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‘Homies for Trump:’ Unpacking the Confusion in Latinos Who Support Him in the Foo Community

3:57 PM PDT on October 22, 2020

omies for Trump” are three words that many adults who grew up in the barrios of progressive epicenters like Los Angeles probably would have never imagined seeing next to each other. 

But it is 2020, and this is a confusing time for everyone.

There's less than a month to election day, Spanish-language Trump campaign ads are running on Univision and MAGA-themed posts are on the Foos Gone Wild Instagram grid.

Latinos are not a monolith, and some will vote for Donald Trump, a president who has made it abundantly clear his racist policies will continue if re-elected to office. And water is wet.

But the Trump-centered posts popping up foo-based Instagram accounts like @thefoocommunity, well that got L.A. Taco’s attention. There’s a lot to unpack here. The account along with the more popular @foosgonewild account has had an influx of Trump support accounts inundate the comment section in every single post since last month, which is usually reserved for witty jokes about the account’s original skits.

Foos Gone Wild currently has 846,000 followers and at its best, pokes fun at the dichotomy of Latino culture in the United States, like wearing Nike socks with cowboy boots, someone making their dad’s eyebrows on point, a sick lip sync of a Stevie B classic and before he was a viral sensation, Nathan Apodaca was just a guy dancing to some Ciara.

While Foos Gone Wild has taken a stand against Trump in his posts, he’s also posted videos of homies and old school cholos who support Trump despite the last four years of his racist rhetoric. A couple of the other foo accounts, like the @thefoocommunity Twitter and IG accounts, which usually promotes up-and-coming rap and hip-hop performers, have also showcased MAGA content, posting videos of a Latino discussing “white privilege” and a clip from a “proud American” sporting some MAGA merch.

In other words, political outfits, not just Trump’s campaign, are trying to give their voters the impression that they’re not as racist as they are. Because what else can the GOP offer immigrant communities other than a silly message about Trump saying he loves them? Pérez says, “It’s a gaslighting technique.”

Then there is the macho appeal of Latino men supporting Trump, which is still rampant in many Latino men circles. An article recently published in The New York Times highlighted the unchecked toxic masculinity that still exists in Latino culture, and how more Latinos are willing to support Trump than Latinas. The same misogynistic qualities that Trump possesses acts as a reflection of the way many Latino men were raised to behave. 

The Spanish-language campaign ads running on Univision question Biden’s mental capacity, as though the Trump administration didn’t spend the last four years crafting discriminatory and racist immigration and social policies that targeted communities of color across the country.

Trump’s upfront racism also attracts older and younger Latino men who are unwilling to confront their own deep-rooted racism. For some, seeing these common traits in the president is enough to offer their support, despite his conflicting policies.     

Before he caught “the Rona” Trump acted like COVID-19 wasn’t real and then tested positive for the virus that has killed over 214,000 citizens in the U.S. Then he said the whole experience was a “blessing from God.”

The Spanish-language campaign ads running on Univision question Biden’s mental capacity, as though the Trump administration didn’t spend the last four years crafting discriminatory and racist immigration and social policies that targeted communities of color across the country.

So, are they working? 

Maria Mendoza moved into the northeast L.A. neighborhood of El Sereno in the late 1950s with her family. She watches KTLA 5 and Univision 34 for her daily intake of news.

Just like everyone else in America, she’s inundated with the buzzsaw of political ads. Only, she gets them in two languages.

“I feel like the Spanish stations tell me more. They go into it more,” said Mendoza.

“Oh, I can’t even keep track of how many I see? Too many. But Trump, when his face comes on, I just can’t stand he’s trying to get our vote after all the bad he talked about us and I have no respect for him whatsoever,” said Mendoza.

When asked if the Spanish campaign ads for Trump have made a dent in her Mendoza says, “No, nu-uh. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of Latinos I know who say they’re going to vote for him. But when I hear that Latin people, Mexican people are going to vote for him, it just pisses me off. Because I’m an American, born and raised here. He treats all of us like drug addicts, criminals.”

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