Politics were a heavy topic at the 16th annual Latin Grammys, which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Thursday night. With elections right around the corner, Donald Trump’s negative comments about Latino immigrants in the recent months continue to weigh heavily in people’s hearts. Hispanic celebrities took advantage of the awards show to enforce the importance of voting for a fair and just candidate to represent their community.
The Mexican rock band Maná took home the award for Best Pop/Rock Album, during their acceptance speech front man Fher Olvera reminded viewers that the United States holds a large number of Latinos who need to use their voice to make changes, “We have to show our power, we have to exercise our right to vote,” expressed the singer. “We have to vote for the candidate that will give Latinos a better quality of life.”
The group then took the stage alongside Los Tigres del Norte to sing “Somos Más Americanos (We Are More American),” an “un-official” anthem for immigrants expressing how they deserve to be in the country.
“I want to remind the gringo that I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed me,” the group sang, in reference to Trump’s remarks. At the end of their performance both singers held up a white poster with the words, “United Latinos, don’t vote for racists.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Olvera said, “”We took this iconic song (of Los Tigres del Norte) and are using it as a weapon of protest to what’s happening here with immigration reform and all the xenophobic remarks made by Donald Trump…The declarations that Trump made are against a race, and that’s the problem. Politically, you can be for or against Obama’s, Trump’s, or Hillary’s [views], but there is a universal truth: We can’t be racist.”
Rita Moreno was a presenter that night and while backstage in the press room discussed the topic, “People need a reminding. A reminding of what a rich culture we are and that we have a lot to bring to the table, and it’s not just music of course, it’s the talent. Things have changed a lot. When I first started they told me door was ajar for me and now I’d like to go back and show them how open the doors are. That’s not to say that things have entirely changed.”
More than 10 million people tuned in last year to watch the Latin Grammy ceremony on Univision, which has been one of the highest-rated Spanish-language televisions events of the year.