Who Can in Texas?

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Showdown in Texas tomorrow... Who will Latinos support?

Showdown in Texas tomorrow... Who will Latinos support? Source: JOE RAEDLE/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Source: JOE RAEDLE/AFP/Getty Images

Texas wraps up voting tomorrow, and the question on many minds comes down to this: How will Latinos vote? Hillary Clinton has a long-established relationship with the Latino community, and for a long time, pundits presumed she'd carry that demographic handily. But with chants of "Si se puede!*" ringing in our ears, we're all wondering if that's still true. On an issue like this, the most interesting perspectives can come from within, not without, so we've got Roland Roebuck, who believes Latinos won't vote for an African American because of historic tensions between Latinos and blacks; and Ricardo Ramirez, who says race isn't the problem, it's just that Clinton has a 16-year lead on her competitor. So if you're Latino, how do you see it? Who are you voting for... and why aren't you voting for his or her competitor?

*Interesting tidbit from the Wikipedia entry linked above — Sen. Obama has actually been using "Si se puede" as a catchphrase since 2004... I'd just assumed he adopted it after its prevalence during the 2006 immigration protests. Not so!

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This touches on one of the fundamental race relation problems in America: Both African Americans and Latinos are not held accountable and are given a free pass at racism. There is as much racism amongst minorities as there is with the majority. All sides are guilty. The entitlement repeatedly publicly displayed by minorities in this country is appalling. There is no objectivity in public discourse about race. All you ever hear about bigotry in America is allegations against Caucasians. The argument on all sides has lost all credibility at this point in US history and it is really sad.

Sent by Scott M | 3:41 PM | 3-3-2008

I am a latina and I voted for Edwards in the primary (voted early by mail) and I think it is rather insulting to latinos and Hilary Clinton to asume as the first guest does that latinos vote for Clinton because they are racists. This is making the same generalizations that others do about us and there may be some who are racists but maybe they just know her and know that she has been an advocate for them. He is a latino also and he assumes there is a negative reason for it. Don't appreciate it and feel rather insulted

Sent by claudia | 3:52 PM | 3-3-2008

Isn't it possible Latinos know Hillary Clinton's stand on issues important to them and her history with the Latino community and prefer her to Obama? Just because someone doesn't vote for Obama it does not automatically follow that they are ignorant or racist. Clinton supporters deserve to have their choice respected too.

Sent by Susan H. | 3:55 PM | 3-3-2008

Hispanics do not identify with the politics of entitlement and bitterness. Their identity is not committed to one party.

Sent by J. Amoros | 3:57 PM | 3-3-2008

I spent sometime in Argentina. I can categorically say that Latinos are biased against dark complexioned people. In some communities, the N.. word describes a black person and also a servant maid. Black people are discriminated in jobs, promotions etc in all the Latino countries. White is revered in the Latino society. The "prof" who was your guest, is full of it, when he said that the US Latinos support for Hillary is strictly based on their familiarity with her. The best test would have been if, instead of a blonde and black candidate, both were black, what would the Latinos have done? Stay home or go to vote in the primary??? What if Obama and McCain were to compete in the general election? Would the Latinos vote for Obama because he is a Democrat or vote for McCain because he is white??

Sent by Mel Vitale | 4:23 PM | 3-3-2008

Latinos like all ethnic immigrants pick up on our racist caste system right away and realize that they do not want to be associated with the lower Black caste. They have immigrated for a better life and better opportunies. They(understandably) do not want to be seen as a minority. Just like light-skined Blacks of the South, they would prefer to pass for White and be seen as similar to the White community. I do not think that it's a good or bad thing, it's pure human survival.

Additionally, all racial minorities (used to ) view her husband as the first miniority President. So positive feelings about Bill Clinton are simply transferred onto Hiliary Clinton.

Younger Latinos don't have that connection to Bill, so it's easier for Barack to win them over. Additionally 1st generation children have different views on the racial caste system.

The important thing is that Barack Obama is not going around crying racism, he considers Latinos regular Americans, and is working hard to win their votes.
It's interesting that Hiliary supporters think it's o.k. to vote against Barack and not be considered racist (which is 100% true), however this same group cries sexism to every and anyone who votes against Hiliary.

Sorry, my mistake. I forgot about "The vast American male and media gender conspiracy against poor Hiliary Clinton".

Sent by Sarah | 4:49 PM | 3-3-2008

In the Latino societies of the Central and South America, the discrimination against the black people is very open. The black people are denied educational opportunities, job opportunities and promotion opportunities. In one example, a young black woman in Brazil, tried hard to become a model. All model agencies openly told her that her black complexion was a deterrent for being hired. An Italian model agency offered her a chance to go to Rome and become a model there. After 5 years of successful modeling career in Europe, she came back to Brazil to try her chance. The doors would not open for her because she was black. There are many cases like this in the Latino societies. So US Latino voters' preference for the blonde Hillary is not necessarily because their familiarity of the Clinton name as "Ricardo" your guest, claims. Roland is right when he says that a majority of Latino voters will not support Obama. If Obama and McCain become the candidates in the General Election, the Latinos will be in a quandry. It will interesting to watch how the Latino voters will handle that dilemma !!

Sent by Malore Vasan | 7:18 PM | 3-3-2008

I was listening to Mr. Roland Roebuck???s allegations regarding the hispanic support for Hillary Clinton. Frankly, I was flabbergasted. As a non-white Hispanic who hails from the Caribbean, I take issue to some of the allegations made and stands taken by Mr. Roebuck.
There has been a non-formal but long-standing alliance between blacks and hispanics when it comes to voting. Hispanics have given their support to black politicians in New York, Los Angeles and other places. In those places, black politicians have been voted into office with the support of hispanic voters. Without that support, those politicians would never have achieved their victories. So Mr. roebucks allegations that the reason why, in this particular case, the black politician is not getting the hispanic vote is because of an innate racism against blacks on the part of hispanics is insulting and offensive.
Mr. Roebuck also states that if Mr. Obama were not a black man, the contest would boil down to an issue of gender. From a male, non-white Caribbean-born hispanic, wrong again, Mr. Roebuck. Offense taken again???
Needless to say, I also take issue at the divisive approach taken by Mr. Roebuck. That??? crap??? about the Mexicans taking it upon themselves to represent all hispanics could not have been a more divisive piece of drivel. I welcome anyone, hispanic or otherwise, who takes up the standard and marches in the defense of my rights. Civil rights, however eroded they may be now, were not won by blacks marching alone. There were Jews, Hispanics and other caring people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds fighting alongside the blacks. So if the Mexicans are ready to take up the standard in the fight for my rights, ??Gracias, y bienaventurados sean, hermanos!
As a parting shot Mr. Roebuck asks how many cabinet positions have been given to the hispanics who have supported white politicians by those politicians once they have taken office. I ask in kind: Mr. Roebuck, in those places where the hispanic vote have helped black politicians, how many appointments made by black politicians have benefited the hispanic supporters who helped them get into office?

Sent by Jesus Madera | 9:07 PM | 3-3-2008

To speak of Latinos or Hispanics as a unified group is as ignorant as saying all Europeans or all Africans are the same. The Black vs. Brown argument is as argument totally missing the whole idea of what it means to be hispanic or Latino. Latino is an ethnic group and not a race. One can be any race and be Latino. What makes Latinos a unified group is a shared history called the 'conquista', language, geography, and a Spanish or Medittereanean heritage.

Sent by Travis | 12:03 AM | 3-4-2008

POINT PLANK THEY WANT US Citizenship THATS WHY THEY VOTE FOR CLINTION.

Sent by FFFFFFF | 4:39 PM | 3-4-2008

I enjoyed your segment. However,I think you are conflating two different issues: 1. Racism/colorism in Latino/Hispanic America and 2. Voting patterns of Latino/Hispanic American voters. Anyone with even the slightest familiarity with Latinos/Hispanic American culture will tell you how color-struck (a.k.a. anti-Indio / abti-Negro) they are. If you have any doubts take a look at newscasters on any Spanish speaking TV station - you will rarely see a brown (let alone black) face. Todos blancos y rubios!

Sent by Alex | 4:45 PM | 3-4-2008

The problem with Roland is that he assumes that he speaks for all Afro-Latinos, he thinks he knows all Euro-Latinos and he totally ignores the overwhelming majority of Mestizo and Indigenous Latinos. As a Latino of all three ancestries born and raised in Latin America versus an Afro-Latino raised in the US with the skewed view based on the US experience, I can say that while prejudice still does exist in Latin America, and especially within the upper classes of old money, the biggest culprit is Classism. And it is this lack of upward mobility that holds down Euro-Latinos, Afro-Latinos, Indigenous Latinos, etc. But because of prior racism and slavery, most Afrodescent and Indigenous decent populations belong to the lower classes. SO it is very hard to overcome this barrier. Racism in the upper echelons is high, but it is so in the US a well. But the US has a lot more laws in place to protect abuse from higher echelons. Racism in lower classes is actually a lot lower than in the US with a lot more admixture occuring. In places where class palys a lesser role, you have seen people of indigenous and afrodescent excel. In fact, contrary to the US, we have had a few countries that have had the maximum leader of the country be a person of Afrodescent or Indigenous descent. Something unheard of in the US until the possibility of Obama. Mexico has had at least three presidents of Afrodescent, Peru has had one and so has Venezuela. So it is not only the Caribbean Latino countries that have had such experiences. To claim that Afrodescent people have played no role in Latin America except for Sports and Music is blatantly false.
We need to recognize the prejudice that still occurs in Latin American countries, but not to falsify it by looking through tunnel vision or American skewed perception of the Latin American experience.

Sent by Jaime Andres | 4:42 PM | 6-24-2008