This American Moment: Jorge Ramos

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News anchor Jorge Ramos in 2002.

News anchor Jorge Ramos in 2002. J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images

Anybody familiar with Spanish-speaking households knows that Jorge Ramos is synonymous with the nightly news. Since 1985, when he first appeared as a young, scrawny correspondent on Noticiero Univision — Univision's nightly news — millions of Latinos in the US have grown familiar with his Mexico City-accented Spanish. Along with co-anchor Maria Elena Salinas, via satellite he is beamed into to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean and of course, across the US. Combined, his reach in the American continent is in the millions. Ramos has talked to all of the controversial heads of state in Latin America — think Evo , Hugo, Fidel. In the US, presidential candidates, former US presidents, and lawmakers know that an interview with Ramos is key to reaching the Latino voting bloc. As part of our series of conversations about the campaign season we call "This American Moment," today, we hear from Jorge Ramos about what this election means to him and US Latinos. And we'd like to reach out to Latino listeners: Tell us, what does this political season mean to you?

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I am a white male, 66 year old retired United Methodist Clergy.
My concern, regarding the Latino population/vote is that the white culture of this country will do what it has been doing for a long time; patronize our Latino brothers/sisters. It has happened and continues to happen with our African/American brothers/sisters. The issues do have to do with economics, education, etc. That this has also happened to other immigrant communities in our nation, albeit, primarily of European origin, has been greatly exaggerated with regarding to non-white culture.

Sent by W. Michael Biklen | 2:56 PM | 8-26-2008

This country, the United States of America, contrary to Sr. Ramos' statement, was not founded by immigrants. All the founding fathers, with the possible exception of Alexander Hamilton who was born in the Carribbean of an American mother, were born on American soil. The USA was founded by Americans.

Sent by Dana Benedict | 2:59 PM | 8-26-2008

What this election season is about the shift in American politics. We are witnessing a very different political landscape where a man (Obama) that not only represents the change he proclaims in his campaign, but also what Jorge is saying about non- traditional Americans rising to become the majority.

Sent by Melissa | 3:00 PM | 8-26-2008

For the first time in my life, I am not excited about the election. Perhaps it is because I am past my idealistic naieve stage where I think the world will change if everyone will vote for my candidate.

I am a life long Democrat and while I would not ever consider voting Republican. I am considering not voting.

Earlier in the campaign I was a Hilary supporter. I went into it with my eyes wide open. I knew a Hilary presidency would be a long shot, because of her past, her husband's past and because of our past prejudices against women. Still, she was a women ,close in age to me, saw things from my perspective and saw things differently from men.
Now that she is no longer in the running, I am not excited about Obama. I think he will change, become a politician and ultimately the world will not change.

In this election I am looking for a solution to the Latino immigrants who come over seeking a better life. I am looking for a solution to a war that has lasted too long and I am looking for a solution to a global climate that has gotten too warm.

I see and hear no solutions from the candidates. Just promises that I wonder if they can keep.

Sent by Margaret Thomas-Mouton | 3:05 PM | 8-26-2008

It is disappointing to hear Mr. Ramos basically state that the U.S. has a higher responsibility to Latinos than it does to the rest of the citizens of this country, and that our Presidential candidates should bow to their demands.

It is even more reprehensible to imply that the U.S. should embrace being the sole solution for taking care of illegal citizens from these irresponsible, corrupt countries whose leaders have made conscious decisions to keep the majority of their citizenry illiterate and unable to provide for themselves and their families.

One thing I never hear from Mr. Ramos and others like him, is about the responsibility of the countries of origin and the immigrants themselves. Mr. Ramos needs to understand that the U.S. is a country based on laws, and there are penalties if you break the laws. Why does he propose that not only should the U.S. not prosecute illegal aliens, but should reward them with citizenship? There obviously is a fundamental difference in the ideals of honesty, veracity and morals that needs to be addressed by Latinos, on both sides of the U.S. border. Maybe if illegal aliens were not sending 29 Billion U.S. dollars back home, there could be money available to take care of some of their needs and those of legal aliens who still have not reached their dream.

Mr. Ramos would do everyone a service if he educated his audience on electing the leader of this country - it is supposed to be the person who can do the best for the majority of the people in this country, and should not be based on which group has the most prolific propaganda machines or can assemble the largest crowd to voice their opinions, or influence the greatest number of people to vote in a block for their personal interests.

My forefathers were immigrants (legal) and my grandfather once told me that he was so grateful to the U.S. for "ALLOWING" him to come to this country that he made a vow he would be the best American he could be, and that started with speaking English and embracing American values and culture, making sure his children stayed in school and did not get into any trouble that would bring shame on the family or violate the trust that the U.S. placed in him when he arrived on this soil. THAT IS WHAT IMMIGRANTS FROM THE late 1800's and early 1900's BROUGHT TO THIS COUNTRY. And that is precisely what is lacking in many new immigrants. They want what they can get from this country but are not willing to truly become Americans. Simply working in this country and paying taxes does not make you an American. To be a true American is a state of mind, not merely having a paper stating you are an American. And that attitude is precisely what is destroying this country - every separate group thinks they are the most important. Multi-Culturalism is not what "The Great American Melting Pot" was all about.

I challenge Mr. Ramos and every other individual who thinks as he does, to really make a difference for the people he portends to speak for by returning to their countries of origin and working to change the culture so honest leaders can be placed in power and the people can remain where their hearts really are. It is in their best interest, and that of the U.S. I think the current 12 million undocumented illegals, plus the 8 million or so given amnesty in 1985 ( plus their descendents) would make quite an impression surrounding the capitols of Central and South America, don't you? Or maybe it's just too easy to let the U.S. take care of their problems?

Sent by Suzanne | 4:09 PM | 8-26-2008

Judging by the lack of intelligence in Mr. Ramos' comments (not to mention those rambling callers), looks like the Republican party will have a whole new ethnic group to dupe for years to come. Sigh.

Sent by Simon | 9:47 PM | 8-26-2008

That's because many new immigrants today are not immigrants at all, but rather foreigners living in America. They're loyalties lie elsewhere - why then are they exporting all our yankee dollars.

Sent by Kimball | 3:05 AM | 8-27-2008