuado­ran im­mi­grant and Viet­nam War vet­eran.

I grew up in a bilin­gual home — my fa­ther speak­ing per­fect, clear English, while my mother spoke mostly Span­ish. To­gether, they per­son­ify the prom­ise of Amer­ica. They came to a new coun­try, worked hard, started a fam­ily and be­came ac­tive mem­bers of their com­mu­nity.

They raised the first Ecuado­ran-Amer­i­can elected to pub­lic of­fice in this coun­try. I know what honor and in­tegrity look like be­cause of the ex­am­ple they set.

And I know what cow­ardice looks like be­cause of you and those who act like you. You drape your­selves in the Amer­i­can flag, but your “pa­tri­o­tism” is little more than a Tro­jan horse for white na­tion­al­ism.

Brace your­self. The arc of his­tory is bend­ing to­ward jus­tice, and where there is jus­tice, white supremacy is a ghost.

Moya is a City Coun­cil­man who rep­re­sents the 21st Coun­cil District, which in­cludes East Elmhurst, Corona and Le­frak City in Queens.

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