In My Mindís Eye: October 24, 2011
Support Hispanics, Because?
By Robert Miranda
I was recently approached by a young, very naÔve Hispanic woman who asked me why I am supporting Jim Witkowiak for Alderman. Like many up-starts her age, she seemed to know everything about politics and Latino unity. She gave me the run-downon why Hispanics should support Hispanics at all costs.
After listening to this pipe-dreamer give me her take on the elections, I promptly responded and gave her my point of view of the myth of Latino unity.
I said to the young Latina that Hispanic unity is a lie brought forth by Hispanics who are either naÔve or on a hustle. I said to the young lady that, when it comes to money, some Hispanic leaders will join forces to find a way to make a few dollars. When it comes to self-gratification and emperor status, there are Hispanic leaders who turn their backs on the community and there are others who are blacklisted for standing firm in their commitment to the community.
I told her that in my years of activism, I have witnessed and experienced several events where Hispanic leaders were just as wicked and corrupt as those who attack our community.
When people talk about supporting Hispanics, I shake my head and remember the shenanigans played against our community by so-called leaders such as Tony Baez, Maria Cameron, Perfecto Rivera, Pedro Colon and Peter Earle.
These Hispanics do not embody the essence of Hispanic unity, I said to the young lady. They may be heroes to some, but they are examples to me of greed and self-serving people from whom I have distanced myself because of the hypocrisy they represent.
Tony Baez springs around touting his work with the Young Lords years ago, but bring up his actions when the community tried to rename South Division High School to Cesar E. Chavez High School and his waltz becomes a little two-step into the land of Bulls%#@. He’ll say he had nothing to do with derailing this Hispanic community-led effort, but there are plenty of witnesses who will say that, if it were not for Tony Baez cutting deals, South Division would be Cesar E. Chavez High School today. So much for supporting Hispanic causes.
Let’s recall another incident involving radio talk-show host Mark Belling. This is the guy who slurred our community, saying over the air that our community was full of wet-backs and then laughing about it and daring our community to do something about what he said. And we did: As a community, we met at the Mexican Fiesta office and agreed as community leaders to have Mark Belling removed from the radio station for his words. Why not! All over the country people have been fired for slurring the Black community and Jewish community and Gay community. We all voted in unity, including Maria Cameron and Perfecto Rivera. And then Clear Channel radio came out with their representatives with checks in hand, and you guessed it. Maria Cameron cut her deal with Clear Channel and Perfecto Rivera got a talk-radio show. But hey, it’s all in the name of unity, right?
Since then, Belling has been blasting on the immigrant community and attacking Latino leaders, like Supervisor Peggy Romo West, and the yahoos who talk about Hispanic unity stay silent when this racist speaks about our community.
I can still recall the day when Jesus Salas asked Perfecto Rivera to leave a community meeting after Perfecto announced that Clear Channel created a radio show, and the he would be hosting it. So much for Latino unity.
And let’s not forget the two Peters--Colon and Earle. Now these two take the cake. These two speak the language of supporting Hispanics, but when it came time to support Esperanza Unida, these two turned their backs on the community and allowed a $1 million dollar job training project slip from being placed in the heart of the Latino community, because they have personal issues with me. Rather than think of the benefits to the community, they used their positions on the board of directors of Milwaukee Area Technical College, to stop Esperanza Unida from establishing a top of the line heavy plate welding program in our community.
Support Hispanics because they are Hispanics, my foot.
You know what’s funny, I said to the young Latina who, by this time, had a look of shock on her face. What’s funny is that these people, like so many who once stood with Jim Witkowiak, had no problem working with Alderman Witkowiak and even called him their friend. Now these Hispanics, who over the past decade supported him, abandon him. Not because he is incapable of being Alderman. Not because he has failed to do anything for our community. He has. Not because he has turned his back on our Latino institutions, like other Hispanics have done. He has not. They turned on him because he is WHITE.
And that to me is being RACIST.
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