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My 350 words on Donald Trump: addressed to the President

“Almost no one remembers Anytus today and the same thing will happen to you.”

Jorge Majfud
14 November 2016

When your mother arrived in this country in the 1930s, half a million Mexicans were deported. The majority of them were American citizens but they had had bad luck thanks to nationwide frustration with the Great Depression. They were blamed for the Depression and after a while, they looked as foreign as could be.

Your idea that the Mexicans that come here are rapists, criminals, and invaders – it’s nothing new and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. These people were seen as foreigners and rapists since the United States took possession of half the Mexican territory in the middle of the nineteenth century. And as those people that were already there didn’t stop speaking such an uncivilized language such as Spanish and refused to change their skin color, they were persecuted, deported or simply murdered, accused of being bandits, rapists, and foreign invaders. The real Zorro was dark skinned and didn’t fight against any Mexican despotism (as Johnston McCully depicted the story in order to be able to sell it to Hollywood) but instead he fought against the Anglo-Saxon invaders who took his land.

Mr. Trump, the creativity that you see among the businessmen and women in this country is admirable even though its importance is exaggerated and many negative aspects are forgotten. It wasn’t businessmen who promoted democracy in Latin America: they did just the opposite. Various successful American businesses promoted bloody Coup d’Etats and supported a long list of bloody dictators. Businessmen like Henry Ford made interesting contributions to industry, but like many other businessmen, Ford was an Anti-Semitist who collaborated with Hitler. While the US denied refuge to persecuted Jews in Germany – as they now deny it to Muslims today for almost the same reasons – Alcoa and Texaco worked together with the fascist regimes of that time.

Mr. Trump, you always boast about being immensely rich. The Turk Hamdi Ulukaya was a poor immigrant when he founded the yogurt company Chobani a few years ago, which is now valued at two billion dollars. That type of story is very common in a country as great as this one, without a doubt. But this creative businessman had the decency to recognize that he didn’t do all of this by himself. That it would have been impossible without his employees and having been in as free a country as this one. And actually, recently, he donated 10 percent of the company’s stocks to his employees.

In Mexico, there are similar examples to yours. Better ones. The most well-known example is Carlos Slim, the son of Lebanese immigrants, who took advantage of the economic crisis at the time – as any man with money would – and now has eleven times your fortune, Mr.Trump.

Mr. Trump, democracy has its own Achilles tendons, the demagogues. The ones that beat their nationalistic breast in order to abuse the power of their own nations. Twenty-five centuries ago, Athens had its demagogues: for example, Anytus, a successful businessman who convinced the rest of society, very democratically, that they should put the thinking mind of their age to death. Socrates’ downfall was questioning everything too much, believing too little in the gods of Athens and leading its youth astray with doubts.

Of course, almost no one remembers Anytus today and the same thing will happen to you. But you will always find followers – because that is part of the political game – and right now, we don’t have a better system.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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