Sunday, September 9, 2012

Good immigrant, bad immigrant - Latino News and Opinion -

Good immigrant, bad immigrant - Latino News and Opinion -
What the University of Cincinnati study points out is stark and simple: many Americans don’t know us, and don’t think they want to know us.

To them, Latino is synonymous with undocumented. State governments wage wars of attrition against us, and the federal government deports us in record numbers. The Republican Party shores up its platform planks against us (as Kris Kobach reportedly has done in advance of the Republican National Convention this coming week), and “illegal” has become an epithet applied indiscriminately.

Even when we’re uncontestably documented, our public figures and role models are criticized for not being up to standard. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, for example, has been characterized as less intellectually rigorous than her colleagues during her confirmation hearings. And even Sen. Marco Rubio — long spoken about as a possible vice-presidential pick by Mitt Romney — was drawn as a more-flash-than-substance candidate by academics tracking the race.

There is no quick fix to the stereotypes people have about us — only hard work to refute them. We cannot cede our voice in this — we have to tell the stories about Latinos that those study respondents need to hear.

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