When Annie and Ceci Cardelle noticed a local restaurant in their hometown of Salisbury, NC, was hosting a rally in support of Donald Trump, they initially joked about going. As supporters of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the sisters and second-generation Cuban-Americans thought about using the rally as a moment for thoughtful political protest — if only they could figure out how.
Annie then decided to grab a Sharpie and simply write "Latina contra Trump" (Latina against Trump) on a plain white t-shirt to wear at the rally. "I made up my mind that I couldn't go to a Trump event without expressing my feelings and risk possibly being taken as a supporter," Annie said in an interview with POPSUGAR.
Just hours later, she was posing for pictures with Trump's son Eric Trump and Eric's wife, Laura Trump, wondering how she managed to slip past so many supporters and campaign personnel.
When you protest a Trump rally but no one realizes your shirt says "Latinas AGAINST trump" so they take pics w/ you like you're supporters pic.twitter.com/5ce8SZw5Mh— CC (@cecicardelle) October 21, 2016
See, when Annie and Ceci initially arrived at the rally, they expected to get caught, but no one realized what the slogan on Annie's t-shirt really meant — even though personnel inspected every person waiting in line to get a picture with the Trumps. "The only person who noticed when my sister was taking photos of me wearing the shirt was a reporter from our local paper," Annie said. Following the inspection and protocol, the sisters got their picture.
No one at the rally realized my shirt said AGAINST tr*mp... congrats, y'all played yourselves ✌🏽️✌🏽️✌🏽️ pic.twitter.com/qZ3x1ER8j0
— Annie (@AnnieCardelle) October 21, 2016
Annie described the attendees of the rally as "kind" and "gracious." However, she said the online reaction has been mixed since the pictures from the event went viral, getting thousands of retweets and "likes" on Twitter. "I had not experienced any kind of racism or aggression until the story became viral."
Annie said she didn't want to antagonize Trump's supporters, but she did want to protest the candidate who she feels "has conflated Latinx people with murderers and rapists." "The whole protest was supposed to be a quiet one," she said. "In a election that has been very loud and brash, I wanted to make a nonaggressive statement."