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“Why Latino Children Are Scared of Donald Trump” is an opinion article
written In the New York Times and it was published on the 8th of
August, 2015. Héctor Tobar is the author, and he is an American journalist who
covers important political topics that are related to Latin America. He is the
author of several fictional novels and he is also known for his investigation
of the mine disaster in Chile in 20101.

The article presents and discusses the way Latino children perceive Donald
Trump’s comments on Latinos, and it also presents the general view that Latinos
have of Donald Trump. In this essay, I will focus on analyzing argumentative
and linguistic features of the text, and use the analysis to assess whether
Héctor Tobar’s message is successfully communicated.

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First of all, I will look at the sender and receivers of this text,
because it helps us answer the question of successful communication. The sender
of the text is Hector Tobar, who is a well-known American journalist. He is
known for his award-winning books and his coverages of Latin American political
events and crises. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 1992 riots in
L.A.2
This improves his influence and the strength of his opinions because it is a
prize that is awarded to remarkable journalists for extraordinary achievements
and reports. One thing that also strengthens his credibility is his background.

He is a son of Latino immigrants, and that, combined with his journalistic
experience, extends his credibility and knowledge even further.

 

On the other hand, the receivers of the text come from all kinds of
countries and places. The article is published in The New York Times, and
therefore the receivers are the American general public, more specifically
readers of the New York Times. Even though the article addresses the Latino
community, it is directed towards the American public more generally. The
reason for this is to show how Trump’s rhetoric affects the everyday life the
of Latino children.

 

The receivers are informed that it is an opinion article, which tells us
that the article is not informative but rather based on opinions expressed by
the interviewed people and Mr. Tobar’s own opinions. His arguments are hidden,
as he does not directly write his own opinions, rather he uses the interviews’
he has conducted to show the reader how he feels. This is shown here, ¨ He wants
to kick out the Mexican people from America and just leave the American people.

I think that’s pretty much rude. Everyone should be fair, and we should all be
treated the right way.”3

He uses this to describe how Latino youth sees Trump’s comments as
¨rude¨ and unfair. We know this is his opinion too because he mentions that
Trump’s ¨ unapologetic xenophobia has helped to push his presidential campaign to the
top of the fractured Republican field.¨4

This shows us that even though he does not
directly write his opinion down, we still notice his arguments, and we still
understand the meaning of his statements.

 

In addition to hidden arguments through
interviews, he also uses irony in his argumentation. He does this by comparing
trump to a boogeyman. He does this because it helps us see it in another
perspective, a perspective adults would not think in. He does it to describe
the discriminatory rhetoric that Trump uses against the Latino community, and
to show that he is as evil as the boogeymen in Mexican folklore, “He’s a
villain in a flaccid pompadour, spewing threats and insults that have filtered
down into the bosom of many a Latino family, to be heard by children gathered
by the television set or at the dinner table.”5.

This clearly shows us that he is not satisfied with Trump’s remarks and that
they affect both children and adults. This could also suggest that Trump has
become a common topic to discuss in the daily lives of the Latino community.

 

Allusions are also successfully used in the
article. He indirectly compares trump to Nazi politicians in the old Weimar
Republic, where he indirectly says that Trump has found a minority he can pick
on, ¨ Like certain
politicians in the Weimar Republic, he’s found a largely defenseless group to
pick on — who also happen to be reviled by a bankable minority of the
electorate.”6. here
he compares Trump to Hitler and the Latino community to Jews in the 1930’s. He
calls them defenseless, and he also mentions that they are a minority of the
electorate. Therefore he points out that Latinos do not have significant
political representation compared to other large ethnic groups, as there are
only 4 senators of Latino descent, while the Latino population is approx. 57.5
million In 2017.7 8

 

In addition to his arguments, the language also
helps with delivering the message correctly and successfully. The language of
the text is simple, despite his use of Spanish words. Although he explains the
meaning of the words and points out that they are names of creatures from
Mexican folklore, as we see here, ¨ “There is “La Llorona,” who is said to moan for her dead children. And more
recently, the Chupacabra, which sucks the blood from farm animals and maybe a
boy or a girl if he or she doesn’t behave.”9.

He explains this because he wants the average American to understand his
message, and not bump into a word that they would not understand normally.

 

Additionally, he also uses metaphors to create
both understanding and humor. He is described as a “villain in a flaccid
pompadour”10
which is a humorous way of calling him evil and pointing out his unique
hairstyle. A metaphor that creates understanding could be this, “rhetorical
daggers”11,
which suggests that his rhetoric and his words are offensive and dangerous like
a dagger.

Furthermore, he also uses a significant symbol
throughout the article. The piñata, which is a traditional Mexican figure
filled with candy, that is used for children’s parties and gatherings. The idea
of it is for children to hit it until the candy comes out. At the end of the
article, Trump is indirectly called a monster, and the author says, ¨ But in the end, fear not,
niños. Monsters are really just myth. And you can always make one into a
piñata, and beat it until its paper shell breaks and candy falls out.¨12
Here he tells the children that they can turn him into a piñata and beat him
up, because his words do not mean anything, and he will never hurt them anyway.

 

Lastly, his message is clear; he does not like
Trump, and he does not think that he will come through with all of his promises
and threats. He uses a lot of humor in his article, and this makes it more
interesting, but it could also make it seem less serious, and more of a satire
post that has the main purpose of disturbing Trump’s messages and remarks. It
could also be seen as a propaganda post, as it was released under the
presidential election campaign, and it resembles hate for one candidate, while
it could be showing indirect support for the main Democratic candidate, Hillary
Clinton.

 

To conclude, it can be said that the message has
been communicated successfully, with use of humorous elements and simple
language that the average American can understand. His argumentative elements
are strong and represent the Latino community, through children as well as
adults. The Piñata is successfully used as a symbol of a strong figure, that
cannot actually hurt the children. As a result of all of this, the article can
seem provocative and propagandistic, which could hurt Héctor Tobar’s
credibility.

1 Hector Tobar’s own website, http://www.hectortobar.com/

2 Hector Tobar, Why Latino
Children Are Scared of Donald Trump, bottom of the last page

3Hector Tobar, line 46-48.

4 Hector Tobar, line 39-41 

5 Hector Tobar, line 9-12

6 Hector Tobar, line 41-43

7 List of latino American
politicians, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans_in_the_United_States_Congress

8 US. Census data on population
change, https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2017/cb17-100.html

9 Hector Tobar, line 2-4

10 Hector Tobar, line 9-10

11 Hector Tobar, line 22

12 Hector Tobar, line 82-83

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