President Donald Trump’s influence on U.S. and Mexico’s relations is not a new story, according to a Mexican journalist who spoke at Fresno State last Thursday.
Guest speaker Carlos Bravo Regidor, a professor who has written about U.S. and Mexico’s relationship, spoke about three principles that constitute the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico – interdependence, complexity and asymmetrical. He later added that another aspect is ignorance.
Mexicans view Mexican-Americans as Mexicans he said, and are “heartbroken” when they realize that most Mexican-Americans consider themselves as Americans. He said that creates identity problems within Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Mexican-Americans are sometimes viewed as either not Mexican enough or not American enough.
Bravo Regidor said the history between Mexico and the U.S. is told differently in both countries. He said the U.S. government has played a crucial part in making Mexico an independent country and its involvement in the Mexican revolution.
He also said that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) likely made Mexico a more economically-stable country and created a different friendship between the countries. NAFTA brought a lot of economic changes to Mexico, and it altered Mexicans’ view of Americans, he added.
The relationship between Mexico and the U.S. was smooth until 2016, Bravo-Regidor said. The election of Trump had an effect in the relationship.
Bravo Regidor said that people in Mexico previously viewed the U.S. as a powerful nation, but after listening to Trump say that Mexicans were taking advantage of the U.S., it struck them as odd.
He also said that during the campaign for the presidency, Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric was fueled by ignorance. Bravo-Regidor said Mexico responded to Trump’s rhetoric with denial at first, then it was anger. And he said that Mexico’s relationship with the current administration is likely damaged because there has been two failed visits from the Mexican government to the White House.
Bravo Regidor spoke about the future of the relationship between the two countries. He made two predictions of what the future may hold for both nations.
One: Trump will eventually go away and everything will go back to normal and how it used to be.
Second: Trump goes away but his rhetoric will continue and that if a real politician carries this idea it might permanently tarnish the relationship between both countries.
In the end, Bravo Regidor told the audience that, “I want us to challenge the established narratives about the U.S. and Mexico.”