Latino Heritage Month begins on September 15th and ends on October 15th. This year it is key in the preparations for the all-important mid-term elections that will assess the direction our country is on internally and the nature of our relations abroad.
Latinos are at the forefront of this assessment because it is this community that was the first affected by the current national administration during the campaign for president and frequently thereafter. The latest was the boast by President Trump who gave himself an outstanding grade for his handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year as this year’s catastrophic Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas.
He did this by denigrating the official count of almost 3,000 dead backed by two university studies (Harvard and George Washington). In his mind, there were only a handful of dead and the serious struggles Puerto Rico had at the time and continues to have is really the fault of the victims.
In the larger sense, the mid-term elections are an opportunity for the Latino community to assess the direction of the country and hold those responsible to account. This starts by recognizing that the legal and political walls are closing in on the President, his family and his political apparatus and that the responsibility extends to those that have either defended the lies and corruption of an increasing illegitimate leadership or have more or less silently acquiesced to its tyranny.
We know that at least 85 percent of Republicans nationally are supporting Trump which is key to mid-term political evaluation in the State of Colorado. The Colorado landscape in this regard is no different as candidates in his Party either talk up the Trump agenda or soft peddle his character and policies so that they do not taint relations with a constituency that may not support them.
For the Latino people, the time to look and decide who to favor with a decisive vote is during Latino Heritage Month. There is a need to focus in on the events of the past two years and determine what is best for this community in Colorado going forward.
I recently was asked why I was focused in on President Trump in a way that I had not previously done with other presidents Republican or Democrat. My answer has simply been that the man has cast the worst insults against the community to which I belong.
It is true as some have said that Donald Trump insults everybody. But remember, he insulted Latinos first and built the case for his election on the backs of this community and once elected has continued to badmouth them as well as gone out of his way to question the citizenship of Latino Americans, deported Latino residents on flimsy excuses, deported Latino immigrants that have served in our arm forces, eliminated sanctuary for refugees from south of the border and separated Latino children from parents without regard to Constitutional order or the human tragedy it has created.
The Latino community deserves to celebrate events that strengthen the cultural fiber of its rich identity and gifts to the American way of life. It also deserves to have its increasing political power, that includes almost 900 thousand new voters every year, recognized and listened to in these difficult times.
Latino Heritage Month represents an opportunity to highlight the great achievements led by such areas as education, entrepreneurship and communications. It is also a time to proclaim the power to make changes. SI SE PUEDE.