After the U.S. Civil War, African-Americans were told that separate but equal was acceptable public policy. Now with the presidential election in motion, both the Republicans and Democrats are telling Latinos the same thing by offering similar promises and practices.
GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, who not so long ago called Spanish “the language of the ghetto,” has been praised as a moderate for drawing the line at expelling immigrants with families and roots in the United States.
The official Democratic Party target has been another Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, who is anti-immigrant and anti-Latino, while anti-Castro Cuban conservatives like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and former Re. Lincoln Diaz-Balart have thrown their weight behind him.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration, which in the last election offered change to a new generation of Latino voters, has out-deported former President George Bush with one million immigrants gone and counting.
Recent policy changes and reviews, defended by Obama’s handpicked spokesperson Cecilia Muñoz, amount to nothing more than what Gingrich is offering — a non-status changing limbo.
If this is the best both parties have to offer to the Latino community, it begs the question: what exactly are we getting the vote out for?
To paraphrase what Misty said to Ash in the 1998 Pokémon movie, “We’d love to help you but unfortunately, you’re standing on us.”