Campus Reform | Harvard prof: Trump a 'predator' for 'scapegoating' Mexicans

Harvard prof: Trump a 'predator' for 'scapegoating' Mexicans

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Donald Trump and his supporters are accustomed to being derided as racists, but one Harvard University professor has taken things a step further, calling Trump a “predator” in the mold of a Spanish conquistador.

“I see Donald Trump as an example of a predator in the way he posed next to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, as if he was studying his prey, and in the way he tried to dominate the stage,” asserted prof. Davíd Carrasco, who teaches at the Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Extension School, and in the Department of Anthropology, in an interview with The Harvard Crimson last week.

“As a historian of religions, familiar with predator and prey relationships” he claimed special insights into how the United States has historically been preying on Mexico, declaring that Trump’s campaign rhetoric “is designed to scapegoat the Mexican people for insecurities internal to the U.S.”

Carrasco even compared Trump to the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, saying he considers the “redheaded” Alvarado, who “led one of the most brutal massacres of unarmed warriors, musicians, and artists” to be a “dangerous precursor” to Trump.

Alvarado, whom the Aztecs called the sun god and who participated in a war to conquer Mexico City, met with an unfortunate end, which Carrasco thinks Trump’s campaign will mimic.

“[Alvarado] was trying to put down a rebellion by Indians, and during the fight, his horse fell on him and crushed him,” he recounted, adding, “I think that’s going to happen to Donald Trump’s campaign.”

Referencing Trump’s oft-stated plan to build a wall along the Mexican-American border, Carrasco said Trump is at odds with geography, because “people who lived on both sides of the [Mexican-American] borderline understood that there was a borderland, which is a much broader territory” where both sides have historically shared economic and cultural connections.

“He thinks if he can define the borderline with his wall then he can destroy the borderlands. But that’s not possible,” Carrasco asserted. “He’s haunted by the revenge of geography.”

Trump, on his campaign website, said that the United States must build a wall because “a nation without borders is not a nation,” but Carrasco countered that Trump has demeaned and victimized Mexican immigrants by painting them as dangerous criminals who are a threat to the American economy and American culture.

“The intensity and meanness of Trump’s language is designed to scapegoat the Mexican people for insecurities internal to the U.S,” Carrasco reiterated.

Trump has said many controversial things regarding Mexico and immigration, declaring on his website, for instance, that the Mexican government promotes illegal immigration to export crime and poverty from Mexico into the United States.

Trump has also been criticized for his announcement speech, during which he claimed that Mexico is “sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Carrasco, though, contends that such issues are actually domestic problems for the U.S., and that illegal immigration is not a threat to the country.

“The greatest threats are within the U.S.—the insatiable demand for drugs, the immense production of weapons—and that is in part what was so disgusting about Trump’s speech the other night,” he stated. “It was a broad brush of scapegoating some American problems onto the Mexicans.”

Campus Reform reached out to Carrasco for additional comment, but he was unavailable prior to publication of this article.

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