Jorge Ramos spoke about being an immigrant and journalist in the age of President Trump at Harvard University's Goldsmith Awards Ceremony. Ramos provided his transcript to TIME.
No Mister Trump, I am not your enemy. But I don't want to be your friend, either.
That's the end of my speech. Now, let me tell you how I got there.
I am an immigrant. I am a journalist. And I am the father of Nicolas and Paola.
These three things define me.
I'll spare you the details of my wonderful experience as a father. But I'll just say that Paola – who is actually a Harvard Kennedy School alumni — and Nicolas taught me what is really important in life: to be yourself, to care for one another and, when needed, to defend with all your energy what you believe in.
So let me concentrate on the other two things that define me. I want to tell you what it means for me to be an immigrant and a journalist in the era of Donald Trump. I feel such a sense of mission that, at 58, I think I've been preparing all my life for this moment, for this fight.
Yes, it's a fight.
FROM THE ARTICLE
I've identified six areas in which we have the moral obligation to confront politicians and people on positions of authority. When it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public lies, dictatorships and human rights, we have to take a stand. The most important social responsibility that we have as journalists is to question those in power. If we don't do it, nobody else will.
Now, in order to do that, you cannot be in bed with the politicians. There has to be distance. I think our position as journalists is to be on the opposite side of power. Yes, that's where we belong.
I don't believe that the press is "the opposition party", as White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, recently suggested. By definition real journalists are not partisan. Independence defines our job. But I do believe, again, that we have to be on the opposite side of power, regardless of who is in the White House (a Democrat or a Republican).
There is a beautiful word in Spanish that defines our role as journalists. It is contrapoder. Contra means "against" and poder means "power". Believe me, I've looked for the right translation and couldn't find it. "Countervailing power" is the closest translation there is. Still, not precise.
Contrapoder means to be on the other side of power and, at the same time, to confront that power. Well, that's our role as journalists in a democracy like ours; to be on the other side of power and to confront those who have the power, the authority and the money.