On Friday afternoon, I received a call from a man named Masaya Fujimoto, a news correspondent from Japanese network, NHK.
He was in New York, having just completed a story on the U.N. meeting, and was working on a new story…one that dealt with the Population trends around the world.
In Japan, they realize Hispanics will make an impact on the economy and politics, but they don’t know what the impact will be.
Since their economy is so closely tied to ours, they want to know what America is doing regarding the Hispanic population explosion in Texas, and what the GOP is doing to embrace this new reality.
Since Masaya’s team was already in America, his “Boss” at NHK, suggested he try to get the story.
Masaya spent over a week trying to find a lead, with no luck, and was about to give up and head back to Japan. He made a call to the Republican Party of Texas, who referred him to their website and suggested he contact any of the three Auxiliaries associated with Hispanic Outreach.
When I answered the phone and let him know who we were and what we’re doing, he was ecstatic. We were doing exactly what he hoped Texas Republicans would be doing, and he wanted to capture the “raw” footage of the movement as we presented our Stepping Stones education initiative to a family.
He described a few additional “scenes” they wanted to capture and let us know they had only a few days remaining in the U.S. I told him I needed to make a few calls and would get back with him to see when our next Home Meeting was scheduled.
I knew Ralph Gonzalez, our Navarro County “point man”, had been working hard in his county and called him to see how soon he could setup a Home Meeting. After a few hours, Ralph called back and said he had a young family who would be willing to visit with us on Monday night about Stepping Stones and was “O.K.” with being filmed.
With that said I contacted Masaya and informed him we had a meeting scheduled for Monday night.
He contacted his people at NHK, and the next day called to tell me they were making arrangements to fly in to Ft. Worth Sunday to meet with me and discuss the scenes and strategy of filming a Home Meeting.
On Sunday, I drove to Ft. Worth and met him and his film crew.
We discussed all sorts of issues in Japan as well as America. We talked about the many assignments he had and the most memorable experiences he had working for NHK.
I was impressed with the caliber of professionalism and courtesy of their crew, who had never met before. Masaya was the “lead”, and then there was a camera man and audio man, who flew in from New York as well. The three made a powerful news gathering crew, and we talked through dinner about the need for the U.S. to embrace the growing Hispanic population.
On Monday, they drove to Corsicana and met with Ralph Gonzalez, who served as their “guide,” showing them the Hispanic community and taking them places where they were able to capture the scene on the ground in Corsicana.
They went to Ralph’s house, where they setup cameras and interviewed him and his mother (90 yrs. Old) about the differences now in the Hispanic community. They visited a Hispanic grocery store and were “run off” by store management and even went to the top of the Bank of America building in Downtown Corsicana…
At 6:30, we all met up at the Navarro County Republican Headquarters building. Tony Abad drove up from Waco, Ralph, Raul and Frank Steed were there from Navarro GOP, and of course, the film crew.
We sat around a table and discussed the meeting. We talked about what we wanted to accomplish and what we knew about the family. They were in their early 20’s, a young daughter, both worked, one a citizen and the other…not.
As the meeting wrapped up, we loaded into Bobby Vickery’s truck and they followed us to the young family’s home.
We were to act as if they were not in the room.
The meeting itself was phenomenal. We learned so much about the thoughts of everyday people, working to make a living and raise their family. The discussion, as always, led to politics, where we were able to share the message of the Republican Party. After an hour of talking, getting to know them, they were certain we were there to help
They made statements like, “I didn’t know that,” and “What do you mean?” For the first time, they were being exposed to the reality that they believe in principles shared by the Republican Party. The young woman (mother) said about voting for President Obama, “We didn’t vote last time because we didn’t think anyone was good enough, but now, I can tell you there’s no way we’ll vote for Obama. Hispanics will not vote for Obama.”
I don’t know if the Japanese believe in “money shots,” but in my opinion, that was the shot of the night. The Japanese people want to know if Hispanics will flock to the Democrat Party as in the past, or will the Republican Party do enough to draw them to the “other” side?
When we finished our meeting with the young family, we packed up and headed back to the Navarro GOP headquarters. The film crew stayed behind another 30 minutes and interviewed the family.
They met up with us at the H.Q. for one final interview…mine.
We stood in the hallway, they set up the camera, and we began. I did my best to represent the views of GOPisForMe as it relates to embracing the Hispanic community and culture. I placed the Republican Party as the Party for Hispanics, and let them know that the Republican Party of Texas is actively engaged in addressing the issues of Hispanics…and has an “open arms” approach to the community.
I am so proud of the Navarro team, and appreciate Frank Steed, County Chairman, for his leadership and direct involvement with GOPisForMe. He is setting an example for all to follow.
Where does it all end? Who knows? They have another segment to complete…on the economic impact of Hispanics in America. They want to find a business that is hiring Hispanics in high paying jobs in the tech industry. Masaya mentioned before he left, “Our researchers are looking now and will call us when they have found someone. We have three more days to get something, and then we must go back to Japan.”
We said our “goodbye’s” and they loaded their equipment in their rental car and drove off…
And that’s the story of the day a Japanese World News network came to Corsicana,TX to capture the Hispanic Republican movement. You never know what can happen if you just answer the phone. Special thanks to the RPT for referring them to the Auxiliary tab…nice work!