By Lissette Calveiro
On Wednesday night, undocumented rights activist and dreamer Juan Escalante made a trip to Rockefeller Center carrying a large box that had a 522,080 taped on it.
That number represents the amount of people who’ve petitioned NBC to drop Donald Trump as a host of tonight’s Saturday Night Live,” following his continuous racist remarks about Latino immigrants. What this number also represents is people who feel disrespected, and are flat out fed up with, the antics of Donald Trump.
The #RacismIsntFunny campaign was a collaborative effort between multiple organizations including America’s Voice, Change.org, CREDO Action, Latino Rebels, MoveOn.org, NCLR, UFW, Voto Latino Action Fund and many others.
Juan Escalante serves as Digital Campaign Manager of America’s Voice, leading the delivery of the signatures and getting them in the hands of NBC Executives.
Aside from the hand-delivery of signatures, many of these organizations are working to host peaceful protests throughout the day to help amplify the voice of the Latino community. The hashtag #RacismIsntFunny connects people on social media and streamlines the ability to reach more people.
In case you don’t remember, NBC previously dropped the Miss USA Miss Universe Pageants that Trump is associated with.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the company said in a statement back in June. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
Now, NBC has allowed Trump to return as the host of one of their most successful television shows.
One SNL encore episode costs advertisers $26 thousand for a 30-second bit; on special nights it can cost upwards of $100 thousand. Add Trump to the recipe and this becomes one of the network’s most important nights for ratings and dollars. It’s this “hypocrisy,” as Escalante puts it, that the Latino community and its allies should not stand for.
The now 530 thousand signatures seek to remove Donald Trump from hosting Saturday Night Live, but it doesn’t look like the network will budge.
The flash drive inside the box also holds a note with Escalante and other organization’s contact information but no one has reached back with any comments. An open letter has also been delivered to SNL talent inviting them to engage in dialogue on the subject matter.
Donald Trump may very likely continue his host duties tonight, but Escalante encourages leaders to continue to do more.
“If they turn off the show tonight because of Donald Trump’s comments, they should turn it off indefinitely,” Escalante told Rise News. “SNL has had a troubling relationship with the Latino community in the past and we need make sure to draw the line.”
Trump is still in the top tier of the GOP primary.
As Escalante notes, Trump is an “showman” but the lack of substance and explanation toward his policies will catch up to him. Trump is an expert at getting reactions from people and it’s only a matter of time before he gets enough bad ones, Escalante said.
Escalante and his team visited the weekly “overnight line” for SNL tickets and staff tells them, it’s the shortest line they’ve ever seen.
Trump strongly believes his appearance will cause a huge boost to ratings, per usual.
During a phone interview with Fox and Friends, Trump dismissed the possibility of SNL dropping him. “Lorne Michaels is a very smart guy. NBC are very smart people,” Trump told the hosts of the Fox News morning show. “If they want to do a show with a third of the ratings, they might do that.”
Read More: How Donald Trump Is An IRL Internet Troll
Will ratings go up? Maybe. Will Trump actually make people laugh? Quite likely. What triumphs the “Trump Effect” of tonight’s SNL episode is the unity seen with groups like Escalante’s. Many are angry, and even more are over the appeal of Trump.
With studies showing you need much more than 40 percent of the Latino vote to win a presidential election, tonight may be a seminal moment in the campaign.
So, Mr. Trump, your show tonight might be HUUUUGE, but the voices of the Latino community can be just as impactful. Visit RacismIsntFunny.com to learn more about the petition and ongoing campaigns.
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Photo Credits: Juan Escalante