Obama’s Hispanic Voting Block?
January 14, 2008 22 Comments
On our last visit to my native México we stopped by a convenience store and purchased some items one usually purchases at such an establishment, ice, drinks, snacks etc.
My dear sister (who along with her husband also were visiting there) bought me a pastry. A very delicious and thus unhealthy pastry. A pastry which if it were sold in the United States would be subject to much controversy.
The name of the pastry is “Negrito” which is Spanish for “little black boy”. The wrapper for this treat used to have a spear-wielding, bone-through-the-hair, dancing black boy (if you can stomach it, click here). Bread giant, Bimbo, is the company which makes it.
The wrapper housing today’s “Negrito” features a black boy (think Huey from Boondocks) on a skateboard. Who says México hasn’t outgrown colonialist attitudes? By the way the pastry is sold here in the States but understandably so, it is called something else.
Saw it at the local Wal-Mart a few weeks back and I can’t recall what it is called.
Some find it hard to believe that Mexicans are racist (melaninist to be fair). Probably because,
1) it is not understood how a people who are typically on the short end of discrimination can also discriminate others
2) Some mistakenly think us inferior and so can’t understand how one group of inferiors can regard another group of inferiors as well, inferior.
I bring all this up because of the content found in this New Republic article,
“Hillary Clinton’s Firewall”
But there may be another factor in Clinton’s success among Latinos, particularly with regard to Obama. And it may have less to do with enthusiasm for her candidacy than with a lack of enthusiasm for the Illinois senator. Over the last two decades, there has been evidence of growing hostility from Hispanics toward African Americans. Some of this hostility is the result of conflicts, or perceived conflicts, over politically controlled resources in cities and states. But as Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at George Washington, has argued recently, it may also be a legacy of an older Latin American prejudice against blacks that has been transplanted to this country.
… Latinos display more prejudice toward African Americans than African Americans do toward Latinos or than whites display toward African Americans. In the words of University of Houston sociologist Tatcho Mindiola, Jr. and two associates, “in general African Americans have more positive views of Hispanics than vice versa.”
In Mindiola’s surveys of racial attitudes in Houston, they asked Latino respondents to describe blacks.
Some of the terms that most often came to mind were “noisy,” “loud,” “lazy,” “dropouts/uneducated,” “hostile,” “complainers/whiners,” “bad people,” “prejudiced,” “aggressive,” “angry,” “disrespectful/rude,” and “violent.”
Only 54 percent of U.S.-born Latinos and 46 percent of immigrant Latinos approved of their children dating an African American.
Based on my personal experience these descriptions and figures are not shocking. These attitudes were untenable and repulsive to me after I was born-again. God has helped me to overcome some of the stereotypes about blacks which were presented to me as givens.
Truly He has shown me that there is no difference, every human being regardless the quantities of melanin he/she expresses on their skin is made in His image.
Given the Sambo-like caricatures prevalent in Mexican pop culture, this is hardly shocking or is it? Does the presence of these caricatures translate into racism (melaninism)?
Mexicans (and most Hispanics, Cubans being the exception), it can be said, are Democrats by “nature”.
There are a number of reasons as to why this is so, the most prevalent one is that Democrats are perceived as “champions of the poor” and well our self-image is so great that we are perpetually in struggle against the so-called hegemony (a fav of non-white resistance movements).
If Obama gets the Democratic Party’s nomination, how is he going to be embraced by those who hold to the old attitudes?
Should this concern the Democratic Party?