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“Isolated incidents” widening the gap between GOP and Americans of color

LatinaLista — At a time when the Republican Party was supposed to distance itself from what they claim are false characterizations of the party’s feelings towards people of different races or ethnicities, one sad example after another has been surfacing faster than (now) Tropical Storm Isaac’s movement over Louisiana.

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

The first incident involved a Latina Republican candidate in Arizona.

This week, a video interview surfaced where Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, the newly minted GOP candidate (she won her primary election last night garnering 65 percent of the vote over her opponent) now running against Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva in November, spoke in too blunt of terms on how she feels about Middle Easterners.

Speaking to a conservative web site, Saucedo Mercer, a US citizen by way of Mexico, said:

“If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in.

“And those people, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally? When they come across the border, besides the trash that they leave behind, the drug smuggling, the killings, the beheadings. I mean, you are seeing stuff. It’s a war out there.”

Needless to say, Saucedo Mercer’s remarks have caused an outrage and calls for the party to repudiate her remarks.

A board member of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations “called the candidate’s remarks ‘un-American’ and are ‘an insult to the millions of Americans of Middle Eastern heritage who have contributed so much to this great nation.'”

No public response yet from the GOP.

In another example of how empowered some members of the GOP are in flaunting their racism, an African American CNN camerawoman was shocked when two white “older than middle-aged” guys began pelting her with peanuts at the Republican National Convention (RNC). According to witnesses, she said to the men: “What are you doing? Are you out of your damned mind?”

They replied: “Here’s some more peanuts. This is how we feed animals.”

The camerawoman told a couple of her colleagues at a competing media outlet and RNC officials apologized to the woman and had security remove the offensive attendees.

The convention released a statement saying, “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

CNN has said little in defense of their camerawoman, only confirming that the incident took place. No word as to if these individuals have had their credentials confiscated and permanently banned from the convention or not.

Another example, that isn’t as outrageous but is being seen as equally dismissive of people of color is Ann Romney’s speech. While a Reuters’ article claims the wannabe First Lady “connected” with the audience in her speech about her husband, there are more than a few who don’t see it that way.

One critic is Markos Moulitsas, founder of daily kos.

On his blog, Moulitsas, who is Latino, titled his entry “Ann Romney lectures Latinos about what’s best for them.”

Reviewing the speech, Moulitsas highlights those passages that came across as very condescending to an audience she’s trying to recruit to her husband’s side.

Directing her remarks specifically to Latinos telling us such things as: “get past some of their biases,” or “look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children” or trying to connect with the line “I know what it’s like to be the daughter of immigrants.”

Excluding Ann Romney’s speech, it would be easy to say that these are isolated instances. Yet when you have different members of the party, from different levels, in different parts of the country conduct themselves in the same manner, it can no longer be written off as isolated instances but rather, an intrinsic part of the party.

That point is hammered home with the remarks of Mexican-born Saucedo Mercer. One would think that someone who immigrated to this country because they saw for themselves more opportunities for social and economic advancement would be the last person to denigrate another ethnicity. But she does and does it with the full confidence that she isn’t just speaking for herself but for others.

Who are those others but the people who share her politics and vision for this country — and have condoned such insulting remarks by electing her their champion.


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