18 thoughts on “Is the Republican Party sensitive to Latino issues?

  1. Interesting question but the answer is “No”
    The Republican Party is playing catch-up and fastforward. But they are really off the mark–like most America, they continue to be trapped in a black and white dialectic. For me, Colin Powell’s speech was truly disappointing on his continued use and perpetuation of the word “M” word–minority–and his emphasis on blacks rather than polyculturalism.

  2. “Puerto Rico Releases FBI Files”
    By The Associated Press

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico released long-secret FBI files on the U.S. territory’s first elected governor Wednesday, giving a glimpse of Washington’s uneasiness as it granted the island more autonomy.

    The documents on Luis Munoz Marin were among more than 12,000

    FBI files on Puerto Ricans, including independence activists, given to the

    island’s Senate this week. More will be released this month.

    The FBI denied investigating Puerto Rican independence activists until this year, when director Louis Freeh confirmed the files existed and

    released them to Congress at the request of Puerto Rico-born Rep. Jose Serrano, a New York Democrat. Serrano’s office began transferring the files to Puerto Rico last week.

    The documents provide an intimate look at U.S. dealings with the

    territory it wrested from Spain in the 1898 Spanish-American War.

    “This is a gold mine for historians,” said local Sen. Kenneth McClintock.

    “This could answer a lot of questions and reveal a lot of mysteries about our past.”

    Those released Wednesday focus on Munoz, a one-time independence supporter revered here for his role in developing Puerto Rico’s economy and fashioning its semi-autonomous status as a U.S. commonwealth in 1952.

    Munoz was elected governor in 1948 and served until 1965. He died in 1980.

    An informant erroneously warned in 1940 that Munoz, then a rising star in the island’s Senate, was “the ranking official of the Communist Party in the West Indies and the Caribbean Sea area.”

    The warning touched off an investigation because Munoz was about to

    visit the White House at the invitation of first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The FBI apparently concluded Munoz posed no threat, but it watched him closely for the next three decades.

    Special reports examined his friendship with Rexford G. Tugwell, Puerto Rico’s last U.S. administrator and a supporter of self-government.

    Later entries record dozens of alleged plots against Munoz by independence groups.

    Puerto Rico itself maintained files on 130,000 suspected independence

    activists from the 1940s until 1987, when the local Supreme Court banned the practice. Thousands of citizens have since sued the government.

    *This seemed like the more appropriate heading to place this article i plucked from the online edition of the NY Times.

    Thought this what important for everyone to know.

    WEB ADMINISTER — Perhaps Puerto Rico’s status should be kept as an ongoing forum topic. I doubt this is one discussion anyone can stop participating in. Just a suggestion….and it gives me a place to paste these articles i find on the web.


  3. Is this what the GPO calls sensitive?
    Light Touch of Color

    Party’s efforts to woo minorities mixed results

    Juan Gonzalez (NY Daily News)


    It was so hot and muggy yesterday that the big public swimming pool in Hunting Park was filled with shrieking children by noon.

    The park sits in a rundown neighborhood of rowhouses a few miles north of downtown. The residents are black, Hispanic and poor, and whenever someone

    here makes headlines, it ‘s usually for some spectacular shooting or drug arrest.

    Just the kind of place you’d expect to find a bunch of smiling, prosperous white Republicans. Or so the new Republican Party of George W. Bush would have us believe.

    All week at their presidential nominating convention on the other side of town, GOP leaders have talked of their newfound desire to reach out to blacks and Hispanics.

    They jammed the convention podium with so many black and brown faces that some people thought they were watching “Soul


    Last night, they even trotted out Bush’s Hispanic nephew, “P.” Bush, for a speech in Spanish that was tailor-made for the huge audiences of the Univision and Telemundo networks.

    But the outreach did not always succeed.

    There was, for instance, the big reception Wednesday at Temple University for Hispanic Republicans, the one where Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum spoke.

    Of the 50 or so Hispanics who attended, more than half were local Democrats who showed up just to welcome the out-of-towners.

    The previous night, at a reception for Young Hispanic Republicans, the crowd was virtually all Anglo. The fact is the

    number of black and Hispanic delegates to this convention is tiny.

    But George W. Bush wants to change that, Santorum said. As a sign of the change, the party organized a week of outreach efforts to Philadelphia’s minority community.

    So yesterday morning we had Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist visiting Nueva Esperanza, a neighborhood economic development project in Hunting Park. Frist brought along a group of 40 Republicans who fanned out into the neighborhood to do a few hours of

    community service.

    Frist, the Senate’s only licensed physician, did his part by seeing three patients at a community health clinic and talking to the press.

    “Public health has been grossly underfunded,” he said as he spoke of the need to make health insurance “more affordable” for the poor and of the need to enroll 8 million uninsured poor children in Medicaid.

    The new Republican Party, defender of the poor.

    Frist and South Carolina Rep. Jim DeMint were the only actual delegates on the trip. The rest were Republican volunteers from the suburbs. Some of the visitors headed for the community pool

    to spend a few hours picking up trash and painting a graffiti-covered gazebo.

    None of the local residents around the pool seemed to know what the white strangers by the gazebo were doing.

    Zachary Dantzler, a 34-year-old black man who works at McDonald’s at night, watched them suspiciously from afar.

    “Now they wants to come and clean up just before election time,” he said. “They ain’t been thinking about us before, and they won’t be thinking about us after.”

    James Mansion, an elderly man, was sitting on a park bench.

    “The city brings in the convicts to clean up,” he said. “They bring them in a van, they pick up the trash, then they go back to jail.

    “Republicans, convicts, same thing — it’s all politics.”

    “I’ve never held a paintbrush in my life,” said volunteer Pamela Cospito, who works in the financial industry. “I just wanted to get involved in something.”

    Having done their part for the new Republican Party, the volunteers piled back into the shiny new bus that brought them and headed back to the convention center to hear George W. Bush give his big acceptance speech.

    Dantzler headed home to get ready for his shift at McDonald’s.

  4. GOP & Latinos
    One must be careful in answering this question–it depends on which Latinos we’re talking about. A MAJOR (and virtually undiscussed) issue is class-so the Cuban community (that’s changing) has traditionally supported Republicans for obvious reasons. Among PR’s and Mexicans, the party of choice has been the Democratic–of course, this assumes Ralph Nader and the Green Party are incorrect when they claim there is no substantive difference among the two parties.

    However, at least in Texas, the GOP HAS made inroads among Mexicans–great con job by the Bush clan in using the “brown” members of the family. In addition, there are some social “conservative” issues which would appeal on a superficial level to MexicanAmericans. On the other hand, Mexicans in California shouldnt forget that it was the Republican party that opposed affirmative action and other issues important to Latinos.

    All this of course shows just how shallow the political “debates” in this country really are.

  5. RE: GOP & Latinos
    Rather than being careful, let’s say we need to make certain distinctions among ourselves–in terms of class, race, historical points of entry and presence in the United States, etc. Yes, I agree with your message but taking it further… In light of the “makeover” or “reinvention” of the Republican Party, it seems clear to me that Latinos continue to be seen as “foreign” and a subgroup of blacks or African Americans. That was driven home in Colin Powell’s statement which called for the inclusion of “minorities” in the GOP with special attention (although why is not clear) to be given to African Americans. This brings the Republican Party, including Powell, up to the late fifties or early sixties in mentality. He and they still use the “m” word and they still recognize African Americans as the generic or universal minority in which to include all other non-whites or certain ethnic whites.

    As a concession to Latinos, the GOP used Bush’s nephew, George Pearce. He presence at the podium was quite effective since it showed that even the First Family was turning brown, but that is a far cry from having a leader of the Latino community speak as they did in having leaders of the black and Jewish communities do so.

    One might even speak a little about how effective nepotism can be since George Pearce was quite handsome and dynamic as a speaker. Perhaps he’ll run for president some day. He’s much more charismatic than his uncle or grandfather. And impressions seem to rule the day over substance. In fact, I couldn’t help but be impressed on how well-produced and well-directed, in the Broadway/Hollywood sense of the word, the Republican convention was. All the same, I don’t see the GOP as our party in the least.

    One last closing remark.

  6. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment
    Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment. We are going to look into your suggestion for a general posting area. In the meantime, you may want to suggest a topic on Las Carpetas as well as Puerto Rico’s status.

  7. RE: Is this what the GPO calls sensitive?
    too bad mr. gonzalez didn’t get any latinos for his quotes. how often do african american writers quote us? i would have liked to know what a latino thought.

    but to this issue. i think the republican party will change, just as the democratic party is changing. it’s basically the times dictating a wind of conservatism along with some sort of racial/ethnic liberalism. as the demographics shift towards greater populations of color this seems inevitable the cynicism displayed in the article, i feel, is misplaced and out of synch with the times–besides being such a predictable and commonplace attack. the republican party is indeed white and we’ve known this. if they attempt to recruit who will they send but whites. this doesn’t mean that their efforts are to be construed as completely hipocritical. they could be construed as simple-minded, inappropriate and inadequate and possibly shamefacedly manipulative. but only time will tell. i do believe the party is changing and that bush’s campaign slogan clearly shows that he does indeed want to seize that wind of change and make it his.

  8. Typical estadista.
    -“This is a gold mine for historians,” said local Sen. Kenneth McClintock.
    “This could answer a lot of questions and reveal a lot of mysteries
    about our past.”-

    What a typical PeneP. He thinks only the US can tell Puerto Rico about its history. I have a great book about Albizu at home, I’ll get the title and author’s name and post it tomorrow.

  9. RE: Typical estadista.
    Here’s the book I mentioned- “Yo Acuso! Y Lo Que Pasó Despues”, written by Pedro Aponte Váquez.

  10. RE: RE: Typical estadista.
    where can i get this book and why do you mention it within the context or the republican party issue?

  11. RE: RE: RE: Typical estadista.
    I got it on the island (from a friend there, actually), I can look for some bookstore contacts, if you wish.

    I just mention it to contrast to McKlintock’s view that the US is the source for Puerto Rican history. The FBI may be able to fill in some holes, but “the truth is out there”, without their help, and Puerto Ricans have been writing about it for some time.

  12. Is the Republican Party Sensitive to Latino Issues
    The Republican Party has never been sensitive to Latino Issues.
    To suggest that we have to be careful
    about what we say about these nuckle-
    heads is ridiculous. Call them what they
    are! Racist.
    Does anyone think that the issue of Vieques would even exist if we had clout? Give me a break.
    We must get the Navy out of Vieques nothing less is acceptable.
    The question is how? Do we court the Republicans or do we court the Democrats? No Way.
    We address this issue in numbers. Puerto Ricans living in the U.S must join those of us living on the Island
    to make lots of noise. So much noise that the Republicans and the Democrats will court us.
    When and if that happens we got clout.

  13. RE: Is the Republican Party Sensitive to Latino Issues
    Careful was just referring to the fact that depending on what group of Latinos we were referring to–in other words, Cubans will tend to vote Republican, PR’s will vote Democratic. It was just a way of clarifying who we were talking about. I didn’t mean to sow such confusion; I’ll do better next time. As to the [k]nuckleheads being racist, that’s right on target–sadly, the most progressive and problack party now around (going back to the Civil War) has deginerated into the party of big business and the wealthy, as has the Democratic Party under Clinton and presumeably Gore (though the latter spoke a good game at the convention). I agree with Frank that NO issues important to PR’s and other Latinos will be addressed without sufficient agitation.

  14. FBI Files
    What I liked most about the release of these files is that Congressman Serrano proposed several questions to the Director of the FBI. One question asked if the FBI was in anyway responsible for the death and torture of Don Pedro Albizu Campos. Don Pedro died after being released from 27 years of prison. You can do a search on him and learn more about the Harvard grad.

  15. Tired issue
    I think we need to move on with some fresh topics. We know what the Republicans represent for Latinos–pure assimilation. No respect for diversity, just a rehashing of how to make America a whiter shade of pale.

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