Recently, Longmont resident Bob Norris made some comments in a Times-Call editorial and a KGNU radio show I’d like to address . He often speaks publicly about inclusion of our minorities in town, which is laudable, but there are some undercurrents that aren’t so laudable.
During a candidate forum at Silver Creek High School, he got into an argument with eventual mayoral race winner Bryan Baum because Mr. Baum basically repeated what Mr. Norris has been saying about inclusiveness. Isn’t that the point when you speak to leaders, to have them embrace your position? But from what I heard, Mr. Norris didn’t want anyone else taking credit for this idea, which is far from his own.
During the radio show Mr. Norris made it obvious to me that people like himself are only interested in Hispanics being included if they have a specific political bent. Comments like these are why so many minorities, whether they are African American, Hispanic, etc, feel like the “political football” that Jonathan Singer and Clay Evans talked about on the same KGNU radio show.
First some specifics: Mr. Norris said we aren’t doing enough to be inclusive towards Hispanics on boards and commissions. I guess he must be talking about former councilwoman Benker and current councilmembers McCoy, Hansen, and Levison, as they voted as a bloc to keep me off the Election Committee (after the fact, I’m sure glad they did). I don’t remember him saying anything about that. By his own definition, they must be non-inclusive of minorities. And then how could anyone miss Sarah Levison trying to get me removed from the Airport Advisory Board 3 weeks in a row? Selective concern? You bet. I smell hypocrisy.
He said 10 out of 160 on Longmont’s advisory boards are Hispanic – I guess he’s looking up last names and classifying people. He also said only 1 of 93 elected officials in the county are Hispanic – Longmont’s own Gabe Santos – but he couldn’t hold back mentioning Tom DeLay in the same sentence to take a dig at council member Santos.
Bottom line, Liberal/Progressives only want a certain kind of Hispanic, they’re kind. All others need not apply. Sorry, but this is, hmm, we’ll call it soft racism. It’s really nothing new, and it even occurs Hispanic on Hispanic. I’m not sure what’s worse, this kind of activity or the pandering for votes. I wrote about the ridiculous McCain/Kennedy immigration bill when it was a hot topic and saw it for what it was: Democrats AND Republicans trying everything they could to court the Hispanic/Latino vote, even if it meant destructive legislation . And we’re told that Hispanics are now the most populous minority. Get ’em while you can!
But Hispanics are definitely treated like this so-called “political football”, are expected to vote a certain way, and are even sold out by their own if they step off the reservation. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m not impressed by anyone feeling a little white guilt with meaningless overtures of inclusion. Actions speak louder than words, and all I hear is talk. If someone is truly interested in inclusiveness, true inclusiveness includes everyone, not just those who share your political philosophy. There’s a term for these kind of people, and just recently a fairly well known Hispanic in the community agreed with me: Race hustler. Other examples: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
While there are individuals, streets, and even businesses in Longmont that share my last name, I am not related to any of them, nor do I speak for any of them or any cultural group. If they share my view that we are tired of a) being taken for granted as a particular voting bloc and, b) only feeling welcomed if we tow some liberal/progressive line, good for them. If they are sheep and used to being told how to live, think, and vote – count me out.
But I do hope I speak for others when I say I don’t need some political philosophy’s approval or blessing to feel part of society – which is exactly what the Left in this country pushes, whether intentional or not. If it’s not intentional, they need to do some serious inner searching (I won’t say soul searching, that may offend some of them) because it comes across as elitist, pretentious, condescending, and patronizing.
Just calling it like I see it, you don’t have to agree.