Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Republicans need to learn how to speak Spanish
Distinguishing between minorities
I like much of what Kathleen Parker has to say about the importance of speaking Spanish in her column, “The future speaks Spanish” [Opinion, Jan. 7] and concur with her father’s dictum: “Learn Spanish. You will need it to survive in the world you’ll inherit.” Truer words were never said.
Still, I feel impelled to dispute a claim she makes about U.S. Latinos and your readers should not be bamboozled by her words. She writes that “The GOP was always a natural home for Latinos, who tend to be conservative and Catholic.”
This assertion is incorrect but her error is understandable. She makes many references to Cubans in Florida, where she lived and where she claims to have learned Spanish, so it seems obvious to me that Parker is confusing Cubans for Latinos. She may have done this accidentally.
Cuban Americans and Latinos are not one and the same. And while she’s on safe ground when she insists that Latinos are “conservative and Catholic,” politically speaking they can be quite distinct. Most Latinos living in the United States claim Mexican descent and they have been voting for the Democratic Party long before Parker was born.
My assertion is not hard to prove. The recent presidential elections revealed that more than 70 percent of the nation’s Latinos voted for President Obama. This is not an unusual pattern and, in fact, more than half of the so-called Cuban American vote may have gone in favor of Obama.
-- Carlos B. Gil, Kenmore