Tag Archives: Latinos

Say it Ain’t So! Latino on Latino Political Discrimination?

By: Monica Westbrook

The right to vote is not free. Many soldiers have died to protect this precious freedom of all citizens of the United States to express their political voice through voting.  So when I heard someone was telling Latinos not to vote, I asked, “Why not?  And who would even say this?”  My first reaction was to accuse Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate in Nevada where the ad was running.  Imagine my surprise.  While Sharron Angle’s team has run some ads with grossly negative depictions of Latinos, they were not responsible for this most heinous ad.

Believe it or not, one of our own did this.  That’s right.  If you haven’t heard by now, we have the Latinos for Reform to thank for this attempt to suppress this most precious right that too many Latinos already ignore.  Supposedly, the purpose is to influence Latinos to “take action” against the Democrats for not fulfilling the promise of immigration reform.  So if I understand this logic, the way to get the Democrats to take action on immigration reform is to essentially be a party to them losing their seats in Congress?  Wouldn’t that ultimately guarantee no action would be taken by Congress on this matter?  Sounds to me like the organization’s president, Robert de Posada is using his position to impose his own agenda.  He is a member of the GOP and, according to the Huffington Post, “a prominent conservative operative,” (GOP-Linked).   Any educated person would, therefore, reasonably deduce that Mr. de Posada believes the Latino vote would be predominantly Democrat.  So by trying to convince his own people to believe this inaction is a form of action, he would, in essence, achieve his own goal, i.e. help the GOP gain power in Congress.

Sharron Angle’s Ads

Now, let’s not allow Sharron Angle to get off scot-free.  If you haven’t seen some of the ads run by her team, please go to YouTube and watch them.  Latinos are depicted as criminals and nothing but a menace to society, sneaking across the border under cloak of darkness, evoking an image that they are to be feared.   One ad shows a brief clip of a white teenage boy who appears to be stressing over the threat of Latinos at his school.

First of all, why did some of our Latino men even agree to be actors in these ads?  I know the economy is tough, but have some principles.

If you’re thinking because you live in any state other than Nevada and this campaign doesn’t impact you, think again.  These ads are getting national coverage, and I fear that Latinos across the country may take this to heart and be discouraged from voting.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Univision ran the “Don’t Vote” ad for a hot minute before pulling it.  Since then, the Wall Street Journal reports that the channel has teamed up with a non-partisan group, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, to run ads encouraging Latinos to get out and vote.  Thank you, Univision.  Telemundo has also joined in this campaign.

So why is the anti-Latino sentiment so strong?  With talks about immigration reform heating up, those opposed to such legislation as the AgJOBS bill are attempting to keep it from coming up for a vote through the use of fear tactics.  What they don’t show you are the millions of laborers on the margin, who work hard to support their families, and get treated as second-class citizens.  These are the real majority, and they don’t deserve to be slandered with these ads.

I attended the Get Motivated seminar Monday, and the much revered General Colin Powell said something that warmed my heart.  First, he told the story of a hot dog vendor on the streets of New York.  When the vendor recognized him, he wouldn’t take his money.  He told Gen. Powell that America has already paid him and his family because he has been able to have his own business and make a living.  Then Gen. Powell said something very freeing.  He said that we have to keep from letting fear cause us to shut down and shut people out.  We can’t let fear keep us from being an open and free country.  That is not the spirit of the U.S.  This is a country built on the backs of immigrants.  Everyone but the Native Americans is a descendent of immigrants.

So when you think about voting today, think about the evolution of this country and how blessed and privileged we are to have a system that allows every citizen to vote, despite race or gender.  Take full advantage of that right, but educate yourself.  Know who the candidates and issues are.  The internet is a wonderful thing as you should know since you’re on it right now reading this.  Now, let’s get out and vote.

Below are some links to some articles on this subject (referenced above) for further reading:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304316404575580303569535716.html?KEYWORDS=univision

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/19/latinos-for-reform-vote-nevada_n_767991.html

Video of Robert de Posada interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell on The Last Word on msnbc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSQg_brPM8

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The State of Family & Marriage in the Black Community

By: Tamika L. Morrison

Let me start of by saying, “I am a single black woman, never married”, but I do desire and believe in family and marriage.  It has been widely reported, speculated and even breaking news in some arenas that black women are not marrying as often as or quickly as their Latina, White, Asian, Indian, Chinese and other varieties of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ counterparts.  As a matter of fact, Forty-two-percent of black women have never been married, compared to 21% of white women, according to national statistics. Within the last two generations, marriage rates for African-Americans have dropped significantly. Between 1970 and 2001, the black marriage rate dropped by 34 percent, compared to 17 percent in the general population. African-American women are also the least likely group to get married in the United States. And if they (black women) wed an African-American man, those couples have the highest divorce rate in the United States.  Is this a stereotype or is this reality?  Well, I can only speak from my own experience.

My parents never married – each other, but both of them are married today – to different spouses who are black.  That said, since I came from a single-parent home I have conflicting views at times on love and marriage from a black woman’s perspective but I was given the chance to witness what life is like in a two-parent household via friends that lived such a life.  Although I ached deeply for my dad’s constant presence in my home, I was also equally relieved he and my mother never married, simply because they weren’t compatible.  Even still, I and many of my friends suffered from what’s called “daddy issues” and when you compare those of us with “daddy issues” with my friends who actually grew up with their father, I must admit there is a remarked difference in how we feel about love and marriage. I personally am terrified that it won’t last until death do us part. Nevertheless, I will not allow this fear to stay in the way of what I desire for myself and my future family.

That brings me to two things – On April 2nd, Tyler Perry’s coveted sequel, “Why Did I Get Married Too?” will be released and will reunite four couples that deal with life-altering situations and common relationship issues to most couple – regardless of race – fidelity, trust, forgiveness and love.  Personally, I appreciate Perry humanizing the ‘black love experience’ by showing in his films – yes, we do still get married to each other and yes, our relationship issues are not uncommon to those of other races. It also helps to put to rest the media’s obsession with stereotyping what’s been dubbed, “The State of the Single Black Female”.  I’ve read and heard the movie reviews and many applaud Tyler’s sequel depicting Black love and marriage, congratulating the characters for showing depth in their respective interpretations and even the appreciation for some of the exaggeration in classic Perry style. I second the motion by praising Perry for giving Black love some positive PR.

There’s been a lot going on in the news lately.  I have to admit, the term “March Madness” has lived up to its reputation this year in particular from entertainment think (Howard Stern’s comments on ‘Precious’ breakout star and Sandra Bullock’s love woes) to politics Healthcare Reform (nuff said) and everything in between. But I’m happy to report as we Spring into April, (pun intended) Black couples will be marking the eighth annual Black Marriage Day, typically celebrated the 4th weekend in March, by attending workshops, black-tie dinners and other activities. Black Marriage Day founder Nisa Islam Muhammad is encouraging couples to renew their vows in front of friends and family in honor of Perry’s movie premier as well as participate in other planned events centered on celebrating Black love.

Even though my lens still bear the coloring of what I experienced as a child growing up in a single-parent household, I hold onto my convictions that Black love exists, contrary to popular beliefs, and I raise my glass in toast with everyone else celebrating because love – especially Black love – is a many splendid thing I look forward to!

Related News:

Why Did I Get Married Too – Trailer

Jill’s Scott’s Take on Interracial Marriage/Relationships

Black Marriage Day

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