Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hispanics--Are They Real people?

photo by Amy Drummond / flickr
"A ten-year old like Demaris watches The Donald descending an escalator in Trump Tower. Or standing at the border in Texas in a white hat that proclaims "Make America Great Again." Even if she doesn't understand what he's saying, she can feel her family's anger and anxiety."
              --NY Times, 9-19-15

There is something pretty ugly going on in this Presidential campaign. This Hispanic bashing is wrong and scary.

It didn't start with Donald Trump, of course. But he has picked up the baton. Handpicking an undocumented Hispanic who was charged with rape and murder in California is not representative to most of the Hispanics that are in our country. He said not mention the white Americans that have been doing terrible things lately. He hurls charges as the undocumented like lazy, drug-dealers and leeches off this country. He says they are taking jobs away from decent Americans. He wants to send all eleven million "back" and build a wall to keep them all out--forcing the Mexican government to pay for the wall.

Other candidates have joined in the chorus. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has said that we should end automatic citizenship for the American-born children of undocumented immigrants. This would repeal a constitutional right that dates back to civil war days. Senator Cruz of Texas introduced a bill in the Senate named for the woman who was shot to death in San Francisco by this man from Mexico. His bill speaks for the return of all undocumented people. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana says that mayors who allow sanctuary cities are to blame for much of our problem. Representative Steve King has said Mr. Trump's stance on Mexican immigrants would not particularly hurt his Presidential chances. He said that he believes people will come to Trump's rescue because enforcing illegal immigration laws is what people are worried about. Mike Huckabee wants to stem the tide of people from Mexico who have "heard there's a bowl of food just over the border."

Back at Headquarters the Republican leaders of the party are scared what all these wild statements might do to the election. They know that they will need the Hispanic votes to win the White House--and that number is growing. Senator Lindsay Graham has decried Mr. Trump's stance saying the Republicans need the Hispanics at the ballot box. What troubles me about the establishment's   worries goes far beyond vote counting. People need to stand up and say this is America and we do not treat people this way. They are human with hopes and dreams like ours. Outside my door four or five new houses have been under construction. Hispanics are working hard on every project. Our construction and other business concerns would be in bad shape without these folk,

My school-teacher daughter has quite a few Hispanic children in her new class. She told me that when the parents are invited at the beginning of school to come visit and ask questions--the whole Hispanic family comes because they are so interested in their child's education.

Someone has pointed out that the worst fear of childhood is the worry of abandonment. These children hear all this anti-Mexican rhetoric. Will their parents be sent away? Who will take care of them? Fear from children and adults about who they are is about as un-American as you can get.

I'm not bashing Republicans. This would be unfair.There are several candidates that have not joined this parade of hate. I applaud this. Right now they are in a minority in the polls. We need two parties in this country. We also need candidates Democrat and Republican that stand up for human rights right here in our land. This is one of the things that distinguishes us from much of the rest of the world.

An Hispanic author, Hector Tobar has written a heart-rending op ed piece in the NY Times about how Mexican immigrants feel today in America. It is worth reading and deeply moving.

photo by ep_jhu / flickr

--Roger Lovette /

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