When allowing someone into a party, seasoned door people seek out “the right look.” The venue’s gatekeepers want people who will contribute positive energy, aesthetic value, and yes, money, to the space inside. The goal for the best nightlife operators has always been what they consider the right mix: a true blending of races, genders, classes, and backgrounds on their dance floors. The ability to meet, mingle, flirt, drink, and dance with very different social types is what has always made America great and cities like New York so special. It’s the rocket fuel of rowdy urban scenes and nightlife all over the world. The mix makes parties fun, communities vibrant, economies dynamic, and polities like ours strong.

But President Trump, who met the First Lady at a Manhattan nightclub during Fashion Week in 1998, seems intent on erecting a massive velvet rope around the country, albeit one that better approximates chain-link fencing or barbed wire. Already in the first months of his presidency, our bullying national gatekeeper has signaled to undocumented youth, people of color, women, Muslims, trans individuals, and others that they do not make America great.

Read the essay on Latino Rebels.

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