(this post sat as it appears below, unfinished, for 3 years…yet still remains relevant after our most recent election season)
The politics of race in Longmont, there’s a potentially hot potato.
Recently, on a KGNU radio show, a Longmont resident made some comments about racial inclusiveness, specifically regarding Hispanics. For the record, I guess I would fall into that group, but dislike that term as well as Latino. Overall though it’s a big improvement over Chicano, which was the term the news media used for my cousins family when they had then President Jimmy Carter spend the night at their house in the late ‘70’s.
So if that’s tainted my view of race, politics, and pandering by politicians, so be it.
What I learned from that, but mostly from years of my own personal observations, and how it applies to this supposedly wished for inclusiveness is that some people are only interested in Hispanics being included if they have a specific political bent. For example, the caller into this radio show said 10 out of 160 people on Longmont’s advisory boards are Hispanic – I guess he’s looking up last names and classifying people. He also said only 1 of 93 elected officials in the county are Hispanic – Longmont’s own Gabe Santos – but he couldn’t hold back derisively mentioning Tom DeLay in the same sentence to take a dig at council member Santos.
Bottom line, Liberal/Progressives only want a certain kind of Hispanic, they’re kind. All others need not apply. Sorry, but this is, hmm, we’ll call it soft racism. It’s really nothing new, and it even occurs Hispanic on Hispanic (Uncle Tom in Spanish would be, what, Tio Tomas?). I’m not sure what’s worse, this kind of soft racism or the pandering for votes. I wrote about the ridiculous McCain/Kennedy immigration bill when it was a hot topic and saw it for what it was: Democrats AND Republicans trying everything they could to court the Hispanic/Latino vote, even if it meant destructive legislation.
Comments like these are why so many minorities, whether they are African American, Hispanic, etc, feel like a “political football”, which was the term the guests of this radio show, Jonathan Singer and Clay Evans, talked about.
This term does seem appropriate though as Hispanics are expected to vote a certain way, and are even sold out by their own if they step off the reservation. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m not impressed by anyone feeling a little white guilt with meaningless overtures of inclusion. Actions speak louder than words, and I’ll I hear is talk. If someone is truly interested in inclusiveness, true inclusiveness includes everyone, not just those who share your political philosophy.
While there are individuals, streets, and even businesses in Longmont that share my last name, I am not related to any of them, nor do I speak for any of them or any cultural group. I’m no populist, revolutionary, or race hustler, and if the people I speak of share my view that we are tired of a) being taken for granted as a particular voting bloc and, b) only feeling welcomed if we tow some liberal/progressive line, then good for them. If they are sheep and used to being told how to live, think, and vote – count me out.
But I do hope I speak for others when I say I don’t need some political philosophy’s approval or blessing to feel part of society – which is exactly what the Left in this country pushes, whether intentional or not. If it’s not intentional, they need to do some serious inner searching (I won’t say soul searching, that may offend some of them) because it comes across as elitist, pretentious, condescending, and patronizing.
I’ve never understood why the more traditional Latino types, would go anywhere near the Democratic Party or the liberal/progressive movement. It’s totally counter intuitive to just about everything they stand for or believe in. Take Mexican Americans for instance, they are predominantly Roman Catholic. How they, or any Catholic for that matter, can be party to a philosophy with a preference for something like abortion is beyond belief, pun intended…