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Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez
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The GOP's Hispanic Candidates: Perfect for Self-Loathing Latinos


They are the new breed of GOP Latino politicians — more conservative than those already in public office, more Draconian in their approach to illegal immigration, likelier to forsake their own language and culture, and more willing to betray their own people in order to please their party's conservative, xenophobic and immigrant-bashing base.

They are the new Uncle Toms. Nowadays we see these Tios Tomas running for anything from local sheriff to governor to U.S. senator. By propping up a few Latino Republicans, GOP leaders apparently feel they can soften the Hispanic backlash they are expected to receive on Election Day for having spent the past few years bashing immigrants.

Instead of trying to appeal to Latinos by softening their hard stance against undocumented immigrants, they chose to go with Latino candidates who can continue to lead the immigrant haters.

If you were asked to define the perfect anti-Hispanic candidate, there is a Republican running for the U.S. Senate in Florida who meets all the qualifications. But amazingly, he's a Latino! And even more amazingly, many Latinos are planning to vote for him!

This Tio Tomas goes by the name of Marco Rubio. Although he is the son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio has spent his entire campaign pandering to tea partyers and other conservative extremists. He could be a poster boy for Latino haters.

Rubio supports making English the official language even though such a measure would deny language rights to Latinos and other immigrants. He supported the infamous racial profiling, anti-immigrant Arizona law, even after its most discriminatory provisions were nullified by a federal court. He rejects giving a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants, including even those who came as children and are looking to attend college or serve in the military. He is opposed to counting undocumented immigrants in the U.S. census even though his state could lose significant federal funding if they are not counted.

The two other Hispanic Republicans running in statewide races have not outlined as many anti-Hispanic positions as Rubio, but Susana Martinez in the New Mexico gubernatorial race and Brian Sandoval in the Nevada gubernatorial race both have taken the extremists' position on immigration. They bash immigrants to score political points with right-wing extremists. For self-loathing Latinos, they are perfect!

Unfortunately, like many Republican candidates who have had to sell their souls to the conservative extremists this election year, these Latino Republicans have felt the need to become Tios Tomas. But it doesn't mean we have to vote for them.

How they are able to take a tough anti-immigrant stance without alienating more of their fellow Latinos is a question that will need to be analyzed by political scientists for years to come. But it obviously has a lot to do with ethnic solidarity and the need Latinos feel to elect more of their own people.

Polls say Rubio will get a majority of the Hispanic vote in Florida, while Martinez and Sandoval will capture close to a third of the Hispanic vote in their respective states. Why? Are Latinos so eager to elect their own leaders that they would empower someone who would work against them? Is our ethnic solidarity turning us into masochists?

"Should Latinos support a candidate just because he is Latino, even if he openly supports laws that are harmful to Latinos and immigrants in general?" That question recently was posted on a Listserv where a group of New Jersey Latinos was discussing the candidacy of a Latino conservative running for sheriff in Passaic County.

It's happening across the country.

And amazingly, only because the candidates are Latinos, Hispanic voters are giving them passes on some of these crucial issues. It's as if they are willing to elect a monster as long as it's a Latino monster!

Rubio and my fellow Cuban-Americans are the best example. His repulsive anti-Hispanic agenda couldn't be clearer. Yet many Cubans, including some who have serious reservations about his anti-immigrant politics, still are planning to vote for him.

Some of it has to do with an inexplicable loyalty to the Republican Party that goes back to the 1960s, an allegiance that has survived a half-century of broken Republican promises to help the Cuban people regain their freedom. And some of it has to do with a blatant lack of compassion for their fellow Latinos, most of whom were not so lucky as Cubans in the way they were received when they arrived in the United States.

When our fellow Latinos fail to understand the plight of the Cuban people under communism, when they fail to support Cuban-American causes, when they wear Che Guevara T-shirts and when some even flirt with the Castro brothers, we Cuban-Americans (including me) complain about the insensitivities of our fellow Latinos. But when we Cubans support candidates like Rubio, the insensitivity is ours. Rubio is driving a wedge of hatred between my Cuban community and my Hispanic community. It's reprehensible!

Mind you, Rubio, Martinez and Sandoval are much more conservative than most Latino Republicans currently in Congress, including three Cuban-Americans, who support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. If elected, Rubio would replace another Hispanic U.S. senator, Mel Martinez, who is another Cuban-American who courageously battled the xenophobes in his own party and retired without having to sell his soul to conservative extremists.

Frankly, Republicans are insulting our intelligence. They have spent years trying to demonize immigrants, especially Latinos, and it is hard to understand how they could be so stupid by consciously alienating the nation's largest minority and fastest-growing demographic. Yet now they prop up a few token Latino candidates — puppets who unconscionably stand against their own people — and this is how they intend to demonstrate they are our friends?

If it weren't so sad — so shameless — it would be funny!

They may be able to win over a few Latinos who will be blinded by ethnic solidarity, but if Republicans think they can sway Latinos to return to their party in droves — after scaring many away with the face of hatred — they could be in for a huge surprise.

Nevertheless, if these Latino conservatives win with a significant portion of the Hispanic vote, as the polls suggest they will, the GOP will display them as props to demonstrate that some of its best amigos are actually Hispanic. Republicans will be able to claim that some of their most racist and mean-spirited measures are supported by Latinos. And they will assume they can continue to stomp on the Hispanic community — as long as they can prop up a few token Latino puppets on Election Day.

Needless to say, if I lived in Florida, New Mexico or Nevada, my vote would be for the Hispanic community — and against the anti-Hispanic Latinos running in statewide races.

To find out more about Miguel Perez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



9 Comments | Post Comment
For Mr. Perez to imply that because you think differently from him or Democratic Hispanics, you are self-loathing is reprehensible. It is trying to paint all Hispanics with one wide brushstroke and making us uniform robots. Yet, I am sure he spouses "diversity." What a narrow-minded, insulting hypocrite. He's found his little journalistic niche, a one trick third-rate pony who has been let go from everypaper, tv or radio station he's ever worked for, and has to come up with these inane defenses for his positions.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Laura
Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:02 AM
Dang, some stinking Latinos refuse to stay on the mental plantation of Perez's choice. How dare they, and how dare republicans unexpectedly welcome them. Whose the rascist here? Perez!

A simply awful column and premise. Ugly rascism. Laura is right about everything but third-rate; that's way too high a rating.

I need to flush my eyes clean after reading this decaying matter. Brutal.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Tom
Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:37 AM
This was an incredible racist rant. What happened to the free exchange and battle of ideas? Just because one is Hispanic should not mean they are sympathetic to every Latino issue. What happened to understanding the free market and the perils of socialism/communism? Ignorance perpetuates itself when the free exchange of ideas and personal perspectives are condemned with the race card and name calling.
Comment: #3
Posted by: jkhooah
Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:00 AM
The snarling hatred of this editorial took my breath away. The fact that these young Latinos have decided to fully embrace the values and mores of their adopted country seems, to me at least, something to be lauded. That they refuse to wallow in the self-pitying, always-a-victim rhetoric of what makes up a great part of the Democratic party appears to be step towards maturity.

He can't seem to grasp that the reason that these young conservatives are so popular is because they *are* conservative. Maybe he hasn't noticed, but those Hispanics who run as liberals/Dems, are far more divisive. Conservatives are embracing Rubio and the like because they're looking past the fact that they are Latino, and respecting the fact that they love this country and consider themselves Americans first. What a concept.

Perez seems all to ready to write off the United States as a sovereign nation; it seems that he'd prefer it to be always kow-towing to third-world interests. His attitude is exactly why so many have little sympathy for his so-called cause. This is the United States. Be an American. If you can't, then maybe you should consider other citizenship options.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Irene King
Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:51 AM
Perez' racism in this column is so exaggerated I have to wonder if he's pulling a prank on us. Either that or he needs to get back on his meds. These hispanics are able to oppose illegal immigration precisely because they are NOT racist, their allegiance is to the US, not some multinational Hispanic racist bloc. The conservatives are free to support Hispanics who agree with them precisely because they are NOT racist, they stand for principles not for race. They are all against illegal immigration because they are Americans first, and an unlimited supply of cheap labor hurts American minorities more than anyone. Allowing the entire Hispanic third world access to the entitlements of American citizens is nothing but national suicide; ask yourself exactly how that math works out and where it ends.
Based on his rant, I can only assume he would replace the Democrat and Republican parties with something like Black Panthers, White Pride, and of course La Raza.
Comment: #5
Posted by: johnny
Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:55 AM
"likelier to forsake their own language and culture, and more willing to betray their own people in order to please their party's conservative, xenophobic and immigrant-bashing base."


I am a Latino by heritage, and 100% American. Americans are MY people. I find your suggestion that I owe any loyalty to other nations offensive. I find your willingness to break the law, import leftist ideas from south of the border into this great nation, and your advocacy for Latinos not to learn English just as offensive. Leftists in the U.S. use that as a device to control the message. They want to control Latinos through misinformation. That is why you seek to keep Latino ignorant of English and why you subvert the ideas of freedom that the USA stands for. Problem're losing the battle. Your pal Obama has turned the American dream into the nightmare that we Latinos fled from in the left-wing latino nations. We don't like what we see. We prefer a government of by and for the people. Not what you're pushing!

Comment: #6
Posted by: Chris
Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:07 PM
I like to read articles written by people of every political affiliation, because I like to gain an understanding of what people with opposing viewpoints think. Sometimes I find myself agreeing on certain points, and I change my opinion on the subject.

That being said though ... the longer I read Perez's columns, the more I disagree with him. I think I would prefer to read a column written by Chris (Comment #6)!!
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kim
Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:37 AM

Comment: #8
Posted by: reuben
Wed Nov 3, 2010 7:17 AM
Mr. Perez is a third-rate journalist and not a very bright fellow. Even his vocabulary is limited to words like “xenophobic,” which he uses all the time. His knowledge of history (actually, lack of knowledge) is pathetic and his diatribe is so full of contradictions that you quickly realize that he is the “token” Hispanic that the drive-by media uses to make themselves feel good about diversity and give the impression they are giving Latinos a voice.
Have you ever notice how his career just drifts from one place to another? He shows the same stupid mentality that was demonstrated in Cuba that allowed Fidel Castro to reign for fifty years. But he really does not have an audience, never had. He himself does not believe half of what he is writing. The man is no intellect, just another "has-been" teaching in the Bronx desperately looking for a spot in the sunlight.
But he has every right to continue to express his stupidity. Although he only feels you have a right to a different opinion as long as it agrees with his bias and narrow-minded views. Only in the land of the free (not in Cuba) can such an incompetent writer get a chance to make a living writing the nonsense Mr. Perez writes. Although no one does a better job at insulting his intelligence as well as he does himself. Que Viva El Capitalismo!
Comment: #9
Posted by: JH
Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:03 AM
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