Internet fame follows ‘Latina contra Trump’ stunt by Salisbury sisters

Published 12:10 am Monday, October 24, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Within hours after a Republican Party event at West End Plaza, two sisters received more internet fame than they ever expected.

Annie Cardelle, a 23-year-old Salisbury native, and her sister Ceci, a 17-year-old senior at Salisbury High School, attended Friday’s Eric and Lara Trump rally at Thelma’s Down Home Cooking. Eric Trump is the second son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Lara Trump is Eric’s wife.

Like the other attendees, the pair of sisters snapped pictures of the Trumps. Annie Cardelle posed for pictures while the Trumps were speaking. Later, they’d be one of the 200 or more people who posed for a photo with the Trumps.

There was one notable difference between the Cardelles and other attendees. Scrawled on Annie Cardelle’s shirt in black marker was the phrase “Latina contra Trump.” “Contra” means against in Spanish.

As they approached Eric and Lara Trump, Annie Cardelle’s sweater obscured the word contra. When they posed for the picture, she pushed the sweater down to reveal the full phrase.

“I was so nervous,” Ceci Cardelle said. “Annie wore a sweater so that we could get in there. And, when she took it off, I was sure they were going to realize what the shirt said … it just got funnier and funnier.”

The sisters posted their photos on Twitter after leaving the rally. The reception was overwhelming. As of Sunday afternoon, photos posted by Ceci Cardelle had more than 70,000 “retweets” and more than 130,000 “likes.” More “likes” and “retweets” were still coming. Annie Cardelle also posted the photos, adding thousands more “retweets” and “likes” to the social media fame.

Ceci Cardelle said she had to turn her phone on “do not disturb” because of the social media attention. Ceci and Annie Cardelle have now been interviewed by multiple national news outlets.

The pair of sisters hadn’t planned to be Twitter superstars. Annie Cardelle said she had talked about attending the Friday rally but didn’t want to be mistaken for supporters. So, she quickly used two black markers to draw the “Latina contra Trump” phrase on a white T-shirt.

“I didn’t even write it out,” she said. “I wasn’t even trying to be neat. I wanted to make it quick and I definitely wanted to put something on the shirt about being Hispanic because (Donald) Trump says that he has the Hispanic vote. He’s really bragging.”

Annie Cardelle said her sister was initially hesitant to attend Friday’s event. Ceci Cardelle said they expected some of the attendees to be people they knew and she didn’t want to cause a scene.

But no one noticed — something that surprised both sisters.

The sisters say they’re primarily opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy because of the words he uses to describe Latino Americans and other minorities.

“Our problem is not with (Donald) Trump supporters,” Annie Cardelle said. “It’s about Trump himself. It’s not about the policies. It’s about his words and his rhetoric and hate speech.”

Trump has repeatedly talked about deporting undocumented immigrants during his presidential campaign. In his 2015 campaign announcement speech, he said that Mexican immigrants are bringing drugs and crime to the United States. One of the pillars of his presidential campaign is building a border wall with Mexico.

Annie and Ceci Cardelle say that Trump’s supporters don’t realize how the Republican nominee’s speeches negatively affect the general public’s perceptions of Hispanic Americans.

“It’s easy to see that he is demonizing people based on race,” Ceci Cardelle said. “It’s easy to see how wrong it is. Even if we weren’t minorities, the things that he says, attacking people based on race, are wrong.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.