Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > As Latino politicians ascend, more must confront a political riddle unique to Hispanics

As Latino politicians ascend, more must confront a political riddle unique to Hispanics

LatinaLista — Something Ted Cruz, the victor in the recent GOP TX Senate primary, said today has been getting a lot of coverage. He was advising Mitt Romney how best to appeal to Latino voters.

Mitt Romney’s campaign should appeal to “conservative values: faith, family, hard work, responsibility” in making his case to Latino voters…

Then he went on to say:

“A friend of mine, a Hispanic entrepreneur, asked me a question some time ago. He said, ‘When is the last time you saw an Hispanic panhandler?’ I think it’s a great question. I’ll tell you, in my life I never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler because in our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging,” said Cruz…

The minute I heard his comment I agreed with it immediately. We do work hard to provide for our families and don’t want to accept handouts. That’s one of the reasons why the USDA is worried that a over a quarter of Latinos eligible for food assistance aren’t opting for it.

Yet, just as quickly as I agreed with Mr. Cruz, I couldn’t help but wonder how he felt about day laborers.

Day laborers are the epitome of not wanting to accept handouts, working hard for their families and having faith that God will keep them safe and help them provide for their families.

The fact that a good many day laborers are undocumented might throw a wrench in Mr. Cruz’s politics and that’s the crux of the Latino political problem: How do we separate two parts of a community that for all practical purposes share the same values but continue to be demonized for exactly the reasons Mr. Cruz says makes all Latinos so admirable?

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