As a year since Donald Trump’s first state of the union address rolled past, many ethnic and multilingual media joined mainstream outlets in commentary.
In Orlando, Portuguese source Nossa Gente in Orlando, said in an editorial that not much had happened since Trump took office apart from he being “An inopportune tycoon throwing handfuls of salt into the wound.” An editorial by Tomasz Bagnowski for Polish source, Kurier Plus in New York also criticized Trump’s negotiating abilities, saying “so far, no results.”
Russian papers spent little time covering Russian scandals in the US, but Chicago’s 7 Days ran an editorial saying that “Despite his very modest list of achievements, Trump fulfilled dozens of his campaign promises, revised the country's tax system, changed the U.S. position abroad and turned the life of hundreds of thousands of immigrants upside down.”
An interesting Editorial titled “Trump's way of ruling the United States; there's construction within destruction” in Chinese Sing Tao USA in New York comments that although people comment on his destructive side, “this year was not without achievements.” It continues saying “Trump is very different from the traditional image of a president of the United States. There's still no cover on his mouth. He competes with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over who has a bigger nuclear war button, and he often posts shocking tweets in the mornings.”
Not to be one-sided Sing Tao USA published another editorial saying “When he was initially elected, many people had doubts about the radical policies he advocated or even thought that he was just saying things to please people. Perhaps these views are changing now - the reason being that, although they spark great controversies, many of his campaign promises are indeed being implemented.”
Urdu, which along with Arabic is the fastest growing language group in the US according to the 2015 census, has almost 400,000 speakers. As a result, their ethnic media is quite active, and also chimed in on Trump. The New York Awam was critical, mentioning the bans on Muslim countries and Syrian refugees. Chicago’s Weekly Pakistan News reported in a threefold increase in anti-Muslim groups since Trump was elected. “Against the backdrop of a highly publicized election campaign during which Trump frequently denounced Muslims and vowed to ban them from the country, both the number of anti-Muslim groups and the number of hate crimes carried out against Muslims has increased.”
Spanish sources spoke fiercely. A column in La Opinión, reacting to his State of the Union Address, said Trump’s presidency has been filled with “rancor, deceit, pettiness that obscured truth and lies.” It continues “since his taking office values of generosity, justice and leadership before the world were reduced to an authoritarian attitude, to a pathological narcissism: A fantastical reality.” The biting commentary is common among Spanish sources. A column by Mirabel Hastings in La Opinión called Trump “a tiger who never changes his stripes,” calling him “chief divisor,” criticizing his state of the union address as anti-immigrant, divisive and “vile.”
Whether Trump was opposed or supported, his presidency is impossible to ignore. Multilingual and diverse communities will continue to report on his administration: It’s their journalistic duty. The policies and legislation brought on by the government moving forward will affect these communities differently than those served by mainstream media. They will use local and national ethnic media to voice those differences, making them worth listening and paying attention to. Tapping into these voices is exactly what MIREMS does, and bringing them to you in an accessible and digestible manner is what we do best.
Written by Caora McKenna