Schoolwork has real-life consequences. In this case, one was the resignation of Florida's RNC Latino Outreach Director, Pablo Pantoja. Pantoja, who was born in Puerto Rico, is no longer a Republican.
He stated in his email:
A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.” The researcher reinforces these views by saying “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”I'm not surprised.
Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn’t take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten.
Each year since 1914 the NAACP has issued a Civil Rights Legislative Report Card on "bread and butter" civil rights issues relating to the voting records of members of Congress. So as a teacher, a blogger, and a voter, I've decided to issue my own report card, and grades for the faux efforts of the Republican Party to pay lip-service to its stated intentions of conducting outreach to Latino voters.
See more on how below the fold.
I have to report that no matter what they "say" and no matter how they dither, they are doomed to failure, and can only get a grade of "F" from me. My grandmother taught me very well and better than any academic schooling. She said "pay attention to people's actions, not just their words."
So looking back over the last few months since their disastrous loss in the national presidential election, and their smarmy statements about turning over a new leaf and including Latinos (in order to inveigle their votes), I find it hard to believe that their efforts are even serious.
Note: This is also a warning to students everywhere. Just because someone has a degree from an elite institution, or publishes papers, that doesn't have any bearing on their intelligence. Without common sense, the academic credentials have no meaning. Lies and racism wrapped up in fancy "jarguage" when stripped of big words are simply lies.
One only has to have common sense to look at the world around us and acknowledge the fact that humans are diverse, and the population of the U.S. reflects that diversity. Anyone with common sense would come to the conclusion that rejecting diversity has no logic, unless it is simply a matter of power, control, and sowing hatred and fear.
I'm sitting at home right now grading my students' final research papers. Thankfully, none of them has cited bigoted research that would never have passed muster in my classroom. But the world of news, media and blogs are a classroom, too. They don't reward us, the readers, with grades. They do, however, help deliver grades to those who aspire to or who are running for political office or re-election. That grade is called a vote. Fox is not news. But it is a right-wing racist vote delivery machine.
Most candidates for office have some degree of book learning, and academic "letters" after their names, that imply they received an education. Members of the RNC and their funders quite obviously paid little or no attention when they were in school, nor have they been able to learn from experience. They have failed to learn even very basic truths, which are self evident.
Perhaps they should visit my anthropology and women's studies classroom.
They might learn a few things.
Here are some cliff notes for them on why they're receiving this grade.
Cubans are not Mexicans.Republicans have demonstrated quite well how clueless they are.
“Hispanics” are not homogenous.
Latinos don’t have a low IQ “gene”. Ethnicity and "race" are social constructs. So is IQ.
Church goers are not necessarily conservatives. So don't count on the "Catholic" vote of Latinos to propel you into office. Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population is on track for marriage equality.
Your F is not for flat earth ideology, though it should be since you also deny climate change and evolution and environmental issues which affect us all, no matter our color or ethnicity.
Latinos are not “illegals”.
Immigrants are not just Latinos.
Latinos do pay attention to the news—though not the Benghazi babble you are wrapped up in spouting. If you would actually do some hard labor in congress and pass legislation for jobs and education, you might garner some votes. But since you are stuck on stupid, your "F" is becoming indelible.
Attacks on ethnic studies, and banning books will earn you undying enmity from students, faculty and their families.
Voter restriction and intimidation have whipped up a furor in communities of color.
Latinas use birth control, and are organizing for Reproductive Justice – so your war on women’s reproductive health isn't helping you at the ballot box.
Denying food to infants and families is theft. And vicious. Won't win you any brownie points.
No coincidence that headlines like this one from El Diario read "Dominicano enfrenta otro retraso para unirse a gabinete de Obama." No coincidence that they emphasize the fact that Perez was born of immigrant parents, and is Dominican. Do Republicans even know that Dominican Americans aren't Miami Cubans and got no free pass to settle here based on anti-Fidel privilege? Dominicans are the 5th-largest Spanish language group in the U.S. Many are also targets of anti-black racism, since many Dominicans are of African descent.
His nomination is also being embraced by a coalition of Latino groups, like the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.
OrganizationsI was amused when I read this headline from WaPo, "Will the effort to block Perez’s nomination backfire on Republicans?"
- The Advancement Project, Co-Director Penda D. Hair
- AFL-CIO, President Richard Trumka
- American Federation of Teachers, President Randi Weingarten
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, President Lee Saunders
- American Rights at Work, Executive Director Sarita Gupta
- The Arc, CEO Peter Berns
- Center for American Progress, Chair and Former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta
- Communication Workers of America
- Human Rights Campaign, President Chad Griffin
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, President Tom Buffenbarger
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, President Edwin D. Hill
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters, President Jim Hoffa
- Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
- Maryland Society of Accountants
- Minority Business Roundtable, President & CEO Roger A. Campos
- National Action Network, Rev. Al Sharpton
- National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Executive Director Pablo Alvarado
- National Disability Rights Network, Executive Director Curt Decker
- National Women's Law Center, Co-Presidents Nancy Duff Campbell and Marcia D. Greenberger
- Service Employees International Union, President Mary Kay Henry
- UFCW, International President Joe Hansen
- U.S. League of Dominican American Elected Officials, Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Chair of the New York State Senate Latino Caucus
- United Steelworkers, International President Leo W. Gerard
One word answer: Yes.
Contrary to the opinions quoted in the piece from Glen Bolger, omniscient (heh) pollster for Romney’s Super PAC and for Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. “Latino voters are paying a lot more attention to immigration reform and what happens to that than a nomination to a Cabinet post in a Cabinet that has not played a major role with this president.” I beg to differ. Sure, immigration reform is a major issue, but dissing Perez will not be forgotten.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson expressed his opinion that the attacks on Perez are just another way to attack President Obama, and and also have much to do with his stance on voting rights.
Perez's staunch commitment to battling discrimination through aggressive enforcement of the voting rights laws poses a major threat to the GOP's push to undermine the Voting Rights Act with a slew of voter ID laws and restrictions, topped by the lawsuit before the Supreme Court to scrub the Act. This is their last gasp maneuver to halt the momentum in the upsurge in black and Latino voters in what once were safe GOP leaning districts and states. In 2008 and 2012, these new voters made a huge difference in Obama's election and reelection victories, and in insuring Democrat gains in many state elections. The full enforcement of the Voting Rights Act is the best safeguard of those gains. This is the exact thing that the GOP doesn't want. Perez, like Holder and Hagel, will ultimately be confirmed. But the GOP's aim is again to send the strong message that it is a potent force to check and sabotage Obama and his appointees. The issue again is not Perez, but Obama.While I agree, in part with Hutchinson, I think the results of that attack go beyond Barack Obama, who will not be president in 2016. Every single attack against high profile Latino Democrats will be remembered.
Many of us will be doing GOTV and reminding the electorate on their way to cast ballots. And they won't be ballots for bigots.
Republicans have already alienated Puerto Ricans with attacks on Sonia Sotomayor and have turned off Chicanos and Tejanos and other Mexican-Americans by supporting racist policies and practices, especially in the Southwest and California. I look forward to watching the success of groups like Battleground Texas, which will be fired up by anti-Mexican bigotry.
Keep up the bad work Republicans. Fail on.
Your report card, and grades will reap rewards—for Democrats.