Latinos to Trump: #ImNotACriminal

I have always believed that a positive can come out of a negative.

When Donald Trump made his ignorant remarks about Mexicans and the larger Latino population, our community was outraged. Sadly, I'm afraid that Mr. Trump's remarks illustrated an ignorance and misconception about Latinos that, unfortunately, many others share.

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump

However, these comments unified the Latino community more so than ever before. From major retailers and media companies to celebrities and local neighbors, the overwhelming response proved that Latinos in the U.S. are a force to be reckoned with. Little does Mr. Trump know, that Latinos are one of the fastest growing and therefore most powerful demographic in the US.

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It's empowering to see how this event has inspired this vast group of Latinos to speak up and raise their voices. I read a brilliant piece by Latina actress and activist America Ferrera where she thanked Donald Trump for making our jobs easier, by energizing the Latino community to head out to the polls this upcoming election. And yes, Latinos can swing an election (sorry Mr. Trump but you chose the wrong demographic to mess with), especially because of the power that Latino influencers carry for today's millennials across all social platforms.

I co-founded mitú, a technology-driven media brand for Latinos, to serve as a platform for the Latino millennial voice. In response to Trump's racial statements about Mexicans being criminals, we started a social-media campaign with the hashtag #ImNotACriminal. We rallied our community of over 3,000 Latino social influencers and content creators, to voice their reaction to his idiotic, unfounded statements, and within a few hours, we had over 28 million impressions from our passionate social community, ranging from everyday people to social celebs who joined us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

We created a video of USC students, capturing the reaction and response of millennials on the street, that already has been viewed nearly 4 million times.

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Like Ms. Ferrera, I personally want to thank Mr. Trump as well, for encouraging us to raise our voices and express our collective opinions surrounding his unfortunate comments. Even in the midst of my own outrage and frustration, I felt proud seeing so many examples of extraordinary Latinos, in all walks of life, making America better every day.

There is always a positive that can come out of a negative, and, in this case, it brought Latinos together around the world, united in the pride we share in our respective cultures, hard work and professional accomplishments.

For me, professionally, as a Mexican immigrant who arrived here 20 years ago on an investor visa with a goal to create new businesses for me and other like-minded entrepreneurial Latinos, it reminded me of the responsibility I have to help eradicate these ridiculous stereotypes in our country, and as a mother of 10-year-old Mexican-American twins, this was a valuable teaching moment that allowed me to show them why racism, ignorance, intolerance and hatred towards any human being are not the values this country was built on, and ones in which we should never stand for.

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Commentary by Beatriz Acevedo, co-founder and president of mitú, a technology-driven media brand focused on creating fresh and innovative content for the mobile generation. Follow her on Twitter @bea_latina.