Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Online community aims to united Latinos, only gets half the point across

In a article published today in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel a new internet poltical advocacy group is spot lighted - Blue Latinos.

BlueLatinos.org , an organization created in April with about 9,000 members, was created by José Quiñonez. He came up with the idea for the web page after working on the 2004 Presidential election in South Florida for MoveOn.org, the nation's largest liberal online advocacy group. (P.U.)

Not surprisingly the group gets its name, Blue Latino, from "Blue" representing the color associated with Democrats and the John Kerry states in the last presidential election.

According their web page, its focus is to challenge the misconceptions of Latinos and "To organize progressive Latinos online and harness energy and resources to move voters, particularly Latino voters, toward progressive issues and action."

Yet, I can’t help but be a bit cautious that Quiñonez may miss the point he is trying to obtain. His web page claims that they do not lean for one party or another. In fact on their page is an analysis on why the Democrats lost the Latino vote. (very good perceptions by the way.) Yet because of the name of the organization, the history of the creator and the underlying emphasis on why the Democrats lost this vital group and how to regain them – I am pushed to believe he is fractionizing the Latino community.

By politically dividing the Latino community between red/ blue or republican/democrat you loose the power of the Hispanic voice. The reason the Latino community was so heavily courted in the 2004 presidential election is because so many had no idea what way they were leaning.

What Mr. Quiñonez should do is keep the focus on pressing issues to the Latino community and support anyone who supports our cause. If you want to lean one way or another, that is ok, but hopefully he or the group will not block people out before they have a chance to help.

I am a very proud Republican, but if there is a democrat that supports the Cuban cause, I am going to support them. All hail Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and a many other Dems. During the last series of votes on Cuba policy they worked with the Diaz-Balarts, Ros-Lehtinen and many Republican members to obtain the first victory on the amendments in years.

Fractionizing the community does not service to the cause, other then alienate vital members of such community. We can all have our allegiances but party alliance should not be based on ethnic group but by a person's personal priorities.

I only hope Mr. Quiñonez is not like some Kerry supporters – still bitter with the loss, still annoyed that many in South Florida did not feel the need to vote democrat just because someone checked off “Latino” on their census.

On the web page it says: “Why is BlueLatinos.org necessary? -- In five words: two thousand and four elections. --The 2004 presidential election may have been one of the most important in our lifetime. It was a battle between worldviews of those in 'Blue America' and those in 'Red America' and it set the political tone for our country, which will reverberate for generations to come. Given the significant electoral support for President Bush by Latinos, it is clear that the fight for the hearts and minds of Latino voters is the next battleground.”

We thankfully live in the U.S.A., this wonderfully free country, and vote for representatives of our government who support our most pressing issues. That is why so many Cubans and other South Florida Hispanics vote republican in South Florida. (and don’t even get me started on how I really think on Hispanics and political parties… also see past post “Que Viva Hialeah”)

Understandably the Republican Party isn’t perfect on Hispanic issues, but for that matter neither are the Democrats. Are there Republicans that are anti-immigration, yeah (a.k.a. Rep. Tancredo for example) but dozens of others, including Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Senator McCain, Rep. Flake (super YUCK on Cuba, but not bad on some other issues), are working for better policies.

Open up your eyes Mr. Quiñonez and do something for ALL Hispanics that can create a universal change. You claim that BlueLatinos.org is an online organization for progressive Latinos, but do something really progressive, move past your own party lines and into the real subject matter- Hispanic Self Empowerment. You have a great idea but you have to expand your base. A great lesson you can learn from those darn Republicans.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Good analysis. I also think it's important for Hispanics (I prefer that term over Latino) to recognize their individual and unique sub-cultures. Cubans are different from Mexicans, who are different from Venezuelans, etc. Your last paragraph is exactly what Hispanics need to focus on, self-empowerment and the will to improve oneself. Of course, a lot of people see this as a strictly Republican trait, which in large part it definitely is. We can be different, yet come together for the important issues. Basically, a microcosm of America.

Trying to pigeon-hole us into one category - whether it be a political party or an ideaology, is fruitless and will only serve to divide us further.