Latinos need our own Obama

(The following is a reprint of a column that was written by Latina Lista publisher Marisa Treviño and published in USA Today.)

Politicians have described Barack Obama as “inspiring,” a “leader” and a “visionary” of late. Indeed, he finds himself in an enviable position.
He has begun to establish himself as a leader capable of uniting not just blacks but the entire country. His political ascent has been remarkable and historic, yet Latinos have reason to watch wistfully.
It reminds us of what we don’t have: a leader of national standing who can unite us.

Last fall, a Spanish-language radio station in Dallas asked listeners to name a national Latino leader who was still among us. The callers came up empty but could name three black leaders: Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and, of course, the senator from Illinois.
Why is no national Latino leader capable of commanding the same kind of following as Obama? One obvious answer is that Latinos are not a homogenous group. Cuban-Americans, for instance, have interests a world away from those who came to the USA via Mexico. Try finding one voice for these two groups.
And as with all public servants, we’re sometimes our own worst enemies. Former Clinton Cabinet member Henry Cisneros was a star in Texas, the next great hope for Latinos — until a scandal tripped him up. Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales was seen as a possible Supreme Court nominee until he became the face of controversial Bush administration policies. The few leaders who have garnered some national standing, such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, simply have not captured Latinos’ imagination.
Latinos sorely need a national leader to voice our concerns on the issues of education failures, a punishing economy, the housing fiasco and the arbitrary enforcement of immigration laws. We need someone who can bring people together on such diverse issues.
Latinos can plant the seeds now by actively identifying and grooming those men and women who show the potential and desire to pursue higher office. Find the Harold Fords, Condi Rices and Barack Obamas of our universe. As important, we need to break down the silos of the various leadership organizations that claim to prepare our leaders of the future. A coordinated effort could steer young talent toward established Latino politicians for mentoring.
From 1996 through 2007, the country saw a 37% increase in the number of Latinos elected. That’s the good news. The bad news: 68% of them held seats at either the municipal or school board level. These Latino upstarts need help finding the national stage.
As we’ve seen with Obama, it’s not how long a person has been on the national scene that matters, but how he/she breaks away from the pack and finds the kind of voice people are desperate to hear.

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  • El Loco
    April 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Latinos sorely need a national leader to voice our concerns on the issues of education failures, a punishing economy, the housing fiasco and the arbitrary enforcement of immigration laws. We need someone who can bring people together on such diverse issues.
    It’s interesting that you focus on Obama, the first African-American Presidential candidate that has truly transcended the traditional racial discourse to make the point that Latinos need a Latino leader to inspire them.
    If Obama inspires people is not because he’s Black or in spite of it.
    He just does.
    And if Obama is receptive to our “Latino” concerns, we have our spokesperson right there. Lets not get hung up on “the face” and lets pay greater attention to what people have done and what they have to say.

  • Texano78704
    April 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Very good article, Marisa. You are absolutely correct. Latinos definitely need some national leadership.
    I can just imagine what the cultural supremacists that lurk here will say. I’m sure it will be very much like some of the comments over at the USA Today site.

  • Daniel
    April 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Nope. There is too much of a history of dictators in our past.
    While I support Obama, thanks to someone who asked me to take another look at him, he is, after all, just more “cult of personality.”
    We do have, if you bother to look, great leaders. Alive and well. Writing and leading, as they have done for decades.
    If your are waiting for a MexAmer President of the U.S. then you probably wont have to wait long.
    However, he/she will most likely be a Republican and do little good for the lower tax bracket folks.

  • Frank
    April 18, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    El Loco, although I don’t care for Obama, you make some good points. We as Americans should look for someone to lead us ALL and not someone who just looks like ourselves or that we share an ethnic surname with.
    Texano, please explain what cultural supremesy advocates who reside in this forum besides you for example.

  • Horace
    April 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    “Latinos sorely need a national leader to voice our concerns on the issues of education failures, a punishing economy, the housing fiasco and the arbitrary enforcement of immigration laws. We need someone who can bring people together on such diverse issues.”
    Obama has never been governor, or managed anything bigger than Senator, yet you seem to believe all one needs for experience is the ability to blow a lot of hot air.
    You think that your complaints are not common to all of us, that black, white and the tan have different interests? You think that Hispanics have special problems with the mortgage crisis? Millions of Anglos suffer as well. Much of their problems are due to their own willful ignorance, by taking out loans on houses they couldn’t afford, as it is for Anglos and African Americans who have the same problems. You think that other groups aren’t suffering from the recession? Millions of non-Hispanic citizens are suffering as well. We’ve heard the self-serving Hispanic arguments for ignoring our immigration laws, and find them terribly wanting in logic or fairness.
    Our immigration laws are not abitrary (unless one redefines Webster’s meaning of the word), but are designed to prevent those who would eventually prevail upon our welfare system from becoming resident aliens and citizens. First generation Mexican illegal alien poor/illiterate/naturalized would have little chance of becoming net taxpayers in this country, just as our birthright poor are receivers, not payers of taxes. The American people have listened patiently and have expressed their will in a resounding no. Accept it.
    Non-Hispanics, namely Asians are setting examples as successes, because they emphasize scholatic achievement, but Hispanics are not paying attention. The problem lies with the failure of Hispanic culture and parents who do not inspire their children to excel in school. As Pogo, the comic character once said, “We have met the enemy and they is us”. You aren’t segregated, and descriminated against, as were black people, but you whine as though you are. Keep your culture pure, build your ghettos and keep Spanish your first language and I can guarantee the status quo.
    With their poor judgment on the impact of poor/illiterate illegal aliens on this country, it’s no wonder that the rest of us don’t elect Latinos to high office.

  • Dee
    April 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    You hit it right on the button again, as usual. We do not have a Latino leader capable of commanding the same kind of following as Obama.
    You are absolutely right when you say we are not a homogenous group.
    We here in Texas are not Cubanos nor Puerto Ricanos.
    On my blog, I have a Mexican visitor. Her name is Lupita. She says she is here illegally. She likes to poke fun of us Americans who are Latinos. She says we are NOT Mexicans. She says we ARE Gringos and don´t know it.
    There is something to what she says. We are Americans and we are Proud of being Americans. My parents, theirs and theirs have never, ever moved. We have always lived in the USA, for hundreds of years.
    We are like so many American Latinos.
    We are caught in the middle. The Anglos call us Mexicans saying we are not American enough. They racial profile us, throw us in Detention Centers and call us Illeeegal!
    The Mexicans call us Gringos because we are NOT Mexican enough nor speak Spanish well enough for them. They tease us with every mis-spoken word.
    Our food is not Mexican and it is not American. It is Tex Mex.
    We are, indeed, a unique community. All True Blue American!
    We need a leader who is unflinchly American and unflinchingly Latino, like Obama, a role-model. Someone strong. Someone who won´t back down. Someone so articulate and sharp they can refute any argument. Someone so motivating and religious he can draw in the most raucous crowds. Someone so honest that he is above the frey and would never, ever, give in to a bribe or a sexual scandal.
    Where is our Latino superman? Where is our Obama? Where is our Super American Latino that we can all stand behind and support? He is a combination of Henry Cisneros, George Lopez and Dolores Huerta. Where is our Hero? Around the corner? One of our own children?
    The good news is, I know I will know him (or her) when I meet them!

  • Horace
    April 18, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Los Angeles, a Latino led city (Villaraigos), run for Latinos. The mayor took the bar exam and failed all four times, and was never admitted. Is this the example that you’re looking for? You had your chance to establish a poster boy for leadership, but you Latinos came up short.
    Report From Occupied America (contd.): Jamiel Shaw Gang Killing Enrages Los Angeles—Bratton, Villaraigosa Play For Time
    By Brenda Walker
    If there is anything that reveals America’s moral rot stemming from the loss of law and borders, it is the protection of criminals to the endangerment of the public.
    Among the violent crimes that devastate American families, there is a category that is completely preventable—those committed by illegal aliens. If the borders were defended as the Constitution requires, then the crimes done by foreigners residing unlawfully would have been avoided. If cities and states would desist from pro-crime sanctuary polices, many violent deaths could be averted.
    Yet politicians from Los Angeles to Washington continue to balk at the basic responsibility of protecting law-abiding citizens from predatory foreigners. On the contrary—illegals are emboldened by liberal sanctuary policies that cut them extra slack to pursue violence, drug dealing and theft.
    Los Angeles’ Special Order 40 has been making life easier for foreign criminals since 1979 when it was instituted by Chief Darryl Gates and the City Council. As Heather Mac Donald testified before a Congressional committee April 13, 2005, (Immigration and the Alien Gang Epidemic: Problems and Solutions):
    “Sanctuary laws, present in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, Houston, and San Francisco, generally forbid local police officers from inquiring into a suspect’s immigration status or reporting it to federal authorities. Such laws place a higher priority on protecting illegal aliens from deportation than on protecting legal immigrants and citizens from assault, rape, arson, and other crimes.
    “Let’s say a Los Angeles police officer sees a member of Mara Salvatrucha hanging out at Hollywood and Vine. The gang member has previously been deported for aggravated assault; his mere presence back in the country following deportation is a federal felony. Under the prevailing understanding of Los Angeles’s sanctuary law (special order 40), if that officer merely inquires into the gangbanger’s immigration status, the officer will face departmental punishment.”
    Another preventable human tragedy occurred on March 2, when a young black man with a promising future, Jamiel Shaw Jr., was murdered in cold blood three houses away from the safety of home. One of the two accused killers is an illegal alien, Pedro Espinoza, who had just been released from jail the day before the shooting. Espinoza was a known member of LA’s 18th Street gang, yet was released with no check of his immigration status because of Special Order 40. (For more background, see my article In Los Angeles, Hispanic Gangs Ethnically Cleansing Black Neighborhoods. )
    Shaw’s murder seems to have appears to have triggered mounting outrage among LA residents—a sense that, whatever alleged advantage accrues to police-foreigner relations from sanctuary policies, the price in blood is far too high.
    Local radio is fired up. Morning talk-show host Doug McIntyre is angry and active, as are John and Ken, who has a listening audience of over a million in afternoon drive time. McIntyre has been supporting “Jamiel’s Law,” a creation of mayoral candidate Walter Moore. (Read the text here, the most important parts of which repeal Special Order 40 for gang members.)
    Doug McIntyre is one of the fiercest defenders of borders, and does a spirited rant here. His interview of the parents, Jamiel Sr. and Anita Shaw, also included Walter Moore with a discussion of Jamiel’s Law.
    On television, Lou Dobbs presented a rare illegal alien crime story on April 9, with Casey Wian doing a tough, emotionally affecting segment about the family’s loss. (Watch on YouTube.) Bill O’Reilly, a long-time reporter of illegal alien crime, blasted Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and called Los Angeles “hopeless” because it “will not protect the people.”
    Jamiel’s parents addressed the City Council on April 8 (watch on YouTube). I don’t know how anyone could refuse their heartfelt, common-sense request that Special Order 40 be remedied at least to the point where known gang members are checked for immigration status when they are in jail.
    Even so, the invasion pathology ruling Los Angeles is so extreme that illegal alien gang-bangers have open defenders on the City Council. Councilman Ed Reyes [send him mail] said fixing Special Order 40 “will cause division, because our economy isn’t ready for that; I think we will suffer more. Our sense of community I think will be shattered.” [CNN Transcript, April 8]
    A criminal crackdown on vicious illegal alien Mexicans will shatter their “sense of community”? That doesn’t speak well of Hispanics residing in the City of Angels.
    For another example of allegiance to Mexico (including its criminals), listen to a clip [MP3] on the John and Ken Show of Councilman Tony Cárdenas [send him mail] supporting illegal alien gangsters. So did members Bill Rosendahl and Richard Alarcon.
    You might think that even the most corrupt tribalists would want the bad criminals among their group to be sent away, at least in order to maintain the fiction of multicultural peace and love. But no. Loyalty to evil is more powerful. It’s true: the dark side of the force is strong.
    (Mug shots and contact info for the Los Angeles City Council here.)
    Another enabler of LA crime is the police chief, William Bratton, famous for insulting the friends of American sovereignty by saying, “If you don’t like it (Special Order 40), leave the state.” (Listen.) Bratton [send him mail] is a typical political police chief, more attuned to pleasing powerful interests than fighting crime.
    Chief Bratton is not new to gang killings but he made a curious remark about Espinoza. “He assassinated [Shaw], just for the belief that he might have been a gang member,” Bratton said. “That’s what we are up against in this city, sociopaths like that.”
    We don’t know much about Espinoza, but there is no evidence that he is a sociopath even if he is a killer. It is more likely that the 19-year-old was looking to establish gang cred among fellow Hispanics by killing a black. If so, he was acting rationally according to the customs of his tribe. Hispanic gang culture is a far bigger problem than a few criminal sociopaths—something a top cop should know.
    In recent remarks to the Los Angeles Daily News, Chief Bratton remained stuck on the idea that the only people he needs to protect are the illegal immigrants: Immigrant rights-groups assail proposed changes in Special Order 40 [April 14, 2008]:
    “‘We have a huge illegal immigrant population, as well as legal immigrant population, that are preyed on by criminals.
    “‘We need those people as witnesses, we need them as victims, to help us,’ he said.
    “‘Even the idea, the chilling effect of asking somebody their immigrant status, is a form of profiling. We’re not going to engage in it.’”
    A 17-year-old boy is dead at the hands of an illegal alien gangster, and the Chief of Police is worried about “profiling”? Los Angeles is upside down.
    On a more positive note, Councilman Dennis Zine, a former LAPD officer, has proposed an amendment to the sanctuary policy requiring officers to report gang members found to be illegal immigrants to federal authorities: Zine wants to amend LAPD policy on immigrants , [By Richard Winton,, Andrew Blankstein and David Zahniser, LA Times, April 11, 2008].
    That sounds good, although the Public Safety Committee, which would do preliminary consideration of Zine’s reform, is going on hiatus for a month, so there may be some political footdragging, waiting for the furor to die down.
    During his cliché-laden State of the City speech on Monday, April 14, Mayor Villaraigosa [send him mail] enthusiastically declared himself the “King of Potholes” (more than 800,000 filled!). And he did mention the plague of gang crime
    “In the last year, this Department and this Chief have shown what we can accomplish when we support the mission. By focusing intensively on the top eleven gangs, we helped to register a 26 percent reduction in gang murders citywide. But, you know, that is grim consolation to the families of the 216 human beings who last year lost their lives and the more than 1,300 Angelenos who were the victims of gang shootings.
    “Angelenos, we are all equal in the eyes of God. Every time an Angeleno is the victim of violence, we are all injured.
    “But I want to say something to the whole community tonight.
    “Crimes motivated by hate, by the color of a victim’s skin, by heritage or language, by religion or belief, by gender or sexual orientation, do a special kind of violence.
    “They strike us at the heart. They seek to nullify who we are as Angelenos. They attack us at our point of greatest strength, which has always been found in our diversity and our difference. And they challenge the very idea that a city of four million, black and brown, Caucasian and Asian, Spanish and English, Muslim and Jewish, Sikh and Armenian Orthodox, can be one City.” [State of the City speech, in PDF].
    But the Mayor’s answer to gang crime is to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on boon-doggling “intervention” programs. These have little effect on barrio kids more affected by examples of alpha-gangsters with big cars and impressive guns.
    Villaraigosa did not, of course, mention the crime-friendly sanctuary policy. He apparently believes his tiresome diversity drivel will make violent behavior disappear.
    Los Angeles today has become so corrupted by the influence of foreigners with their own agenda that it is simply ceasing to an American city.
    According to Dante, the lowest level of hell is a zone populated by traitors. That applies to Los Angeles’ previous mayor, James Hahn, who proclaimed it to be a “Mexican city”, the current Mayor, Villaraigosa, the police chief and much of the City Council.
    Given the appalling Presidential election, Americans who care about saving the country will need to become even more active locally. We can all practice up on our haranguing, er, registering our concerns with the LA City Council.

  • jax
    April 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    This kind of foolishness amazes me! Perhaps we should look around and see if we can find a candidate of Polish or Canadian or Chinese or Vietnamese or Greek or French or Cuban or Turkish or Korean or—I hope you get the point.
    By the way El Loco, your racial description of Sen. Obama is not quite right.

  • Frank
    April 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Will there ever be a Latino leader who stands up for the rule of law in our country? Demand respect of our nation’s borders and soveirngty? Will he be a leader for ALL Americans or just his own ethnic group? I highly doubt it.

  • Texano78704
    April 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Talk about irony.
    I cannot imagine how some can talk about “arbitrary enforcement” of immigration laws and “standing up for the rule of law,” at the same time they support without question one of the most lawless presidents ever to sit in the Oval Office and a political party that marches in lockstep support of said president.

  • Frank
    April 19, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Texano, you are making one big assumption that those of us in here opposed to illegal immigration and want our immigration laws enforced, support Bush.
    I have no use whatsoever for Bush and will be glad when he is no longer in office. You do realize though that he was pushing amnesty for illegals, don’t you?

  • adriana
    April 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    In many ways, I agree w/ El Loco and Daniel. Perhaps Obama will address our concerns because much of what he is talking about in terms of the lower classes and how to bring relief to people in those socio-economic levels will benefit Latinos just by association.
    While it would be great to have an inspiriting Latino leader, I feel that we Latino Americans are not grooming our children to become leaders. Look at what we place value on: cars with sports rims, fancy birthday parties, and “being cool.” Unfortunately, “being cool” does not equal being scholastic or learning how to possess leadership qualities among our youth. I blogged about this a week ago.
    Even among middle class Latino Americans, I sense a certain apathy about our prospects here in the USA.
    We need to stress achievement, leadership, and a certain kind of unity. While we do have some great “writers” and “artists,” those individuals aren’t mobilizing in the capacity that leaders like Obama and Dr. King are/were able to do.

  • Dee
    April 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Education, Education, Education is what many of us are pushing for our children and grandchildren.
    I think we have many good Latinos in Congress with good hearts and good intentions, however there are far too many temptations. We have to have someone who walks on water.
    Cisneros, had he been able to contain himself from scandal (ala Bill Clinton) would have been a great candidate.

  • adriana
    April 21, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I agree with you about education, but I also think that within that we need leadership training. We also need strong mentors, and those mentors don’t necessarily have to be Latino either.
    Unfortunately, I have found in my research that we lose too many of our youth in high school and then face serious retention and graduation problems at the post-secondary level. On some levels, I can’t help but wonder if this relates to the media messages we are fed. If you ever watch Spanish language TV, note the consumer messages and priorities (such as the importance of having a new car, looking sexy, dancing, buying a special crema for your face, etc.).
    Personally, I find that many of the Latinos in Congress are afraid to stand up for anything. I can’t name one Latino congressperson who is setting the world on fire with a prolific legislative record. Perhaps you know of some that I’m overlooking.

  • Maegan la Mala
    April 21, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Horace :
    Use Asian as model minority stereotypes much?

  • Texano78704
    April 21, 2008 at 11:59 am

    If I may jump in here for a moment, Adriana. I tend to agree with your assessment about Spanish language TV, but I think that it is not different from English language TV in that same sense.
    Dee, I think that Mexicans that tease about bad language skill are few and far between. That seems to be more of a “Gringo trait.”
    Education and mentoring is vital to leadership development.
    However, good public education stands as a major roadblock. The state of California is looking at cutting 10,000 teachers to balance their budget (not because they do not need them). The Texas state legislature still does not seem to have heard about Brown v. Board of Education. These are but a couple of examples of what we as Latinos face when trying to get a good education for ourselves and our children.

  • Frank
    April 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    California is in a budget crunch and if you don’t think it isn’t due partly because of the social costs due to illegal immigration then you are badly mistaken. If you Latinos want a better education for your citizen children then why don’t you fight illegal immigration rather than promoting it?

  • Irma
    April 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I agree that Latinos need a leader but I would not say that we need one cut in the mold of an Obama.
    We need a leader who knows who they are ,not someone who hasnt figured it out yet.
    We need a leader who is truly understands not just our needs but the entire country.
    We need a leader who would not tear apart our country just for the sake of
    a political candidacy.
    Yes, we need a leader just not one like
    Barak Obama.

  • adriana
    April 21, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    How has Obama torn apart our country? If you look at his work in the Senate, he has managed to reach across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship.
    You make it sound like he’s from the Confederacy.
    I think Obama knows who he is. He has stated it time and again. He’s the son of a Kenyan immigrant and a white woman from Kansas. Have you not been paying attention?
    You always jump in here to slam Obama, but you hardly respond to the other posts dealing with immigration, education, or other issues. I don’t understand your scorn for Obama.
    Don’t you realize that electing a person of color like Obama will help pave the way for Latinos?

  • Frank
    April 22, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Oh so that is why many Latinos like Obama because he is a person of color and that somehow translates into paving the way for Latinos? How did you come up with that one?
    We Americans are way past denying non-Whites or females the right to hold even the highest office in this country. Obviously because we have both running for the presidency. There are many non-Whites and females already in public office. Sounds like you are still living back in the 1950’s.
    A president or any elected official should be elected on the basis of their own merit, not skin color or race. I personally don’t like Obama but it has nothing to do with his race or skin color. I don’t think he is qualified to run for the presidency and I don’t like the scandals that have come out about him.

  • Irma
    April 22, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Barak Obama has a history of being a loner in the United States Senate.
    Time magazine and others have profiled
    this quality in him – his reaching across the aisle is just for the cameras, and I gather it hasnt happened too much.
    Look the guy has spent more time away from DC than in DC- there just hasnt been any time for him to “reach across the aisle in DC. ” No, I am not interested in what he claimed to do in Chicago, DC is Not Chicago.

  • Irma
    April 22, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Barak Obama does not know who he is.
    That is why he went to Chicago and joined
    the Trinity Church of Christ. His parents apparently did not give him his sense of identity – he had to go find it elsewhere.
    I believe he still has not found it.
    My stand on immigration?
    I am the daughter of a Mexican who didnt have legal status when I was born. I support giving US citizenship to all parents of US citizens. I support a worker program. I support a green card for anyone who is already here.
    I support more public financing for education. Thats how I got my education.
    I do not agree that supporting Obama
    paves the way for Hispanics. I am
    by the not a “person of color.” and neither is Obama.
    Like him, some people in my family have white skin, some dont. Barak Obama limits himself by calling himself a black man. He is a man plain and simple.
    I am an American Citizen of Mexican Descent. Both sides of the family came from Mexico and a long time ago some of them came from Spain and Italy.
    I am NOT a person of color – the color of my skin does not define me.

  • adriana
    April 22, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    So are you one of those Mexican-Americans who likes to tell everyone that you are “Spanish” or “Italian”?
    Many of the Spanish who came to the New World were of mixed ancestry already. There were Moors and Jews in Spain (and there were also Arabs in Italy). Don’t tell me that the Spanish conquistadors didn’t procreate with indigenous Mexicans and even African slaves either. It seems like you have some strange aversion to being a “person of color”? Were you raised in Texas under Jim Crow? Maybe you are just light enough in skin tone to pass as a “white” woman.
    If you don’t think that the color of your skin or having a Spanish name defines you in certain circles, then I think you need to wake up to reality. There are Latinos in America who are profiled because of their skin color and Spanish surnames.
    FYI, Obama spells his first name “Barack” with a “c” before the “k.”

  • Frank
    April 23, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Curious to know what you mean by “Latinos in America are profiled because of their skin color and surname.

  • Horace
    April 23, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Frank, while we recognize that Latinos can be snow white or jet black, apparently Latinos themselves don’t recognize the wide range of racial groups that the Hispanic communitiy represents. For example, many Cubans have complexions no different from the people of Central Europe. I have no doubt that interracial bigottry exists between the two extremes of these races, and even within gradations of color. It’s interesting to note the blatant hypocrisy of those Hispanics who talk about racial profiling based upon color, when they themselves practice the the very racism which they condemn. Hispanics rarely discuss this, as it diminishes their arguments against state and local enforcement of our immigration laws.

  • Irma
    April 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Mexicans (born on either side of the Rio Grande) are a complex population. They are not 100% American Indian. There are few Mexicans today whose genetic makeup is entirely from the Americas. Most are mixtures of Spanish and some kind of American Indian. There are also other European groups and even Chinese that
    have been in Mexico at least 100 years. All of this blended to make a diverse population. It is part of who we are -and most are comfortable with it. I happen to like the fact that part of my genes come from an ancient Indian Civilization and some come from a dusty village in Spain. And yes, I am aware that my Spanish heritage means that there is even more diversity . Perhaps some Arab or even Jewish
    ancestry. The complexions in my family run from white to brown,to yellow – some look Asian, there is brown, black, blond and even red hair in my family. A person of color – which color? I prefer to simply say I am a Mexican.
    I do not deny that there is racial profiing in America. But,why focus on the negative ? There are more people who DONT racially profile than those who do. Bigotries exist everywhere . Take for example the almost 100% support Barak Obama has among African American voters. I guess you could say African Americans racially profile the candidates and vote accordingly?
    When I was growing up, I remember very well being accused by other Mexican
    Americans who were (2nd, 3rd
    generation etc) that I was
    trying to be “white” because
    I didnt speak the Splanglish
    they did. My family is from Mexico, but they made a point of ensuring that I mastered English before attempting Spanish. Splanglish was banned in my family – one spoke in Spanish or English not something in between.
    Dont get to caught up with how other people identify you – it is irrelevant.
    You know who you are – that
    is more than enough.
    By the way, I think Barack Obama sort of Europeanized the spelling of his first name. In Hebrew for example
    the K sound is written with one consonant not two. I suspect the same is true in

  • Frank
    April 27, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Mexicans (a nationaity not a race or ethnic group) are overwhelmingly Mestizo (part native indian and part Spaniard)and culturally Hispanic in nature and they want to keep it that way and that is ok.
    U.S. citizens are overwhelmingly White-Anglo and Anglo culturally and they want to keep it that way. According to Hispancis that is not ok.
    Hispanics aren’t satisfied with being the majority in 22 countries on the Western Hemisphere. No they want to dominate the U.S. too and are starting to do so by illegal immigration. Is this fair or moral?

  • Irma
    April 27, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Dear Frank,
    I think the majority in the US population places a strange emphasis on complexion.
    Cultural identification is more relevant and inclusive. There is by the way , no such thing as “Anglo” culture. Italian
    and Greek American culture are distinctively different from Polish, Irish or
    Lithuanian culture.
    culture – baseball, apple pie,Taco Bell
    and Olive Garden. This isnt “Anglo” –
    its simply American and belongs to
    Hispanics by the way dont want to dominate the US. They come to the USA for the same reason your ancestors did- a better life. They have just as much right to live here as your ancestors did when they came.
    There is room is the US for everyone.

  • Frank
    April 28, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Irma, anglo culture is based on British European culture. The rest of the White European’s who came here blended in with that culture and became anglo culture as we know it in this country today.
    Hispanics nor any other group have the right to come to this country illegally no matter what their reasons are. And no we don’t have room for EVERYBODY! There are billions of people all over the world that would like to come here. Are you kidding me?

  • Cj
    May 8, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    You’re correct, and I appreciate your article,
    but until we get a strong Hispanic leader, Obama is as as close as we’re going to get right now. He is the leader of People of all color. Hispanics need to stick together, we are always so divided. I’m from Arizona, and I see how McCain degrades Hispanics by trying to keep them out with their border walls, having them round up like cattle to deport them and treating them disrespectfully like they’re non-human with no feelings, yet he is trying to reach them by getting his message out in spanish to get their votes, this is hypocracy at it’s worst. Why can’t our people see through this?
    McCain was here in the SF bay area trying to woo Hispanic leaders. They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this hypocrite to be heard.
    As far as Hillary, it’s all about her and her Husband’s ego, she wants to be President so bad she will lie and stop at nothing. She is not sincere, and I think many People are seeing what she is really like. She’s a big whiner! Hill and Bill need to stop already, they’re old politics, we need fresh ideas and new leadership, and that’s what Obama has.

  • Irma
    May 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    The English are not European. They have their own unique culture.
    Europeans (non English)
    that came to the US have their own cultures -definitely not English.
    By the way the Europeans and the English came to the Americas- uninvited.
    Seems to me that their desscendents have no right to tell anyone else to stay away from the Americas.

  • usaproud
    July 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    If you think Obama will work across the asile you are sadly mistaken. His record in congress shows that he does not. Millions of us Hillary supporters are voting for John McCain because he can be trusted, Obama can not be. Look at how he has changed his mind on the issues. He wants to raise taxes and said we all must sacrifice because he is worried about what other countries think of us. Sorry…we need to put this country first. Also while in the Illinois legislature Obama voted AGAINST a bill that would allow a baby that was still alive after an abortion to receive medical care. He was AGAINST a baby getting help. THIS IS WRONG!! Is this the kind of person you want running this country. Obama is just telling people what they want to hear, but when he gets in office he will do as he wants. If you think he will be for the interest of the Latinos you are mistaken…Look at his record really close. Join us Hillary supporters and vote for John McCain, we know we can trust him to do the right thing. Do not be fooled by Obama.

  • Marcia Siegle
    October 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    To those of you who may be “That One”/Obama Supporters:
    SEARCH: Obama Salsa
    SELECT: Respondele a Obama
    I think Barack Obama will represent ALL of us.
    All the best to our future,
    Marcia Siegle
    Voter from Seattle, WA

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