Harris County Democratic Chief Gerry Birnberg called out the Republican Party on its recent treatment of Latinos in a message to party faithful. As much as pundits and “non-profit” leaders attempt to sell the Latino electorate as some sort of independent voice, we have a clear choice: A party that is at least working on pro-worker, pro-people, and pro-family policies, or a party that is unafraid to show their hate toward whole groups of people. Birnberg explains it well, but if ever there is an opportunity to vote a complete STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC ticket, it is now.
Recently every single Republican in the United States Senate voted against allowing that body to even consider the so-called DREAM Act. The Dream Act would have allowed children who were brought to this country by undocumented parents at least five years ago and before the age of 15 and who obtained a high school diploma or G.E.D. a chance to earn U. S. citizenship by completing at least two years of college or two years of military service and fulfilling other demands and requirements. It would be a good deal all the way around – for young men and women who were brought to this country by their parents, without any choice, but who have worked hard, succeeded well, done what has been asked of them, and want to serve their country – the United States – in its military; for the military, which wants the service these you people want to provide; and for the country, which gets good, educated, motivated, contributing citizens.
But Republicans – every single one of them – oppose that.
Once again Republicans showed their deep disdain for Latino families. So what else is new?
Do you realize that if it were up to Republicans, no one would even be allowed to speak Spanish in this country?
Think I’m kidding? Or exaggerating? Well, read the official Platform of the Texas Republican Party passed at their state convention just last July. This is a direct quote from that document: “We have room for but one language here and that is the English language.” Their platform goes on to demand, “One nation, one flag, one language.” And in case you didn’t get the point, the platform also calls for “adoption of American English as the official language of Texas.”
The second most important (for Republicans) item on their education agenda (according to their Platform) is elimination of bilingual education after first grade (for children attending pre-K, which, by the way, they oppose), after the second grade for kids who go to kindergarten, and after the third year of school for everybody.
No bilingual education and no speaking Spanish (or any other language other than “American English,” whatever that means – I guess English speakers from England or Canada wouldn’t be welcome here either, because they probably use “English English” or Canadian English”). How much more hostile to Latino families can you get?
And that after deciding that Cesar Chavez shouldn’t be in the schoolbooks our students study.
Republicans also want to kick children younger than 26 off their parents’ health insurance policies and allow insurance companies to refuse to cover kids who have preexisting conditions. They want to eliminate all programs that deal with early childhood development. The Republican platform also calls for repeal of hate crimes laws and unashamedly advocates use of racial profiling.
And I haven’t even mentioned the “I” word yet – immigration, where Republicans want to increase deportations dramatically, amend the Constitution to eliminate making anyone born in this country a citizen of the United States, allow hospitals to refuse to provide care to undocumented individuals, and do away with “Adjustment of Status” in immigration cases (among other things), while vehemently opposing “any” path to citizenship for folks who entered the country without documentation or overstayed their visas.
How can anyone doubt the hostility Republicans continually and unabashedly display for Latino families? Or vote for people who associate themselves with those beliefs and “values”?
It’s simply beyond me.
Chair, Harris County Democratic Party
September 23, 2010