Today, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a statement from Chairman Michael Steele announcing the release of a new video in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. However, though the press release emphasizes the Republican Party’s “commitment to the Hispanic community,” apparently that commitment does not include hiring a qualified Spanish translator. The Spanish translation of Steele’s statement is riddled with embarrassing typos and errors. Even Yahoo’s automatic online translator, Babel Fish, produces better results. A quick revision highlights the multitude of glaring errors.
The substance of the accompanying video isn’t much better. Its main focus is on highlighting the accomplishments of conservative Latinos and completely ignores renowned Latino leaders like civil rights activists César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, and completely sidesteps the recent confirmation of Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The video doesn’t even acknowledge one of the Republican Party’s most respected leaders, former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) who resigned from his post as RNC chairman in 2007 in response to his party’s anti-immigrant views. Before abruptly leaving Congress this past August, Martinez admitted that his party’s “divisive rhetoric” during the 2007 immigration debate had tarnished the GOP brand amongst Latinos, stating “the Republican Party had better figure out how to talk to them [Latinos].” Ironically, while Steele indicated that the GOP would not be changing its position on immigration, he did say that the Party had to work on its messaging, which is often perceived as “insensitive.”