Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Republican candidates give Latinos the middle finger

With the notable exception of John McCain, whom I've always respected even though I haven't always agreed with him, every one of the Republican candidates declined to participate in Univision's Spanish-language translated debate. Basically, it seems, because they don't want Latinos to know what they really think about immigration. I guess they think Latinos are so stupid that they have no clue about Republican proposals to build giant walls and further restrict illegal immigration in other ways. Bah. And so, even leaning toward Democrat as I do, this is why I respect John McCain (and why I think if he wins the Republican nomination, Hillary [or whomever wins the Democratic ticket, but let's face it, it's looking like it will be Hillary] is going to have a tough road ahead of her). While he's come out in favor of tougher immigration reforms, he's also willing to speak to Latinos about why he has done so. Too bad we don't get Univision here, because I'd have liked to have seen that debate.

And, can I just say, I hate the word "Hispanic" when it refers to native Spanish-speakers in the U.S.? My husband is Latino, my son is also Latino. Why? They are from Latin America, as the vast majority of native Spanish speakers in the U.S. are. A rather small percentage, I would guess, though I'd have to look up the numbers, is Hispanic, or of Spanish (as in Spain, Iberian Peninsula) origin. "Hispanic" and "Latino" are really not interchangeable, and I wish reporters would at least make an attempt to use the words properly in context. Costa Ricans call themselves Latinos, never Hispanic.

P.S. And then I do a search on to see what other people have written about this story, and find a mind-numbingly vast array of racist hate speech disguised as intellectual critique, such as the following:

Mr. Obama, who is seeking strong support from both black and Hispanic voters, recalled a telegram the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent to Cesar Chavez when the two men were each involved in protest strikes. The telegram read, "Our separate struggles are one."

Did Dr. King send the telegram in Spanish?

I ask you, was that snide little racist comment necessary?

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