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Alberto Gonzales was Loyal to a Disgraceful Fault

LatinaLista — A lot of things can be said about the now former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — and a lot of people are saying them.

But if there was one point that no one can dispute, it was his loyalty to the President.
In fact, it’s fair to say that Alberto was loyal to a disgraceful fault.

Rightly or wrongly, because there are still too few highly accomplished Latinos in the public arena, whether it be politics, sports, entertainment, etc., there exists a collective pride among Latinos when “one of our own” makes it.
That should have been the case with Alberto Gonzales.
His kind of background — one of eight children of Mexican migrant parents, who worked his way up through school, weekend jobs and military service — is routinely held up as a model within the Latino community as evidence that realizing the American Dream is not just a dream but can be a reality, our reality because a boy like Alberto proved it true.
Those kinds of stories are legacies unto themselves and if Alberto had followed the usual course of not just achieving success but being a Latino of strong character who upheld the principles of integrity, ethics and justice to serve ALL people, and not just himself or one man or one administration, Alberto could have lived off his legacy like former sitcom stars who live off the residuals of their syndicated shows.
But he didn’t. He chose to turn a blind eye to “truth and justice” and the whole world witnessed what a lap dog with a Hispanic surname sounds like when trying to defend acts of torture, or the treatment of prisoners, or the firing of nine U.S. attorneys because they had the misfortune of not belonging to the right party.
According to historians, Alberto was “one of the most influential Hispanic officials in the history of United States government,” and he certainly knew how to lick the hand that fed him.
He did it without conscience or thought as to what others thought of him, especially his community-at-large.
Some in the Latino community say that Alberto only remembered to be Latino when it was to his political advantage — or used it for someone else’s.
Maybe so. Maybe Alberto is one of those guys for whom there is never enough distance between their hard-scrabble upbringing and the world of money and connections they eventually slithter themselves into.
But when that much distance is put in between where you came from and who you become, you can’t help but lose a big chunk of yourself along the way.
And in the process, you don’t know where you belong.
For a son of Mexican migrants, at a time when it’s these very people who are being persecuted, hunted down and corralled into prison camps (including children), the impact of what Alberto lost and the power that he could have utilized to make a difference in this persecution may finally be brought home to him – if only he had remembered where he started.

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  • Antonio Gonzalez
    August 27, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Really you want to the Latinos
    somethings like Alberto Gonzalez, realmente tipos
    como el solo dan asco.

  • Frank
    August 27, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    It is my understanding the Alberto is the son of illegal alien parents.
    Why does he have to remember to be Latino? Should I remember to be White? It would be better to just remember that you are an American, no? You know, “E Pluribus Unum”.
    What is this persecution that is being spoken of? Illegal aliens should be detained and placed in a secured place till deported. This is persecution? Their children have been placed with them so as to not separate the families. Funny how we keep hearing about how it is the U.S. government’s fault that families are being separated and yet here is an example where the humane thing was done and families kept together. I guess one picks and chooses what is right depending on the secenario that fits with their agenda, no?

  • adriana
    August 27, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Frank, of course, we all should remember that we are Americans. However, you as a white American, are firmly established and entrenched in the political power structure. Latinos are not. We lack adequate representation. Alberto Gonzales had an opportunity to advocate on behalf of all Americans, but he failed. Perhaps, had he remembered the struggles of his ethnic group, he may have expressed a little compassion with regards to the treatment of prisoners, the rights of the incarcerated, etc. In case you are living in a cave, it is pretty well known that people of color (blacks, Latinos, Middle Easterners) are more likely to suffer abuses within the criminal justice system.
    I believe that Alberto Gonzales’ parents were born in Texas. Check out this link:

  • Frank
    August 28, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    You do realize that most of our “White” politicians are not sticking up for Whites, don’t you? They are too busy worrying about minorities in this country, including the illegal kind. So, no Whites don’t have much representation in congress anymore.
    The Latino ones are more ethnocentric than any White politician has ever been.
    I personally am tired of ethnic politics whether it’s about black, white or brown. That is not what this country should be about. We should be a nation united and not divided by or favoring any one race or ethnic group.

  • BrownViews
    August 28, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Very well said, Marisa. So tragic ‘Beto seemed to have forgotten the values his parents his family taught him. He could have done so much good for humanity in his position… and instead, seemed to squander his opportunity as a lapdog for inhumane purposes.
    History will not be kind to him, and he deserves all he gets.

  • turtlebella
    August 28, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Frank: your white privilege is showing.
    Alberto Gonzales is such a debacle, on so many levels. The things he did, the lies he told, the principles he stands for. All are abhorrent to me. As BrownViews says, history will not be kind to him.

  • Frank
    August 28, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    I have no White priviledges nor do I expect any, unlike many miniorities that do today. Our politicians are happy to accomodate and pander to them for votes. I had hoped after the Civil Rights era that never again would one race be put above another but now it appears racism has reared it’s ugly head again. It just looks differently now, that’s all.

  • Michaelr
    September 7, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Alberto Gonzalez has completely forgotten where he came from, and what his role should be. He has sold his soul to be Dubya’s dog, and is content to betray the oaths and covenants he swore to uphold to the American people by blurring the rule of law. In less than three years, he ransacked through the Bill of Rights, and laid the foundation for a police state. He makes me ashamed to be a Latino.

  • Horace
    September 8, 2007 at 2:21 am

    “Alberto Gonzalez has completely forgotten where he came from…”
    I thought that the AJ was responsible to all the people, not just Latinos. The AJ’s role is not to promote a social agenda, but enforce ALL of the laws of the land, not just those that suit a narrow constituency. From what you’ve said, you’d expect the AJ to ignore immigration law in support of “his” people. Should Americans fear ethnic based justice from Latino cabinet members? As for me, I’ll vote for a president who will not side with special interests but with one who would appoint cabinet members who are strict Constitutional constructionists. Your approach to democracy is might makes right, but that’s not what our Constitution permits.

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