Latinos and Racial Assumptions
There are several national conversations about race in recent times, and there are several issues we are facing still today. read more
I am not a fan of politics, but I think this is an interesting issues happening right now at election time.
A few months back I wrote a post calling attention to the bad ethics of Spanish language media in the United States, such as the Univsion TV network. I have stopped being surprised by many of their questionable decisions, but approving the TV ad that told Latinos not to vote was more than questionable. This ad passed a line far beyond the traditional political attacks seen in today’s campaigns, it encouraged a group not to be counted. Watch the first two videos below if you have not seen the ads.
Fortunately, the ads were pulled because of Latino group’s backlash, but it still appeared strange that they allowed them in the first place. I tried to do some more research as to why this ad was even created. It seems that the group Latinos 4 Reform created this ad only to get attention. This group is led by Robert De Posada, who was a former official of the Republican National Committee and had even appeared as a political commentator on Univison in the past. It seems maybe they did know what they were doing after all, maybe.
While I can sympathize with his equal frustration with both major parties, this was a very risky move. In his latest video, shown at the end of this post, he explains that they just wanted to call attention to the situation. The group is calling for Latinos to more carefully consider who gets their vote. This actually seems like a great idea after seeing their intentions. For a few generations, many Hispanics/Latinos and Catholics have simply given their vote to the Democrats, as if it was expected for gratitude for some support back in the past.
The Democrats were the party to boast a strong support for comprehensive immigration reform within a year of Obama’s entrance to the presidency. Two years later and we seem to find ourselves in an even worse state. This issue is terribly complicated and will not be solved overnight, but it must be addressed soon. Both parties have become so wrapped up in politics, that it seems it will not be the current politicians to do anything to change it.
It is also often thought that Democrats will be more supportive of the Latino causes, but the past years have proven otherwise. For Hispanics, most of our values have been abandoned by the Democratic party, especially in the appreciation for family. The general Democratic platform to chose to support abortion puts a vast divide in between the party’s values and the values of our culture. Sure some Latino groups choose to be “pro-choice,” but that generally does not agree with our culture that has a deep rooted history with Christianity.
The most troubling part of this is that Democrats have convinced many Spanish-speaking Latinos that abortion is a personal issue and should not be considered in the political arena. I find many Spanish speakers repeating this idea as if it is a valid argument. How can the Democratic party legitimately convince people that it is a personal issue and fight so hard for “pro-choice” legislation? Regardless of any good being sought by decisions, the millions of children being killed cannot be ignored. Taking someone else’s life is not a personal decision. It is also not single issue voting, because abortion eats away at the very base of our society, family. Destroying the family destroys the world by destroying one of God’s most powerful gifts.
It is impossible to find the perfect party that fits our Christian values and that is willing to work for what the good of our people as Latinos and all Americans rather than just continue politics as usual. As tempting as it is, we cannot give up on politics. Let’s go out and vote. Check out my post Learn. Pray. Vote and this post about the Pope’s advice for more information on voting as a Catholic.
Let us take time to pray for our current politicians and for those to come.
Original Spanish Version
Original English Version
Defense of the videos
The recent move by the governor of Arizona has many people angry with a new law that could encourage racial profiling. It’s no surprise that Latinos are upset. The majority of us here were born American or are legally living in the US. I am sometimes surprised when I realize how unaware some people are of the different factors in these different situations. When I still lived in Colorado, someone once asked a friend when their family crossed the river. I was appalled that someone would ask that.
My father came over in the 1950’s when President Eisenhower started the braceros program. It was an open invitation to come to the United States temporarily. Once he finished a few years of the program and returned to Mexico, he was able to file for a visa to return to work outside of the program. After a few attempts, he was granted the paper work to be able to legally live in the US. for long enough to gain residency. My mother and oldest sister came over after he had already set up everything legally.
I am very proud to be born here in the United States, and I am also very proud of the Mexican heritage from my family’s history. While I was blessed with a wonderful life, there are many who were brought here by their parents or spouse. There are many complexities that are often lumped together in generalized statements toward illegal immigrants. The problem comes when people begin to treat them with less respect because of assumptions they have about their history.
The law should be respected so that stealing is not condoned and the system is not manipulated. It is the job of non-profits and religious organizations to help fund those in need, rather than tax payers. We must seek an effective immigration reform that protects our safety but never dehumanizes those that are involved. We pray that our leaders may be guided in their decisions.
I thought that American Papist also wrote a relevant article from a different perspective.