We can’t disregard the ethnic trends and walk with blinders on, hoping a generic message of conservatism will penetrate the Hispanic community.
At a Conservative event in Bryan,TX, focused on Hispanic outreach and conservative principles, during a Q&A segment, School Board member, Tommy Bosquez, shared his views on what the Republican Party should do to increase Hispanic support.
“My name is Tommy Bosquez, and I’m a Hispanic Republican…and a School Board Trustee,” he began. But before he could finish his first sentence, he was interrupted by an elderly man who shook his head and said, “No you’re not Hispanic…you’re an American! Quit calling yourself Hispanic…that’s the problem.”
Shaken, but not rattled, Bosquez replied, “Yes, of course I’m an American,” as he continued to make his point about how the Party should be more welcoming and inviting to Hispanics and other minorities.
At nearly every meeting I attend, there are people who cringe every time they hear others describe themselves as Hispanic, Asian, Black or anything other than American. They usually are extremely opposed to the concept of “outreach,” since to them, we’re all supposed to be Americans, and not segments of population.
They don’t like hearing they need to do more to attract Hispanics.
Prior to becoming politically active, I was never one to identify myself as a “Hispanic” man.
It wasn’t until I became active, that I began to pay attention to “demographic breakdowns” and “statistical data.” Now, political consultants map out cities and streets, drilling down to surname and economic trends in order to target specific voters. Democrats are aggressively seeking weaknesses in our state, and they know who to target. As recent articles have described, President Obama’s previous campaign staff members are coming to Texas to begin their effort to turn Texas blue. I can assure you, they do not have an issue identifying the hyphenated American.
Back to the gentleman who interrupted Mr. Bosquez. Had he asked me to quit identifying myself as a Hispanic, I would have responded differently.
I would have asked him if he knew which demographic voted 72% for President Obama. I would have asked him which population was going to be the majority in Texas, or which demographic was slipping away, and needed to be reached before it was too late.
How would he have answered? My guess is, he wouldn’t have had an answer…or he would have made one up.
According to his theory, we’re “all Americans,” and if that’s the case, then it makes no difference that 72% of Hispanics voted for Obama. It makes no difference Hispanics will be the majority in a few years in Texas. And It would make no difference that Hispanics continue voting for Democrats.
But in reality, it does make a difference. Hispanics are a definable demographic, and we cannot act as if it doesn’t exist. If a general conservative message were all it took to connect with Hispanics, they would already be in the Republican Party…but they’re not…are they?