LatinaLista — A recent ABC News article about John McCain campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire reveals some disturbing news about the electorates who will set the tone for this presidential race – they know next to nothing when it comes to U.S. Latinos, the U.S.-Mexico border, border security and undocumented immigrants.
Sen. John McCain in New Hampshire
But the real clincher is that they think they do!
Just how much contact people in New Hampshire have with Latinos was brought home personally to me a few years ago during a family reunion. Some of my family lives in the Boston area. We caravanned to New Hampshire to one of those quaint little historic villages where retiree volunteers dress up in period costumes and conduct tours of the site.
As we were waiting till everyone had finished buying souvenirs in the little general store, our tour hostess, replete in 17th century costume, turned to me and asked a question I can honestly say I’d never been asked before: Why are some of you so dark?
I then shared with her our family history, or as much as you can condense Mexican/Spanish family history in 5 minutes. She seemed satisfied, not impressed, but satisfied that her question had been answered and proceeded to get into character.
Unfortunately, I was so shaken by her innocent question that I couldn’t help mulling it over in my mind.
Is it possible that in this day and age, in this country, that there can be a group of people so sheltered (and I’m not talking about the Amish) that they really don’t know what to make of people of a different skin color or heard speaking with a different accent?
I honestly filed that experience under the “doesn’t-get-out-much” heading and soon forgot about it until I read the article about John McCain. The following paragraph brought all those memories rushing back:
Earlier that day, a woman said she had heard that some Mexican-American children in American schools were refusing to put their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance and other Mexican immigrants were flying the Mexican flag above the American flag somewhere.
McCain wondered if these tales that people are citing are coming from talk radio where immigration is a burning issue.
That would seem the likely source, especially since illegal immigration has been a fact of life for as long as I can remember but didn’t become an issue until talk radio and Congressional zealots decided there must be an invasion by Latino immigrants.
it’s rather ironic that these same people say they have nothing against legal immigrants, a.k.a. Latinos, as a way to appear they are presenting a “balanced” argument, yet will say such things as “Mexican-American children in American schools were refusing to put their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance.”
When some African-American athletes didn’t put their hands over their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem at one Olympics, I wonder if these same people made a political issue out of it?
Somehow, I doubt it. And for a simple reason â€” there was no question in their minds that those athletes, no matter how disrespectful they were on an international stage, were American citizens.
For whatever reason, the allegiance and citizenship of all U.S. Latinos is now being questioned.
And the ones who are educating these most sheltered, removed or ignorant among us are a group who don’t have a clue as to how life operates in the southwestern part of the country, but think they do.