Upon causing himself to be arrested during his protest of SB1070, former Arizona Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez stated: "We were sending a message to the Hispanic community."
But what is the "message?" And what is the "Hispanic community?" Is it anyone with a Spanish heritage, and does that include only first-generation Mexican or also second-generation or third-generation? Is it only people born in Mexico, or those also born in Central America? Does it include people born in Spain? Is it everyone who speaks Spanish? Or does Gutierrez mean to speak only of people born in Mexico who are also in the United States illegally? Or could he mean a much larger group such as people who self identify with the Mexican culture, who like mariachi music or who like Mexican food?
Maybe there is really no such thing as a "Hispanic community" that can be identified in any way other than ways that are purely political and that directly reflect political viewpoints. This, of course, means that Gutierrez is just playing politics, not, as he might like us to believe, pursuing some loftier cause.
And what is the "message" that Gutierrez is sending? Apparently, this group he represents wants something, that is, they want to stop action by the government they disapprove of or want to force some action by the government that they approve of and they are willing to use the color of their skin as a weapon to get it.
The use of language like the language employed by Gutierrez is simply racism, that is, a blatant attempt to use race as a divisive weapon to get something instead of sticking with arguing the issues on their merits. That makes him part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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