Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest Voz: Sen. Robert Menendez - Growing American Roots: Why Our Nation Will Thrive As Our Largest Minority Flourishes

Guest Voz: Sen. Robert Menendez
Growing American Roots: Why Our Nation Will Thrive As Our Largest Minority Flourishes
Across America, the Latino population is growing, and it is now the largest minority group in the country. Latino voices are being heard, and their economic impact is being felt in the marketplace, which is good for the whole of the nation. Contrary to what may be a popular belief, most Latinos in America today are U.S. citizens. Many barely live above the poverty line, but many others have entered the ranks of the middle class and are contributing mightily to the culture as well as the economy.

Latinos are no longer on the outside looking in. They are at the table, making a difference. On every major issue before Congress and every major issue before the courts, Latinos, in larger and larger numbers, are engaged in the debate. Our nation will thrive as our largest minority flourishes. It's important to remember that, particularly in tough times such as these. Latinos have many role models, and now we have one more: Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the United States Supreme Court.

Sotomayor and I grew up at the same time in similar circumstances. She was raised in public housing in the Bronx. I was raised poor, in a tenement building in Union City, New Jersey, the son of Cuban immigrants. My mother was a seamstress; my father an itinerant carpenter. I was the first in my family to go to college. I never dreamed that one day, I would be elected as one of 100 United States senators in a country of 300 million people, and be able to cast my vote in favor of the confirmation of an eminently qualified Hispanic judge who lived across the river from that old tenement in Union City. It was a proud moment for me, one I will always remember as a highlight of my time in the Senate.

Being at the heart of the debate, part of the greater American community, is nothing new for Latinos in this nation. In my new book, I write that it is incumbent on us, as Latinos, to remind ourselves and the rest of America about our long presence here and the contribution we have made -- and about how the success of the Latino community is important for the success of the entire country. Latino patriots have served and fought in every war. They are artists, dancers, singers, poets and journalists, teachers and scientists. More and more Latinos are becoming entrepreneurs and businesspeople, contributing to the wealth and economic well-being of the nation. But they have also been characteristically humble, and have not spoken enough about their accomplishments and the contributions they have already made to the fabric of this nation.

From the earliest days of the republic -- indeed well before the Revolution -- Latinos have been an integral part of the establishment of this country. All Americans should have access to that history. In politics alone, Latinos have played a larger role than most realize. Technically, the first Latino in Congress was Jose Marion Hernandez, who served briefly from 1822 to 1823 as a delegate from Florida before it became a state in 1845. Romualdo Pacheco of California won by one vote in 1876 to become the first Hispanic member of the United States Congress.

The first Hispanic senator was Octaviano Larrazolo of New Mexico, who served for a short time in 1928 before resigning because of ill health. There have been three Latino Nobel Prize winners from the United States and 11 Latino astronauts, and the list goes on. We need to enhance the teaching of the story of Hispanic life in America which will, in the end, shed more light than heat on the immigration debate taking place across this nation. Latinos themselves need to fully understand and appreciate their accomplishments, but also to understand, as a community, where we have fallen short. Millions of Latinos are graduating into the middle class. More Latino children are going to colleges and universities than ever before. Latinos are increasingly serving in public office and in key areas of the economy.

But, at the same time, despite this progress in education, too many Latino children are dropping out of school. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet. And too many Latinos suffer from a lack of adequate health care. These are the realities, some we can justifiably be proud of. Others we must honestly confront and address if we are to succeed together as a nation, achieve our full potential and bring the next generation along. Growing roots in America means recognizing our past, acting now and preparing the road for those new generations who will follow. It means engaging in sweeping efforts to improve education for Latinos and all American children, including specific programs to bring along those who have fallen behind in school through no fault of their own. It means comprehensive health care, elder care and economic opportunity -- the same rights that all Americans want and deserve.

We must engage and encourage young Hispanics to enter public service, to be part of the debate, to be at the table and be part of the solution. We must instill in them a sense of history and a belief that it is our duty and obligation to give something back to the community to build a better, stronger nation.


Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if hispanics are so good for this country, why have they not built up Mexico and flourished there? It seems to me that the hispanics, mostly Mexicans coming here are uneducated. How can they build up this country when they cannot build up their own country?
Dee, you were brought up and educated here with mostly a white population. You married an anglo. Your journey in no way compares to the people coming in today.

Vicente Duque said...

Obama is the best President to help solve any problems related to Immigration.

Obama's Character and Psychology :

I have always said that Obama is intelligent, rational, professorial, lawyer-like and "constitutional", Obama is cool, fresh, young and youthful.

And this wonderful writer Robert Shrum, tells us that Obama is also Steady and Firm, he is governing as he promised. I agree, Obama is constant, continuous, not easily excited, imperturbable, stable, not disturbed easily, careful, prudent, calmed, staid.

"The Week" Magazine
Obama and the GOP: 2008 debate foretold all

The last of Barack Obama's 2008 debates with John McCain previewed the kind of president he has become. It also painted a vividly distinct portrait of the current GOP.

By Robert Shrum - Shrum has been a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, the campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the British Labour Party. In addition to being the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign,
October 20, 2009

Obama and the GOP: 2008 debate foretold all

Some excerpts :

When Bob Schieffer, the debate moderator, asked if the candidates would give up any of their proposals due to the economic crisis, McCain sounded befuddled and formulaic. He cited his "new" economic plan (though it was far from clear he had had an "old" one) before lurching into ideological dogma: he favored an across-the-board federal spending cut. It was a no-brain non-starter, a position that even Dick Cheney had dismissed as "Hoover economics."

Yet throughout 2009, congressional Republicans embraced it, standing almost unanimously against the economic recovery plan and urging spending cuts that would have deepened and prolonged the downturn. When the latest budget report revealed that the deficit was $200 billion to $400 billion lower than previously forecast—in part because the feds had rescued the financial sector—the House GOP leader demanded that the government "stop spending taxpayers' money we don't have." It was an easy invocation of economic myth; if actually adopted, his policy would reverse the recovery and push unemployment towards levels last seen in the 1930s.

Similarly, the GOP health care plan is ... Quick—can anyone describe it? Empty of ideas, full of grotesque fury about non-existent "death panels," is it any wonder the GOP has a favorable rating of 24 percent in the latest Pew poll?

As health care legislation churns towards completion—with Obama steady in the face of pressure and controversy—it becomes more evident each day that he will be the last president who has to fight for national health reform.

More Intuitions, Psychology, Obama, Economy and Health Care :

Vicente Duque

Dee said...

My family has lived in the US for over 200 years. Where have they lived? Primarily in TX. Texas through to CA are majority minority states. Latinos have lived here for centuries, particularly our native american roots.
Those coming in the last couple of decades have a much smoother road than my parents did or theirs or me and mine. The Jim Crow laws affected Lationo Americans as they did Black Americans, especially prior to civil rights legislation. These laws were much worse for my parents and were eased up through the sixties. I am so glad those times are over!

My friends and I marched in the sixties to overcome the Jim Crow laws. Minorities helped nation build our country. We are all equal and we all should be treated as equals. It is better now, but we overcame significant wrongs.

BTW, for American Latinos, our country IS the USA. Many families like mine have lived here much longer than yours. We have 50M American citizens who are Latinos.
When you say build up Mexico to us, that is a bizarre question to us. What did you do to build up Europe? Your ancestors lived there more recently than mine did. What did you do for Europe?

Vicente Duque said...

Do Brits hate Americans ?? - A former senior international correspondent for CNN doesn't feel welcomed in UK - Christian Science Monitor

A former senior international correspondent for CNN complains that the British are becoming strongly anti-American

I have the highest opinion about the British and I think this article is exaggerated, but since my studies are focused on Racism, Ethnocentrism, Hatred, etc .... then this article merits attention.

Christian Science Monitor
The ally the British love to hate

The cultural animosity toward the US will not help the UK in the long run.

By Walt Rodgers, former senior international correspondent for CNN
October 15, 2009

The ally the British love to hate

Some excerpts :

On 9/11 as the second plane was slamming into the World Trade Center towers my wife was on the phone with an English friend of many years. In the background she heard her friend's teenage son shout in front of the TV, "Yeah! The Americans are finally getting theirs."

I often asked that during the years I lived in London. One of the best answers came from an Englishwoman with whom I shared a table for coffee. She said, "It's because we used to be big and important and we aren't any more. Now it's America that's big and important and we can never forgive you for that."

A new book documenting the virulence of more than 30 years of corrosive British animosity reveals how deeply rooted it has become in the UK's national psyche. "There is no reasoning with people who have come to believe America is now a 'police state' and the USA is a 'disgrace across most of the world,' " writes Carol Gould, an American expatriate novelist and journalist, in her book "Don't Tread on Me."

A brief experience shortly after George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq illustrates that. An American I know was speaking on the street in London one morning. Upon hearing his accent, a British man yelled, "Take your tanks and bombers and go back to America." Then the British thug punched him repeatedly. No wonder other American friends of mine took to telling locals they were from Canada.

The local police recommended prosecution. But upon learning the victim was an American, crown prosecutors dropped the case even though the perpetrator had a history of assaulting foreigners.

It's common to hear Brits routinely dismiss Americans as racists (even with an African-American president), religious nuts, global polluters, warmongers, cultural philistines, and as intellectual Untermenschen.

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "the House GOP leader demanded that the government "stop spending taxpayers' money we don't have." It was an easy invocation of economic myth;"

I guess El Duque is unfamiliar with the national debt. The existence of that debt means we are spending money we don't have. We have to borrow it from the Chinese before we can spend it or ask the federal reserve to just print more mony. El Duque must have slept through macro economics.

ultima said...

El Duque referred to "Obama's Character".

A man is known by the company he keeps: Blogojavich, Alinsky (by his writings), Rezko, the Weathermen and others.

He is also known by his veracity and avoidance of disingenuousness. Obama fails on both scores. He said, "I don't know Blogojavich. I just saw him once at a distance at a football game." But there are many photos of Obama and Blogo laughing it up and plotting new intrigues.

His repeated disingenuousness about health care reform are well-documented. When does such disingenuousness become outright lied?

The birthers have a good case as well if evaluated by any fair-minded person. This is an area in which with the stroke of a pen he could have caused all of the originals of his pertinent documents to be release. Since he did not do so, the suspicions are well-founded. To compound that error, he is reputedly to have spend in excess of $1 million to suppress the release of those documents.

Then there is the case of the Nobel Peace Prize politicized joke which any man of character would have turned down or had put in escow. The Norwegians who perpetrated this travesty are being thorougnly criticized in their own country and around the world. I read an article today which suggests that Rahm Emmanuel may have placed a few strategic phone calls to the Noble Committee encouraging they to make this award and to reverse their intial vote of 3-2 against the award. This is power politics at its worst.

ultima said...

El Duque's rant continued, "Similarly, the GOP health care plan is ... Quick—can anyone describe it? Empty of ideas, full of grotesque fury about non-existent "death panels,"

There was little opportunity for a GOP health plan. The disposition of the many amendments it offerd tell it all.

Having written that, I believe the GOP plan includes no exclusion for pre-existing conditions, no cap on lifetime costs, a limit on out of pocket expenses, and others. It did not and does not includee a single payer or public option because the GOP knows that would be the first step toward the end of private plans.
They could not survive in the face of a government subsidized plan.

Then there is latest test of character:
Accepting up to $30,000 a pop from the Wall Street gnomes he says he is going to regulate. As One commentator put Obama's white suit, the one he cultivated during the campaign, now has mud on it.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this wonderful article showing Mexican American and Hispanic Americans' contributions to the United States, past and present. We are American, and this is our country. Like the article stated, Hispanic Americans must learn their history in this country and appreciate it. Knowledge is power, and power is gain :) I am very proud to be 5th generation Mexican American.

Dee said...

Yes. As Sen. Menendez said, Hispanics have contributed significantly to our country, our USA. I think blogs and the media should continue to highlight these accomplishments. Everyone should be proud of their heritage.

Thank you for joining my blog. I hope you come back often!

Vicente Duque said...

Racism and Elections - American Democratic Party represents Kindness and Humanity against Racism, Hate, Fear, Violence and Irrationality !

If Minorities want a Rational Government without Hate, Racism and Paranoid Fear, then the best option is the Democratic Candidates. This is not only for Minorities but also for White Americans with a heart, that don't want to see their land converted into a Madhouse.

Few Republican Congressmen are showing Rationality, Intelligence, Valor, Bravery and Courage in opposing and calling out those HateMongers, FearMongers and Racists that manage now the Republican Party : Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Weak Fool Michael Steele.

The Cowardice of Prominent Republicans shines like a tropical sun without clouds. With few exceptions that you can count on your fingers.


Obama is a very nice and empathetic guy that feels for others, He is very sympathetic. But he can change :

Because the main nature of Mr Barack Obama is not to be a compromiser but to be intelligent, shrewd and a consumate politician. He can turn directions on a dime.

His penchant for Compromise is just temporary Shrewdness.

If Republicans don't want the Health Care Bill, he will pass it in Congress without them.

Obama is an Eagle inside a nest of Hawks, in the Afghan War .... He can change courses when he realizes that every Afghan dead is a debt against Future American Politics in the Middle East. Deaths are not forgotten. I think that the Vietnamese honor their 3 million dead in the Vietnam war. That's their Holocaust.

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

"Contrary to what may be a popular belief, most Latinos in America today are U.S. citizens."

In name only. Most refuse to support what is in the national interest -- secure borders, reduced immigration levels, and enforcement of immigration laws.

Many of these Latino citizens are of the instant variety and are citizens only because their parents broke the immigration laws and ignored our borders.

Vicente Duque said...

Anger, Rage, Wrath, Fury, those feelings can do a lot of harm in our brains, probably they destroy many neurons. But can anger be creative ??

I have trouble with some neighbors, mostly because of dogs and cats. And destructive youngsters that do harm to trees and gardens. They even burn trees for pleasure. Vandalism.

Can anger be creative or useful ??

I am going to tell you why I commented on the Wars. I didn't want to comment on that topic, very thorny and controversial, what can be uglier and more repellent and repugnant than Wars ??

I try to find the best articles on Afghanistan and Iraq, using RealClearPolitics and RealClearWorld, and other sites. I search for Intelligence, Analysis and a Humane and Moral Stance on the topics.

Sometimes I find wonderful articles, full of Reason, full of Intelligence and knowledge, even filled with poetry in the writing, because they are well written, beautiful prose and metaphors.

Usually in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, etc .... what is called the Liberal Press, there I find the best and most Intelligent articles.

And suddenly one day, in other newspapers, I find many articles from "distinguished" authors that have been awarded many press prizes. And are highly respected.

And they are filled with hatred asking for more Violence in those Tortured Lands of Afghanistan and Iraq.

I feel very angry at the Inhumanity and lack of kindness and empathy for the victims that the authors display with arrogance.

And my blood boils, knowing that these same "Journalists" or "Columnists" fanned the flames of War, saying that it was very easy to conquer these lands and defeat the "enemy".

And the result is that we have Never Ending Wars, Eternal Wars. This is the gravest Historical Problem of our times, all other things and issues are bananas.

What they have done is to create more enemies. What they have done with their Hatred and Eternal Revenge is to create more Hatred and Eternal Revenge.

Who can believe that the victims, in those lands are going to thank for their "Liberation" by murder ??, by maiming children and women ??, their "Liberation" by aistrikes that kill hundreds of civilians. ??

Then I find that anger and rage can be sometimes useful to protest against the Greatest Injustices.

Who can believe that those countries are better thanks to the millions of refugees from Iraq in other lands, perhaps more than one million people dead in both wars ??

And millions injured ???

And many Iraqi High Class Girls are now Prostitute in Damascus Syria.

Who can believe that the Iraqis and Afghans can thank that ??

My blog against war :

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

CNN Poll: 3 out of 4 want illegal immigration decreased
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that nearly three-quarters of all Americans would like to see a decrease in the number of illegal immigrants in the country.

Seventy-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning called for a drop in the number of illegal immigrants, with 22 percent saying the number should remain the same and just 3 percent stating that there should be an increase in the number of illegal immigrants. That 73 percent figure is the highest number since CNN started asking this question four years ago.

According to the poll, 37 percent want to see all illegal immigrants deported, also the highest number since the questions was first asked in 2006, and another 23 percent say that the number of illegal immigrants in the country should be decreased significantly.

"Support for deporting all illegal immigrants is highest among older Americans and people who live in rural areas. It's highest in the South and Midwest and nearly as high in the Northeast, but only one in four Westerners think that all illegal immigrants should be deported," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 16-18, with 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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