LatinaLista — When it comes to politics, I have always striven to be respectful of peoples’ candidate choices. I’ve had to. Within my own family exists a variety of political persuasions that taught me long ago I can debate the issues but not people’s choices.
After all, everyone has a right to their own opinion.
But today, I’m breaking that oath I’ve held sacred for so long.
I’m breaking it because I’m not just appalled at the audacity of a new political advertisement but I’m disgusted at how this candidate “approved this message.”
I’m talking about Nevada’s GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle who is running against Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid. Her latest political advertisement attempts to disparage Sen. Reid. Not a new political tactic. But this time, the advertisement is all about Latinos.
I say it’s all about Latinos because while the ad repeats the term “illegal immigrants” there is a scene in the ad that definitely makes this an “us” vs “them” message.
One of the highly objectionable lines in the ad says that “waves of illegal aliens are streaming across our border joining violent gangs and forcing families to live in fear.”
Every picture of these “illegal aliens” is one showing Latino youth. The family living in fear is Anglo.
In a state where 27 percent of the population is Hispanic, this ad sends a horrible message and goes beyond being merely a political advertisement. The insinuations and implications made in this ad are not just highly insulting — they’re slanderous.
For Latino youth, the message this ad delivers is damaging. Last week’s gaffe by Angle telling the students they looked Asian — not that there’s not a historical basis for that to be true, but what kind of politician says stuff like that to impressionable students — was equated with Christine O’Donnell’s take on the U.S. Constitution.
What is becoming more and more apparent in this campaign season is that ignorance and intolerance are trying to be made politically fashionable by inept candidates who are so out of touch with who else lives in the United States that a vote for them ensures whom these people will represent if they’re elected — and it won’t be for anyone who doesn’t fit their skewered vision of who is an American.
While every candidate has a right to “attack” their opponent to make them a less desirable candidate, the nation and the media have become too accepting of the tactic to demonize whole American ethnic groups.
It’s time to call these candidates out for what they really are — racists. And for them and those who vote for them, who think racism is a badge of honor, then the future of this country is truly at stake.