Jorge Ramos is the well-known news anchor on the Spanish language channels Univision and Fusion who was thrown out of a press conference with Donald Trump for asking questions about his immigration plans. Some commentators have criticized Ramos for not waiting his turn to be asked and said that he was being rude by ‘jumping the queue’, so to speak. Others have gone even further and cheered Trump’s action, seeing it as demonstrating Trump’s toughness and symbolic of how Trump would throw people out of the country.
In an interview, Ramos explains the back story, that Trump has been refusing to engage with him for a long time. I can well understand that Ramos felt that Trump would never call on him voluntarily and that he had to do what he did.
I and my team reached out to him all the ordinary ways. We put in I-don’t-know-how-many requests. That didn’t work. Then we were told not to try again by someone in the campaign. That person said very clearly he wasn’t going to talk to us. So I tried sending him a hand-written personal note, and he published that on the Internet with my personal cellphone number.
What happened is that the press conference started. Two reporters asked questions, and Trump talked. Now, I have been to thousands of press conferences, and sometimes you are called and sometimes it doesn’t happen. You have to get the person’s attention. I have followed many of Mr. Trump’s press conferences, and that’s the dynamic, always. You have to be assertive. So after two reporters asked their questions, I said I have a question on immigration and I stood. I started asking my questions, and in the middle of that Mr. Trump tried to stop me. He tried calling on someone else. He told me to sit down. He told me to “go back to Univision.” I told him that as a U.S. citizen and as a reporter, I have a right to ask a question. After a lot of back and forth, he signaled to his security team to throw me out.
You can be sure that Trump’s supporters will be delighted that their man put this uppity Mexican in his place. The unidentified man outside the room who told Ramos to “Get out of my country” (Ramos is a US citizen) was channeling the message that Trump is promulgating.
So here’s an interesting question for political junkies: What is the line of offensiveness, if any, towards any group that is not white, male, heterosexual, and Christian that Trump has to cross in order for his supporters to abandon him?