A 10-year-old boy sits cross-legged against a wall, wearing a large, colorful sombrero.
Slowly, he removes it, revealing a white, knit taqiyah underneath. As one head covering gives way to another, he speaks directly to Donald Trump:
“I am Mexican. I am Muslim. I am not a terrorist.”
Andrew Morales started posting videos to Facebook when he was 7 years old, as a way to keep in touch with his friends back in Mexico.
Now 11, with several years of on-camera experience under his belt, Morales is increasingly using his growing page as a platform to stand up for himself and his family against Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican rhetoric, which he takes personally.
“After [Trump] said he was going to build a wall from here to Mexico, that just made me, honestly, really angry,” Andrew told Upworthy.
He explained that he was motivated to respond on behalf of his mom, who was born in Mexico, as well on behalf of the millions of Mexicans living and working in the U.S. including at Trump’s own companies.
Morales also believes that Trump, “doesnt know anything about Islam.”
“Were not terrorists. All we want is love and peace for everyone,” he said.
Morales credits his friends from school for introducing him to politics and helping him find his voice online.
Most mornings before class, Morales gathers with classmates at his Houston-area Islamic school for “Trump Time,” where they discuss everything from Trump’s latest statements to their passion for Bernie Sanders to where the race currently stands.
“They actually really motivate me a lot,” Morales said. “Without them, I would just be sad cause everybody needs a friend, right?”
Andrew’s mother Nahela Morales said that while she guided her son early on, he has started taking on more responsibility for the videos in the past year.
“Now that were doing them live, he says whatever he wants,” Nahela told Upworthy.
She continues to monitor and help manage his page deleting angry comments so that Andrew doesn’t see them. She described the current political environment as “scary.”
“I know a lot of colleagues and a lot of people that have been attacked or abused because of the rhetoric,” Nahela said.
The Morales family recently moved from New Jersey to Texas, which has been an adjustment for Andrew.
“Its really hot. Like, its too hot over here,” Andrew said. While he likes his new school and has made friends, he still misses things about his old home.
“I liked when I could build a snowman,” he said
Nahela explained that the long, hot days in Houston make their Ramadan fast challenging, but manageable.
“As long as you stay inside in the A/C, everythings OK,” she said.
Andrew told Upworthy that he would love a chance to talk to Trump one-on-one, though he’s not sure Trump would listen.
“Hes very rude and arrogant, but I would try my best,” Andrew said. “I would try and talk to him.”
More than anything, he wishes the candidate knew that “Islam is peace and love.”
For now, he plans to continue to use his videos to send Trump a message:
“Educate yourself,” Andrew said.
“You cant talk smack about something if you dont know anything about that topic.”