Zoe Saldana has had enough with politicians making anti-immigration comments directed at Latino culture. The actress, who was raised in the Dominican Republic, reflected on the issue in a cover story interview with Latina.
“You can’t kill us. You can’t send us back,” she told the magazine when asked what she would say to those reluctant to accept the “Latinization of America.” “So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away.”
Saldana added that she felt personally affected by the way her culture has been portrayed by politicians, because, “I don’t believe that what anybody else is saying is true about me or my people.” Though she didn’t name any names, she noted that the issue has reached a prominent boiling point in the national conversation. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been particularly vocal: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said this past summer. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” (Trump’s remarks later led Spanish-language broadcaster Univision to refuse to air his annual Miss USA pageant, and most recently caused Hispanic organizations to petition to have Saturday Night Life drop him as the host of Saturday’s upcoming episode.)
“This topic of immigration hurts because I don’t want to be angry anymore,” Saldana said. “I’m kind of embarrassed when you see all of these people talking on national television, and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, if your grandfather were alive today, when he came here from Ireland, from Italy, escaped f—ing war in Russia. You’re rotting his name to shame. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or how many degrees from Ivy League schools. You’re such a bigot. You’re such a hick right now.’ People have to be open to the reality of what’s happening in our country.”
Head over to Latina to read Saldana’s full interview.