Amoeblog


Barack Obama & Super Tuesday In California

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 11, 2008 03:08am | Post a Comment
Obama’s biggest downfall in his campaign was that he underestimated Latinos. This cost him big time in California. There was so much he could have done to get our vote and he didn't.

For instance, He never really spoke out on immigration issues, which Hilary openly did. For example, Hillary came out in support of AB 540 (The Dream Act), which would allow illegal immigrants to attend college as long as they follow certain provisions. Hillary also started early, rounding up support from Latino heavyweights such as L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilwomen Gloria Molina, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers. In fact, Villaraigosa pledged his support  for Hilary back in 2006. It also didn’t help Obama cause that many Latinos prospered during the Clinton years and are looking for a return to that prosperity.

Then there is the unfortunate reality that African-Americans and Latinos are socialized in this country to hate each other. We are taught this in the public school system, where neither of us are taught our true history. We are made into street soldiers to fight each other in our ever-increasing incarceration in prisons. We are taught to blame each other by politicians for the lack of jobs, lower wages and increasing cost of living. Truth is that some of us are so messed up that we find it easier to fight each other rather than to come together and fight the true source of our problems.

Obama knows this and has addressed this, quite elegantly, in fact. My thoughts that I have written are not much different from what he has said in interviews and in his speeches. Problem is that he didn't tell this to Latinos. People like my mother, who became a citizen back in 1994 yet still gets her information through the Spanish speaking media. Obama did very little with the Spanish speaking media until just before the election. He chose rather to court Hollywood insiders during his time in Los Angeles. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Obama campaign office in East L.A. was opened mere days before the election. Even with a huge rally at East L.A. College with Sen. Kennedy and Maria Elena Durazo as his co-chairperson for his campaign, Latino voters knew very little about Obama and as a result lost the Latino vote to Clinton by a 2-1 margin, the worst defeat of his campaign.

Perhaps Obama felt with so many Latinos on the side of Clinton, that it would be easier to recruit a whole new generation of voters. People who he felt had more educated, younger, who wanted change and who did not buy into cultural & racial biases. Trouble was that Obama never gave Raza a chance to discover who he was. His campaign's assumptions on how Latinos think prevailed over any effort he gave.

Next up…Texas. Land of conservative Democrats and the place where the word ‘Hispanic” is still not considered an insult. I hope for his survival the Obama camp learned from their mistakes in California
The main complaint I heard from Raza about Obama is that they never knew what he stood for, good or bad.  It’s going to take more than people telling their mommas about Obama, he’s going to have to do for himself.

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Chicano (17), Barack Obama (22), Raza (2)