By George Lopez
¿Qué chingados pasó?
At heart, my job as a comedian and artist means I’m a storyteller. And these days I’m troubled by the story I see about our country and how we, Latinos, relate to it.
The narrative we hold of ourselves as a country — the story of who we are — is in trouble. El Paso is struggling. We are being ravaged by the coronavirus with no end in sight. This administration has looked at our people and decided that we are not worthy of the attention and care we need to get us past this crisis.
Our people come from all places and backgrounds. Heck, some don’t even know what the word chingado means. But immigrants and Latinos generally have one thing in common: Our people show up and get the job done. The story we’ve told ourselves as a country for generations is that this is a country of immigrants. And if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it. There’s nothing more American than that.
That story didn’t start with us Latinos — and to be sure, not everyone has been included in it. But the story centers around the hard workers who generations ago poured in by the millions through Ellis Island, in search of their dream. You think all their visas or papeles got checked? Come on … but that’s for another day.
Point is, they made it here and they got a shot. In those days, as long as people worked hard and played by the rules, anyone could make it.
But today, things are different. Our story looks worse than a rat-infested Trump property. Someone like me can find the funny in anything. Pero, familia, this is no joke.
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Our community is being targeted like we are the enemy, as people who don’t belong here, as people who have never belonged here, as people who only take and don’t give. You know what I say to people who think that? ‘Tas loco! That’s not who we are. We are a part of this country. We’ve always been. We’ve fought in every war and if you are willing to die for this country then you should be able to live in this country. Joe Biden doesn’t just want us to live. He wants us to thrive.
Trump on the other hand has been an outright threat to our lives. In August 2019, a white supremacist committed a massacre at a Walmart in your community, one of America’s most heavily Latino cities. The killer had a manifesto that spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It’s crazy, but we have white nationalists out there celebrating Trump for helping advance their movement. We need a president who stands up for our communities, not one that divides us and fails to defend us.
Let me be clear. Our people get the job done and on Tuesday we have the madre of all responsibilities: We need to go out and write America’s next chapter. To end this nightmare, let’s elect Joe Biden as President, and get the United States back on track — for our community, for our kids, our tias, our abuelos.
Look, you can read about the plans. That’s important, but I can personally tell you that Joe is a good man. He tells the truth and sees the best in people. He has endured a lot in his life. He has suffered losses and overcome challenges just like we have. He shares our story of struggle. He’s not like Donald Trump, who got everything handed to him on a gold-plated platter. Joe Biden has had to work for everything in his life — just like so many of us have had to.
You know, people in our community always say that nobody listens to us. Well now is our time to be heard. Let’s stand up for ourselves and our community. Let’s be our own champions. Let’s vote for Joe Biden!
George Lopez is an actor and comedian who has performed in El Paso numerous times. He and actor Edward James Olmos came to El Paso in the aftermath of the Aug. 3, 2019, terrorist attack to visit the wounded in the hospital.