Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Latinos Are Liked! Really, Really Liked!

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Latinos Are Liked! Really, Really Liked!

Article excerpt

In the past six years, die image of Latinos in the United States lias changed substantially. During the 2006-07 Latinocentric comprehensive immigration reform battles and until approximately 2009, Latinos were viewed generally and usually compassionately by the public and the media as poor, mainly uneducated, Spanish-speaking-only immigrants who had bad to cross illegally over the Mexican border to get bend-over agriculture, maintenance and dirty kitchen jobs in the United States that no American citizen or legal immigrant would do. Since 2010, however, Latinos are increasingly being toasted, fbrtcd will), recruited and venerated as the fastest-growing political power and education success story in America.

This new image of Latinos was especially evident in all the major events of tlte 2012 presidential elections: the nomination conventions, the election itself and the inauguration ceremonies of President Obama.

Latinos were the stars of both the Republican and Democratic Party conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., respectively. Both conventions featured new Latino faces, voices and leaders. The Democrats featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the host of the convention; their keynote speakers were the identical twin brothers Julian and Joaquin Castro - the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and the (winning) candidate for Congress, respectively. During the day when there was ito national television coverage, the Democratic convention delegates met in group caucuses including the women's caucus, the Black caucus, the gay and lesbian caucuses and the huge Latino caucus. First lady Michelle Obama and Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett visited each caucus individually to bring a personal message about their particular issues. For Latinos, Democrats focused on the OKFAM Act, Every single speaker at the Democratic convention mentioned the DREAM Act, to which the audience immediately responded with standing ovations, cheers and applause; a Latino illegal immigrant student DREAMer was given a prime-time evening speaking slot.

The Republican convention also featured new star Republican hispanics on their platform in prime time. They actually outranked the Democratic Latino stars and were more diverse. Republicans highlighted the first Latina governor in the United States - Susanna Martinez of New Mexico; and the newest Hispanic senator, Marco Rubio of Florida. The wife of the Republican governor of Puerto Rico was also featured among others. Almost every Republican stale delegation had Hispanic members, including Mexican-heritage youth delegates from California and Texas, holding up signs bearing slogans such as "Latinos for Romney." During the day at the Republican convention, unlike the Democrats, the Repubhcans met in slate caucuses, not identity larget groups. Unlike the Democrats, Republican Ilispanics did not campaign as Latinos; they ran as Republicans focusing on GOP issues such as reducing government incursion on businesses and decreasing taxes. None mentioned the DREAM Act by name, but some suggested, proposing a fair immigration system that would encourage entrepreneurs and educated immigrants to stay. The Hispanic Republican delegates were widely diverse including Tea Party Republicans, Reagan compassionate conservatives, and moderates. Many were non-Catholic - especially evangelicals from Texas and die South, and Mormons from Utah and Arizona and (in Rep. Raúl Labrador's case) Idaho.

During the election months, Latinos seemed to be the primary voting bloc focused on by the media. After the election, the one analysis that almost every pundit in both parties and almost every media oudet seemed to agree on, was diat die Latino vote won Obama the presidency and was almost solely responsible for the current demise of the Republican Party itself. It is widely quoted that Ilispanics voted in historically large numbers - they made up 11-12 percent of the total electorate, and 71 percent Hispanic voters cast ballots for Obama compared to an "unprecedented" and "disastrous" low of 27 percent lor Romney. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.