Milwaukee Mayor Blames Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric & Policies For Acid Attack Against Hispanic Citizen



By Julia Conley
Common Dreams (11/4/19)

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said Monday that President Donald Trump is responsible for violent hate crimes like an acid attack which left a 42-year-old man with second-degree burns in the city on Friday.

Mahud Villaluz told CNN affiliate WISN that a man confronted him over a parking spot, called him “an illegal,” and told him to “go back to [his] country” before throwing battery acid at him. The incident was caught on surveillance video and a 61-year-old man was arrested in connection with the crime on Monday.

“My concern is that more and more people feel that because the president is saying it that this is okay,” Barrett told CNN. “It’s not okay, it’s horrible.”

“Everybody knows what’s happening,” the mayor said of Trump’s encouragement of anti-immigrant sentiment and even violence. “It’s because the president is talking about it on a daily basis that people feel that they have license to go after Hispanic people, and it’s wrong.”

The attack on Villaluz comes six months after the president laughed at a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida after an attendee shouted that migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border should be shot.

“Only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement,” the president said at the rally.

Barrett added on Monday that the attack was “obviously” a hate crime. The city is investigating it as such, according to CNN.

Villaluz is a U.S. citizen who was born in Peru. He described the alleged attack in a press conference on Sunday.

“He started arguing, saying, ‘Why you came here and invade my country? Why you came here illegally?'” he told reporters. “[I said], ‘Sir, you don’t know my status. I’m a U.S. citizen too. He got mad when I told him everybody came here from somewhere else.”

Progressive PAC Latino Victory Fund expressed agreement with Barrett regarding Trump’s influence on racist attacks.

“The rise of anti-Latino hate crimes during the Trump administration is directly related to Trump’s extreme anti-Latino rhetoric and deeds,” the group wrote on social media.

(Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.)

Link to Story and 1-Minute Video

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )


Time For People Of Conscience — Especially White Men — To Stand With Our minority and Immigrant Brothers & Sisters.

By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (11/7/19)
This Milwaukee story is so disturbing and we need to all be prepared to speak up and out if this kind of attack or harassment of our minority and immigrant neighbors takes place in front of us. If someone is harassing another speak up; tell them that that kind of talk is not appropriate in our community.
Take out your phone, call the police and begin video recording what is happening. Copy down car license plate numbers. Be a witness. Offer to give a statement or testify.
If needed — and you feel you are up to it — step in between a harasser and a victim.
As a white man, I challenge all white men of conscience to be active in speaking out and helping to stand with, shield or protect any minority or immigrant being harassed, bullied or attacked. So much of this vile hate is being done in the name of white men. It is time for white men of conscience to speak out against this kind of hate; to tell other white men it is not acceptable. Be an example of justice for young white men.
I am reading Rep. John Lewis’ autobiography “Walking With The Wind” about the early days of the Freedom Rides and other protests he participated in. It was a time when some whites of conscience met the moral challenge of the times and stood with black brothers and sisters. Another such time has arrived and we must all act to the ability we can.

Remember: Silence is consent.