On Wednesday night, at a meeting conducted after a massive fight among 40 black and Latino students at Sylmar High School raged on Monday, Danny Trejo, who has co-starred in the films Heat, Con Air, and Desperado, but is best known as “Machete” in the Spy Kids films and Machete and Machete Kills films, told students and onlookers that “Mexicans” and “African-Americans” should unite.
ABC 7 reported that the meeting started with school administrators as well as new Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King speaking, but then Trejo realized the students were not being given a chance to speak. He interrupted, "You're not listening to them,” pointing to students and parents, “They'll come up here and tell you. That's who we should be talking to. Parents and them."
Trejo, who served time in San Quentin when he was younger but later attended a 12-step program in which he became sober, told the crowd, "The first time Mexicans and African Americans got together, we got a black president. So, good things can really happen when we get together." Although some students said the brawl was not precipitated by race, Trejo said emphatically, "There IS a race problem. Your heads are in the sand," according to the Daily Mail.
The students had their own opinions: one stated, "I don't feel safe at school. We have to walk around in groups at school because we don't feel safe." Many of the students said gang members, some of whom are students, try to menace the black population at the school. One father of three students at the school stated, "They walk together in groups. They're basically doing the same thing you have to do in prison.” Rickey Madden, the father of three Sylmar students said.
"The first time Mexicans and African Americans got together, we got a black president. So, good things can really happen when we get together."
Danny "Machete" Trejo
But Sylmar High School Principal James Lee insisted, "I don't really want to identify it as a gang issue yet. I think we really need to dig deeper and identify what's behind all this.”
Trejo later tweeted: