Dear Donald Trump, Come to Amarillo, Texas

ap_309610866947_wide-cf99a70b48129a073bb696368d5316c9c5ba8f8e-s900-c85Dear Mr. Trump:

You have made it clear over the past several months that you want to do something about illegal immigration. You have said that you would build a wall mostly on the Texas-Mexico border. You have said that you would somehow deport or send about 10 million immigrants back “home.” You have hit a hot button with a bunch of angry folks who support a lot of what you say, especially about immigration. But I am a “devil is in the details person” so when or if you become the Republican nominee you will need Texas to help you win the White House. So this is a personal invitation for you to come to Amarillo, Texas and lay out your plan to remove immigrants from this community.

First of all let me thank you for kicking the Republican establishment in the “rear end” for the way it treated President Obama. I know you don’t see it this way, but you know and I know that the Republican hatred and obstruction of everything President Obama tried to do created the atmosphere for you to begin your ascent, or, probably better put, descent, to the White House. The Republicans literally burned down the White House to get rid of President Obama and you, a complete novice, non-politician, reality show TV personality, who never held public office, rose from the ashes. It’s call the law of unintended consequences. Again, thank you for demonstrating that payback can be a “mother.”

Now to the immigration issue that you have made the core of your campaign. Let me give you a few examples of what you need to discuss when you come to Amarillo. A couple of years ago the Texas Panhandle suffered a severe hail storm that damaged thousands of roofs. Within weeks of the damage Amarillo residents had to begin roof repairs. My roof was replaced and so was my mother’s roof. When I contacted roofing companies for estimates, I met with the white male owners (by coincidence I’m sure) to begin the repairs. But there were a lot of other roofing companies, a lot of white males, canvassing the neighborhood leaving business cards to also do repairs. My mother’s roof and my roof were repaired by two different companies—white male owned. When the workers showed up to replace both roofs, every worker was Hispanic/Latino—all of them—most did not speak any English. In fact I asked the (white male) supervisor how long it would take to do a roof. He said that his business model was to round up a “bunch of Hispanics” and they could knock out two roofs a day. My roof cost $10,000. My mother’s roof cost $8000. So on a single day $18,000 was paid to two white owned roofing companies who paid Hispanic day laborer, maybe $10 an hour, to install two roofs. And this roof repair scenario repeated itself all over Amarillo for months after the hail damage. What you need to come to Amarillo and discuss is a business model where white owned businesses are “profiteering” off Hispanic labor. What exactly do you plan to do about this?

But the roofing example is just one of many others. On Valentine ’s Day I took my nieces out to eat. First we went to Furrs off I-40. As soon as we walked inside we noticed that the restaurant was full with more people arriving. I would estimate that the people eating were over 80 percent Hispanic. Because of the long line we left and went to the Golden Corral. Again, a long line, over 80 percent Hispanic patrons spending money. As I looked around the restaurant what I saw were Hispanic servers, Hispanic cooks, Hispanic bussers clearing table. In the parking lot plenty of new pickup truck, SUVs and other cars, driven by Hispanics. Now what I want to know is how you plan to tell Amarillo restaurant owners, franchised or corporate owned, to fire the Hispanic staff, and stop taking those Hispanic dollars serving food to them. Then you can talk to all the Amarillo car dealers who sold those cars to Hispanics. Then you can go to the Amarillo realtors and property owners and tell them that they need to stop selling, and renting, Amarillo houses and apartments to Hispanics and other illegal immigrants. Or at least tell them how they can find out if potential purchasers or renters are illegal immigrants or not. And while you are at it go talk to the local beef feeder lots and beef processing companies here in the Texas Panhandle and tell them that you have a problem with the high Hispanic racial make-up of their work force. And while you are at it you can go to a few construction and road repair sites and tell the supervisors that you want the Hispanics workers taken off those jobs.

After you finish talking to the roofing companies, the car dealers, the local builders, the real estate owners, the banks making loans to Hispanics, and to restaurants, I suggest you trot on over and talk with the new superintendent of the Amarillo Independent School District and tell her that you are very concerned about the 40-plus percent of Hispanic children in AISD. Tell her your concerns that too many of these students are getting free lunch and otherwise getting “educated.” Lay out your plans to get these children out of the local school system. Next I suggest you trot on over to Amarillo College and then down to WT in Canyon and let those administrators know that you are very concerned that 30-plus percent of the student population is Hispanic. Again, give details and not some mealy-mouthed mantra about deporting immigrants. Tell those administrators what your exact plans are for the growth and continued survival of those educational institutions when the Hispanic students are shipped out of there.

Mr. Trump, after you leave Amarillo I suggest you take a trip to Dumas, about 50 north of here, then go to Hereford, a few miles further south, and have the same conversations with local businesses and discuss all the potential economic and financial ramifications of your plans to get rid their communities of illegal immigrants as part of your plan to deport 10 million plus immigrants. Lay out a plan to the city managers for how their towns will operate when suddenly 40 percent plus of the population disappears. You get my drift.

What I am asking Mr. Trump is that you “cut the bull” and get serious about the serious business of how America works in a world that is now flat—meaning a world in which businesses can compete for the cheapest labor—just as I’m sure you did when you built all those hotels you own. You have entered the race for President touting the fact that you are an outsider and a “non” politician. You remind me of something my grandfather said years ago as he sat on the porch watching his mean bulldog chase cars as they passed by. He asked: “I wonder what that damn dog would do if he caught that car?” You are having fun chasing the presidency so that you can add the final feather to your cap of having achieved the most powerful position in the world. But, if you win in November, it will be anti-climatic because President Obama has already taken the shine off that star because he was the most unlikely person ever in history to become President. If you become president you will quickly learn that you will simply resume the long line of just another white male in the White House. And you will quickly learn how Washington works and that you will have to learn to be a politician to survive. And, by the way, when you make your Inaugural speech, if you do, don’t keep blaming President Obama for all the ills of the world, and don’t immediately ask the voters to give you four more years to fix what the last president broke. As soon as you take office, if you do, take ownership, and be the “damn” big dog fixer you claim to be.

L. Cravin, Amarillo, Texas

Copyright 2016 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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