America Ferrara Talking About Immigration On 'Real Time With Bill Maher' Is The One Thing You Need To Watch Today — VIDEO
America Ferrara is a wonderful actress — warm, funny, charismatic. And yet, I can't help but feel after viewing Ferrara speaking about immigration that she should give up her day job to become a full time activist. She's got the sort of qualities years of training can't teach — she's calm and measured in her delivery, until someone tries to ambush her with stereotypes or ill-considered lines of arguments at which point she makes no bones about getting incredibly passionate in defending her own view. And she's been doing this a while. During the Ferrara's appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday July 22, we learned that Ferrara's role for the Hillary Clinton campaign — which involves traveling the country to different cities and explaining her support for Hillary — isn't some cool new thing the actress is doing. She confides that she also hit the campaign trail back in 2008 for Hillary.
But the best part of the video below is watching Ferrara get really fired up about immigration: "He couldn't be more wrong," she says of Trump's take on the facts, before debunking several myths that the Republican Party has circulated. One such myth is what Trump claims as fact —"that immigrants are criminals."
"In fact — because there are such things as facts," Ferrera interjects dryly to the audience's audible delight, "immigrants, undocumented or documented, are less likely to commit crimes." This inspires Bill Maher to make the not-really-OK comment that “You know who drives perfectly? Latinos. Because they don’t want to f*ck with the police. Everybody else in L.A. drives like a maniac. You get behind a truck with a lawn mower — never, ever does anything wrong. It’s true!”
"That's stereotyping, Bill," Ferrara immediately — but gently — says to him. And this is the key to the joy of Ferrara as a public speaker. She's not on anyone's "side." She's not going to let herself be buttered up by a television host if his comments obscure the discussion, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.
Besides which, she's equally comfortable with nuance and acknowledging that how people choose to vote isn't necessarily something that you can predict purely on the basis of racial demographics. Around three minutes in, Maher asks Ferrara to account for why, although pretty much no African-Americans in Pennsylvania and Ohio are voting for Trump, some members of the Latino demographic are pro-Trump. Ferrara replies:
Latino Americans are Americans, which people don't want to believe, but we are Americans...and they care about the same things all Americans care about, so of course there's going to be a portion of the Latino-American community that are angry and sees in Donald Trump a channel for that anger.
Exactly! Race is complicated and how helpful demographic-led voting predictions can be has a limit. So if you're up for an informative, insightful look into the politics of immigration from a lady who should almost definitely give up acting to get into politics, check out the above. It'll be the best spent 10 minutes of your day.
Images: HBO; Real Time With Bill Maher/YouTube