Linda Ronstadt slams Donald Trump’s ‘state of emergency’ at the U.S. southern border, ‘encouraging resentment’
The music icon, 74, will appear in the new film “Linda and the Mockingbirds,” which focuses on her relationship with the Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, a Bay Area educational organization designed to help young Mexican Americans interested in the arts.
Speaking to The Guardian, she explained how close the subject is to her heart having spent her career as a Mexican performer and seeing the way people talked down to her fellow artists of color.
“People didn’t have a clue I was Mexican unless they grew up with me,” the “When Will I Be Loved” crooner told the outlet.
As a result, she has particularly strong opinions about the Trump administration when it comes to helping Mexican people, whether they’re citizens or simply coming to the country to find work. She notes that she arrived at the U.S. and Mexico border the same day that the Trump administration declared a state of emergency.
“We got to see exactly what the ‘emergency’ was,” Ronstadt said. “It was a few citizens walking around the streets shopping for groceries or picking up the newspaper. There were no hordes of brown people clawing to get across the border. But, all along, the Trump administration has been encouraging resentment of people from Mexico.”
She went on to repeat a previous statement she made about Trump, comparing him to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“As soon as Trump came down that escalator and called Mexicans rapists, I said, ‘This is the new Hitler and Mexicans are the new Jews,’” she said.
Although Ronstadt’s held that belief since Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015, she notes that seeing the way that Mexican people have been treated and vilified in the U.S. throughout his term in office has only deepened her belief that the president and his administration are racist.
“I get especially angry when I see how people are treated when they come up here looking for work, especially the farm workers,” she explained. “I challenge any prep school white boy to spend an hour picking strawberries in the full sun where you’re bent over and somebody sprays pesticide on you. And without them, we can’t eat.”
Ronstadt, who no longer sings due to a 2012 diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, noted that she was reluctant to take part in a new documentary after appearing in one last year about her music career, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.” However, she said speaking out on behalf of Mexican artists like herself was important in Trump’s “build the wall” era.