Diversity is a Derisive Issue
The election last week left festering diversity issues. A bone of contention among Democrats was the Riverside County Supervisor race. Democrat activists held the belief it was going to be a tight race with Perez the winner. This was a non-partisan race, but for local Democrats, nothing is non-partisan. Ground troops were in action and there was assistance rendered among multiple campaigns with the single vision of electing more Democrats. Perez, had the Latino numbers to his advantage with 51.4% of the Coachella Valley being Latino.There was a comfort level on the part of the Perez campaign. This comfort level dating back to 2008 submerged the Perez sightings of victory. Being a Latino representative does not assure much especially when you neglect key aspects of the community. The belief all Latinos are Democrats is not enough to garner their vote. Neglecting to reach out or visit the only major bilingual newspaper in the Coachella Valley and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce-Coachella Valley since 2008 did not bode well for our Latino representative. Congressman Ruiz is following the same invisible path. The community notices what appears in the Latino newspaper and they notice absenteeism. Supervisor Benoit, who speaks Spanish was a regular visitor without any fanfare, he was always available. Latinos notice that presence. Assemblyman Brian Nestande is following the Benoit example and is consistent in his Latino outreach.
The excuse given for the Perez loss is “low voter turnout”. This might fly for a novice with no comprehension of numbers but when you get trounced by over 7,000 votes, a low turn out is not your problem. There were plenty of votes! The problem for Perez is those votes were for Benoit.
Latino candidates need to reevaluate their belief being Latino is all you need to garner a Latino vote. In today’s world of instant communication, it is difficult to pretend you are working within the Latino community when no one has seen you. Walking the Perez Assembly District, a good 40% of the districts population in the Latino communities still believed Bonnie Garcia was their Assembly Representative due to her continued presence in the Coachella Valley.The other 60% couldn’t say who represented them.
The call for diversity among Latinos must be taken with a grain of salt. Bonnie Garcia, a Latina, active and visible politician has received meager support among the so called diversity activists. Apparently diversity is only recognized if you belong to theDemocrat party. Such a narrow one party minded definition of diversity will castigate Latinos and relegate them to a political caste system; whereby conservative Latinos, the majority in thought, become irrelevant to your representatives. We are witnessing that fact now and this past election is a reflection Latinos are more concerned with inclusion and representation than the color of your skin. Ignoring such a major portion of the Latino community is an arrogant assault on historic family values derived from our ancestry and has no place in Latino leadership.
The coming November election will be heavily contested in the Coachella Valley with outside monies being a key factor. Nationally, the Latino vote represents only 10% but locally, 51%, Latinos will be swamped with a negative representation of the party who led the freedom of slaves, civil rights legislation, the last immigration amnesty (Reagan) and is in the forefront of self responsibility, a rare commodity in today’s rush towards government dependency. Latinos know all the secrets of success will not work unless they do. Latinos need to understand, Democrats place labels on us which define their mindset, not ours. Perfidio Diaz, who once ruled Mexico ruled with the thought “ A dog with a bone in his mouth does not bark and does not bite”. For awakened and savy Latinos we do not want token bones, it is time to define diversity as “inclusion” not as a brown face. Latinos are all endowed with conservative family values and recently implanted culturally demeaning sentiments. The one which wins will always be the one we nourish. The audacity of our leadership is only surpassed by the mindless complicity of those who support these egocentric ideologues whose sole purpose is to divide us into factions with the intended purpose being to fight ourselves.