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Somos Republicans: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

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Somos Republicans, the self-proclaimed largest grassroots organization in the United States for GOPers identifying as Hispanic or Latino, has had it.

With who? Their fellow Republicans, of course. Specifically Floridian ones of Cuban or Puerto Rican ancestry. Why? Because they had the audacity to vote for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a few weeks ago during the Sunshine state’s presidential primary. Cubans and Puerto Ricans, it would seem, were expected to stand in solidarity with those of predominately Mexican descent in supporting an open borders candidate. This, though, for the Somos crowd, is only the beginning of the story:

The Florida primary results show the total disregard a good majority of Cuban Americans have for….Mexican Americans….and Central Americans who aspire….to be an integral part of this country. This vote shows the lack of solidarity with the majority of Latinos, even while Cuban Americans and Puerto Rican(s) serve themselves with the big spoon when it is time to distribute the political and economic/business opportunities/leverage generated by the critical mass of Latinos….

….The overwhelming vote of Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans for anti-Latino immigrant Mitt Romney should open the eyes of conservative Latino Republicans not belonging to the Cuban and Puerto Rican communities, to the fact that we do not count on their support for our political, economic/business agenda, and thus, they should not count on us, except on a previously negotiated basis on which we, Mexican Americans, hold our votes and power in the hands of our own leadership….

….We welcome the friendship and brotherhood of those few Cubans and Puerto Ricans who embrace us, and who will accept our rightful leadership role. The Republican Party should know, and we will make it evident through our organization and future coalitions, that we will not align with Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans any longer, except when there are clear mutual interests, and that Mexican Americans no longer consider themselves represented within the party by Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans. If the Republican Party wants the Mexican American community’s support, the by far largest Latino group, they need to have one of us, Mexican American.

As one of the few Puerto Rican-Jewish writers in publication today, and quite possibly the only one who is a native Floridian and a registered Republican to boot, I do not find this to be offensive, but laughable. Indeed, as the Somos stereotype goes, I not only voted for Romney, but did so in large part due to his stance on the illegal alien issue.

It must be asked why those of us who are natural born American citizens, and happen to be of Cuban or Puerto Rican background, are automatically assumed to be sympathetic toward illegals. Is it because many speak the same language that our forefathers spoke? Is this an allowance for criminality and collectivist politics? I do not think so.

All of this hogwash goes back to that label devised by the feds during the mid-twentieth century: Hispanic. Originally used to merely divide and conquer the electorate for purely partisan gains, it has devolved into a pseudo ethnoracial construct. Today, all persons having ancestors who lived in North American lands settled by the Spanish Empire are beholden to it. Hispanic, and its stepchild Latino, have destroyed the uniqueness of each Latin American nation’s culture. In popular vernacular, a Venezuelan is no different than a Dominican, and a Mexican is indistinguishable from a Cuban. This is mass madness, and a profound insult to the legacy of Spanish colonization.

Never before has a Puerto Rican been expected to side with an Argentine, or vice versa, based on some sort of ethnic connection. Barring language, and even then there are distinct dialect variations, Latin American countries have no more common ties to each other than Western European ones do. The Somos Republicans should keep this in mind before going off on another tangent pertaining to their rightful place in GOP leadership or similar nonsense. They are a case study in why individual achievement should be awarded over group membership.

This, after all, is only the American way. As the Somos Republicans want to enjoy the full American experience, I suggest they do exactly that.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Clavos

    Good article, Joseph.

    I was especially interested in the latter half and your discussion of the use of the term Hispanic as a way of lumping all those of us from the New World who happen to have some variation of Spanish as our mother tongue. I have raised this issue myself on Blogcritics’ pages several times in the past. You are of course correct; the word was devised by the feds (specifically, the Census Bureau) in the mid twentieth century, and is, in my opinion, both confusing and an insult.

    I do (mildly) disagree with you as to the use of Latino, mostly because so many of us self-describe with it, and because although we may be Mexican-Americans or Cuban-Americans or other nationalities-Americans, we are still all Latin Americans from a region described world wide as Latin America; but that’s a nit rarely worth picking; your point that we are all from distinct, discrete, and culturally different countries is well taken, and one I have also made on these pages.

    ¡Gracias ‘mano!

  • JAMES

    I think it shows that The Cuban Americans and the Puerto Rican Americans are tired of the spongers south of the border like the rest of us. Although they should have voted for Ron Paul.