Palabra Final

McCain’s Memorial Day “Hispanic ad” delivers mixed message

McCain’s Memorial Day “Hispanic ad” delivers mixed message

LatinaLista — Lately, there has been an inordinate amount of articles written about the Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his chances with the Hispanic electorate.
It seems McCain must be reading these articles because yesterday, for Memorial Day, his campaign released a new web ad supposedly honoring Hispanic soldiers and hitting at the heart of what Latinos hold dear — patriotism.

The online book Hispanic Recipients of the Medal of Honor features recipients from the Civil War to Vietnam.
The ad should be a slam dunk for McCain. It has all the right elements: mention of our sons and daughters, our sacrifices in the current war but then it kind of goes south (pun intended).
And it leaves us Latinos scratching our heads and wondering, does John McCain REALLY know Hispanics?

As hard as we tried, we couldn't find the McCain "Memorial Day" web ad. Mysteriously, it wasn't on YouTube when we checked (and we had been directed that way) nor was it even on McCain's campaign site though they did have the press release still up and the following script:

JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, I want you, the next time you're down in Washington, D.C., to go to the Vietnam War Memorial and look at the names engraved in black granite. You'll find a whole lot of Hispanic names.
When you go to Iraq or Afghanistan today, you're going to see a whole lot of people who are of Hispanic background.
You're even going to meet some of the few thousand that are still green card holders who are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed nation.
So let's, from time to time, remember that these are God's children. They must come into country legally, but they have enriched our culture and our nation as every generation of immigrants before them.
Thank you.
I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

For one thing, not sure who the intended audience is for this ad. Is it Latinos who are fully aware of the military sacrifices families have endured since before The Alamo? Or is to newly arrived Hispanic immigrants? Or is to the extreme factions of the Republican Party who naturally associate undocumented immigrants with the term "Hispanic"?
In an ad that is supposed to appeal to HISPANIC VOTERS, why does it have to be said that "from time to time, remember these are God's children?"
Yes, he's talking about the immigrant soldiers and their sacrifices and he's also scolding them for not coming into the country legally BUT what does that have to do with the greater message of recognizing the role Latinos have played in serving this country?
Clearly, this ad is intended to show his Republican peers that he can be both a taskmaster and slap those Hispanic immigrants on the wrists for not complying by the rules when it comes to crossing our borders but compassionate by slapping them on the back for a job well done in putting their lives at greater risk in serving this country.
The only problem is where does this ad leave the rest of the Latino population who have been in the US for generations and have a family history of military service beyond Iraq and Afghanistan?
If any of these presidential candidates want the Hispanic vote, they need to first determine which Hispanics they're talking to.
(On another note, please check today's Mediacast's page for a story that also deserves attention.)

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