The UnAmerican Struggle is a documentary that examines the resurgence of bigotry in America brought about by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Some 62 million Americans voted for Trump and his extreme views rooted in racism, misogyny, sexism, and xenophobia.
Today, in the country, family and friends are at odds over Donald Trump and what his election has bubbled back to the surface in America. The UnAmerican Struggle will reflect the current political and personal sentiments in the United States – people will either identify with it or loathe it because it threatens their political and moral beliefs. For those living under the threat of Trump’s extremism, it is a subject that needs to be discussed.
The film is a deeply personal one for me. For you see, I am a Mexican-American, and I am very proud of my heritage. I am proud of the unwavering loyalty and contribution Latinos have provided America. My dad proudly served his country in Vietnam. Despite the scars it left, he raised his children to be very patriotic. I am glad he was not around to see Donald Trump’s attack on Mexicans – his opening salvo in a campaign that scarred our nation.
Fast forward to 2017. We are now seeing how Trump’s hate mongering has given license to white supremacists and closet racists to openly terrorize others. People I know are being targeted simply because they appear different. I knew there had to be a response to this hate. One week following the election, and with a small crew, production started on The UnAmerican Struggle. The film would be our answer to the attack on diversity in America.
The film pays close attention to the struggle for equality from the perspective of Immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, Blacks, Women, and Transgender People. Seventeen experts representing the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Diversity Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and local groups, such as Black Lives Matter, lent their voices to the film to educate viewers about the reality of bigotry in America and the fight ahead to return the country to its principles rooted in tolerance and diversity. However, not every group or participant invited to tell their story felt comfortable enough to go public, and instead chose silence rather than face open threats to their personal safety. Given what America faces, silence is dangerous.
Edmund Burke’s quote best sums up the times we face in Trump America: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing.
As such, The UnAmerican Struggle speaks to the dangers of remaining silent in the face of state-inspired hate and threats to civil rights. Bigotry unchecked ushers in greater abuses to civil rights, as evident through the recent attacks on the free press, the cornerstone of American democracy.
Bigotry is sweeping the nation like a cancer. People who recognize the dangerous times we are living in also recognize the fact that Donald Trump, a siting president, made it clear he would do little to impede the terrorism perpetrated by the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
There are two sides to bigotry. There are those who openly oppose it, and then those who foster it. People who stay silent in the face of this bigotry provide quiet support for it. I hope The UnAmerican Struggle inspires you to stand with us in our struggle to preserve civil rights and diversity in America.
Ric OsunaDirector of The UnAmerican Struggle
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