Jorge Ramos: ‘This Is Not a Time to Be Silent’

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Journalist Jorge Ramos speaks during the San Antonio Book Festival Saturday at the Central Library.

Robin Jerstad for the Rivard Report

Journalist Jorge Ramos speaks during the San Antonio Book Festival Saturday at the Central Library.

On a cold day in San Antonio, Jorge Ramos received a warm welcome from hundreds of fans at the San Antonio Book Festival. The Emmy award-winning journalist has entered Spanish-speaking homes in the United States via their televisions for decades.

Ramos, who was in the national spotlight in 2015 when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told him to "go back to Univision" as he was escorted out of a press conference, spoke with Rivard Report Publisher Robert Rivard in front of a standing-room-only audience in a festival tent outside of the San Antonio Central Library on Saturday. His book, Stranger: The Challenge of A Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era, was released in February 2018.

"We wouldn't be making lines or coming out to see him if we didn't trust him," said Sandra Torres, a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio who grew up watching Ramos in a bilingual Houston home. "How does he gain that? Action. Him standing up for us. That's how he gains our trust."

In recent years the polarization of American society has coincided with declining trust in mass media. According to a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey, more Americans have a negative perception – about 43 percent – of the news media than those who hold a positive view – about 33 percent.

The trust Latinos have in Ramos stems from his fearlessness and humility, Torres said. He readily admits when he errs, but he also gives a voice to Latino immigrants living in the margins, she added.

Ramos is viewed unfavorably by Trump's staunchest supporters, with some saying he is an activist, not a journalist.

"When it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption ... and the violation of human rights, we have to take a stand," Ramos said, adding that he feels a sense of duty to report the truth and question those in power. "Elie Wiesel, the holocaust survivor, he used to say that, 'Neutrality only helps the oppressor, never the victim.'"

Journalist Jorge Ramos is swarmed by well-wishers as he arrives to speak at the San Antonio Book Festival Saturday at the Central Library.

Robin Jerstad for the Rivard Report

Journalist Jorge Ramos is swarmed by fans as he arrives at the 2018 San Antonio Book Festival at the Central Library.

Reflecting on his infamous encounter with the president, Ramos said he believes when Trump told him to "go back to Univision," he really meant "go back to Mexico."

One Trump supporter confronted Ramos after his removal from the press conference in 2015, while Trump was on the campaign trail, and used much harsher language.

"Get out of my country," the man said in a video captured by Univision cameras, to which Ramos replied that he is a U.S. citizen.

Although "it's a difficult time to be a Latino in this country," Ramos said, he has hope that the millennial and younger generations can act as change agents. He noted the activism among so-called Dreamers, those brought illegally to the U.S. as children, has helped effect change and steps toward immigration reform while the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida have shone a light on gun control issues.

"Young people are taking the lead," he said. "If the future of this country depends on them, we are in good hands."

Ramos urged audience members to make their voice heard. As the U.S. trends toward becoming a minority-majority country by the mid-2040s, he said working toward engendering peaceful relations in a multicultural society loomed large.

"This is not a time to be silent," he said.

At a book signing after the talk, a line of hundreds snaked inside the perimeter of the library.

7 thoughts on “Jorge Ramos: ‘This Is Not a Time to Be Silent’

  1. This is interesting. You rightly claim that people are distrustful of MSM. Then you add more biased fake news that people should distrust as well.

    Anyone seeing the whole video of that infamous press conference will see that Ramos was being provocative: Standing and interrupting, asking the same questions over and over when he was not called on—another journalist was selected before Ramos even stood up. He was escorted out for continuing his provocation. After a few moments, he was approached by a Trump staffer telling him he was being allowed back in, to keep to the guidelines, that he would be called on if he did so.

    Please present more truth and both sides of a story.

      • Don and Kyle, thank you for reading and for your engagement on this story. I welcome a conversation about fair and accurate journalism anytime. I can certainly understand y’all’s perspectives. If you’re interested in mine, please reach out: jj [at] rivardreport [dot] com.

    • I love how the author can see your “perspective” on the clip of Ramos rudely interrupting the President and vocally persisting until he is removed. There’s no perspective involved, it’s cut and dried facts, right there in front of one’s face. To deny or spin what happened is not a matter of perspective, but a wonton denial of facts – done strictly for ideological or political purposes.

  2. As we plan for the future in SATomorrow it is important that we do not forget the human elements, a just and equitable society requires time and attention as much as the physical environment.

  3. Jorge Ramos is a narrow-minded partisan who cares little for this country except for a specific demographic, and even then, he basically advocates for uncontrolled increase at the primary expense of those Hispanic citizens already established here. (And yes, I am 1/2 Hispanic). There are far too many bad actors are coming in with the good (who, let’s not forget, are also lawbreakers and who compete directly for jobs with citizens in a demographic that can least afford more competition). OK back to the bad actors… where do these people seek cover? Why in the barrios, of course, recruiting and corrupting the children. Ramos obviously cares little about either of these points. His only apparent focus is to make Texas and the rest of the SW US as much like Mexico as possible. Yeah…the Mexico people strive to get out of. He’s a moron.

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