Latino Journalist Slams Donald Trump, in Spanish, Starts ‘Race Riot,’ in Commencement Speech


One of the most prominent Spanish language news anchors in the U.S. drew heat last weekend for using a portion of her commencement speech to attack GOP frontrunner Donald Trump — in Spanish — as English speakers booed and yelled, “What about us?”

Univision host María Elena Salinas, who The New York Times once described as the “Voice of Hispanic America,” was invited to give the commencement speech at California State University Fullerton’s College of Communications. She told the audience she was born in California to immigrant parents, “where I was formed as a woman, and most importantly, as a Latina … proud of my cultural heritage.”

Her remarks upset some graduates when she broke into Spanish.

But it wasn’t only the fact she began delivering her speech in a foreign language. She used those remarks to launch partisan attack on Donald Trump and on Republicans. She called them racists and told Hispanic journalism grads to use their new journalism skills to attack Republicans.

The Spanish language journalist drew the ire of English-only graduates when she began to praise only the Latino students and delivered that praise all in Spanish. As she continued in Spanish English speakers in the audience began to yell out “what about us?”

The witness, graduate Denise De La Cruz, told the Orange County Weekly what came next when Salinas began to attack Trump.

“Tensions worsened as Salinas began offering advice to journalism students to use the tools of the media to rebut political figures such as Donald Trump,” De La Cruz said. “That’s when folks began yelling things to Salinas such as, ‘Get off the stage!’ and ‘Trash!'”

The “mini, verbal race riot,” she said continued as “audience members began booing Salinas while others combatted the voices of dissent with louder cheers.”

De La Cruz noted that later in the speech as the crowd began choosing sides with Spanish speaking students yelling back at the English speakers, Salinas finally tried to quell unrest by praising American students, too. But “the damage was done,” De La Cruz noted.

Salinas’ comments were “well received” until she “became a little too Latino-centric and blatantly anti-Trump,” said one student who attended the ceremony.

After the speech was over the argument continued on social media with Salinas claiming that those who were upset with her speech were racists.

However, some responded telling Salinas they weren’t racist but were just upset she was only addressing “one ethnicity” and leaving out all the other students.

Salinas was unbowed, though, and remarked yet again about the racists in the audience deploying the shopworn claim that all Americans are immigrants.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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