Leer en Español
First Lady Jill Biden’s statements reducing the diversity of the Hispanic community to the morning tacos regularly eaten in San Antonio, the Latino bodegas typical of the Bronx, and some flowers from Miami are yet another example of the Democrats’ condescending attitude toward Hispanics.
It is clear that Mrs. Biden’s remarks were not a mere gaffe, a few extemporaneous comments made in the enthusiasm of the moment. Not at all. They were words written for a keynote speech to one of the nation’s leading liberal Hispanic organizations —UnitedUS— and, as such, they are an expression of what she thinks about Hispanics in the United States.
Many, understandably, have been offended, and even major organizations have reacted publicly by criticizing the First Lady’s comments. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), for example, vehemently stated that Hispanics “are not tacos” and urged “Dr. Biden and her team of editors to take time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities.”
It is important to note, however, that what Jill Biden said is really nothing new, nor should it surprise us. It is, in fact, a reflection of the simplistic, left-wing view of Hispanics that Democratic politicians have adopted for several decades now, which limits the variety and richness of the Hispanic community to elements of popular culture: food, dance, music, etc.
For “progressive” activists and politicians, what truly defines the essence of being Hispanic —their love of family, the central value of faith in their lives, their willingness to work hard and move forward— is secondary and often ignored or even belittled.
Not to mention the great diversity of ideas in the Hispanic community. For the vast majority of liberal ideologues, this diversity is practically non-existent. They think that the Hispanic community is somewhat monolithic, that we all think the same, and, of course, that most of us are leftists.
Matt Barreto, the Democrats’ pollster of choice, has claimed that a so-called “pan-ethnic” Hispanic consciousness is emerging and that Hispanics are to the left of “non-Hispanic whites” on a host of issues. And recently, in a political analysis panel on a significant Hispanic television network on election day 2020, one of the leaders of UnidosUS, the same organization that Ms. Biden addressed, commented confidently that Hispanics, by and large, have the same priorities and positions on the significant challenges facing the country.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that Mrs. Biden is also wrong to repeat in her speech the Democrat cliché that diversity is the strength of the Hispanic community. Hispanics value that diversity and the culture and traditions of their countries of origin. Still, they recognize that what allows them to succeed in the United States and achieve the American dream is not the differences they may have with other citizens but the ability to overcome them and fully integrate into this society as another American. Hispanics understand, better than most, the motto of this great nation, E Pluribus Unum, “Out of Many, One,” and do not appreciate that Democrats and liberal activists are continually trying to separate them from the rest of the citizenry.
Hispanics today are much better informed than ever before and can see how the Democrats underestimate them. They see it not only in their words but, more importantly, in their policies. Hispanics resent it when Democrats promote policies to sexualize children in schools without parental consent, propose measures that limit the ability of their churches to provide services to the community by their beliefs or impose arbitrary and unjustified closures on Hispanic businesses. These are attacks on things that Hispanics consider fundamental to their lives.
That is why Hispanics leave the Democrat Party and publicly express their frustration with it. In this regard, it should come as no surprise that, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, only 19% of Hispanics approve of President Biden’s performance.
Let there be no doubt: the First Lady’s words only added to the Hispanic community’s disappointment with the Democrats. Hispanics have had enough of the lack of seriousness and respect with which the Democrat Party continually treats them.
The author is president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, former head of the U.S. Citizenship Office, and a columnist for El American.
Alfonso Aguilar es de Senior VP and Political Director de El American, exjefe de la Oficina de Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos durante la administración del presidente George W. Bush y presidente del Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. // Alfonso Aguilar is the Senior VP and Political Director of El American and former head of the Office of United States Citizenship during the administration of President George W. Bush and president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.