By Evelyn Perez-Verdia
when I started http://www.politicalpasion.com in 2014, it was a place where I could contribute to help people understand the misconceptions that many had about Hispanics/Latinos.
Recently the Pew Hispanic Center released information stating that six-in-ten Republicans and two-in-ten Democrats view Latin American immigrants’ impact on the U.S. negatively. The issue is that the anger that is felt for Latinos and other immigrants is based on a culture that many can not understand. They feel angry, and they say that anger is based out of fear, and fear is based on what we do not understand.
I recently was reading a book my mentor who passed away in December had in her library collection. The book was published in 1971 and was called “The Ethnic Factor”. I found it amusing that chapter three was called: “Chicanos and Puerto Ricans: If They Vote, They Count”. Not a very different statement from the presidential election of 2016, and how many strategists are counting on their turnout. The difference is that in 1971, Latinos or how the book calls them “Spanish-Americans” were only 4.5 percent (9.2 million) of the total population. In addition to the Cuban-Americans lightly mentioned in the book.
The book also made me realize how time has shown what happens when a Latin American community such as Cuban-Americans become involved in politics, contribute to campaigns and prepare their own to run for office. If only every Latino community did the same. Yet, the reason why we as Hispanics/Latinos do not count, is because many of us do not care to. Reading this book made me realize that nothing has changed in almost 50 years. We are just more, still asleep and not realizing the power we have through our vote, through taking peaceful action, through creating a movement that allows people to understand who we are as individuals of Latino/Hispanic descent.Most importantly, I believe it is time that we show our love for the country that has taken us in.
It has been such an honor to see what writing and uniting has created. This blog has opened the door to meet so many valuable people. It has opened the eyes to people in government. It has also made some show their true colors. It has been a good step forward, and the step was only based on my writings.
There have been times I have been asked by various candidates to write something about them on this blog favoring them, and that I would get paid for it. I never accepted it. Because I feel that this blog should be a channel for sincerity. The moment, we change this channel, the energy changes.
I have come to the conclusion that there are many people like me, who have something to say. This blog should also be a channel for people to see our differences and our similarities. Most importantly, it should be a place for those who can give a piece of who are, and give it as an offering to the Statue of Liberty, as we remind others that we are all immigrants.
I have always considered myself a Probono blogger and never want this to be a site where anyone who writes gets paid to say what they think. With that condition in mind, I would like to open http://www.politicalpasion.com to anyone who wants to share a piece of them with the following in mind: an article, poem, a video, an animation, a drawing, a song, etc… Anything that will help people understand our Latino/Hispanic culture more or elections, politics or engagement more. If you are interested in taking part, please send your “contribution to society” to firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that as we open this door, we may create more understanding and more consciousness in our world.
May we remember the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that is graven on the tablet, on the pedestal where the Statue of Liberty stands:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
As one of my teachers said, the current political movie is now playing. We now should prepare for its outcome.
Only in unity there is strength.