Target: Ann Romney
Goal: Inform Ann Romney that her speech directed at Hispanic Americans is discriminatory and ask her to stop marginalizing Hispanic citizens with her language
The Republican Party is disliked for many reasons. Some take issue with their obsession over businesses, their claims that providing tax breaks to the top one percent of America will somehow trickle down to those in need, and their recent and ridiculous personification of corporations. Still, others take issue with their covert racist language and uncanny ability to insult and demean minority groups with seemingly no effort whatsoever. In a few recent speeches, first lady candidate Ann Romney has made it clear that she and her party have no respect for Hispanic Americans by marginalizing them through language, specifically referring to them as “you people.”
In one speech, Mrs. Romney said this about the Republican Party agenda: “It really is a message that would resonate well if [Latinos] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community,” speaking to Hispanic citizens as though they are somehow different and unable to think without her narrowed and blunt remarks. Mrs. Romney also distinguished between women and the Hispanic community: “I spoke to women last night and I wanted women to understand how important this election is for their children. But as I was sitting backstage listening, I thought, it’s also very important that the Latino community recognize how important this election is for them.” It’s as though she thinks the Latino community cannot resonate with a message given to women and their children–as though the Latino community cannot reach a thoughtful conclusion unless they, as a supposed separate and un-American-like community, are specifically targeted and spoken to, at a fifth-grade level of speech no less.
At first glance, these messages can seem inoffensive, yet Mrs. Romney’s choices of words are problematic for many reasons. That she lumps together all Hispanic people from every age, class, location, and ideology is offensive. That she somehow thinks this community is so different from the mainstream (white) American stereotype that she so evidently supports is ignorant and offensive. To speak to this community as though they are a homogenous and unchanging cluster of immigrants who need her discriminatory urging to “get past their biases” speaks volumes about Mrs. Romney’s subtle racist ideology.
And it doesn’t stop there. At a political rally in Puerto Rico, Mrs. Romney reinforced a popular and negative stereotype about Hispanic people, saying: “You people really know how to party. It was crazy!” No public figure, let alone a candidate to be the first lady of the United States of America, should speak to people and about people this way. Hispanic citizens are American citizens in this country, and they should be spoken to as such. Tell Ann Romney to stop this offensive language.
Dear Ann Romney,
I am insulted by the way you discriminate against Hispanic people in this country. Your words serve to segregate these people and to lump them into bald racial categories where you speak to them as though they think somehow differently from mainstream America. I hope that you do not truly believe that Hispanic Americans cannot respond to speech directed at the American people and must be specifically targeted and preached to. Please stop calling Hispanic Americans “You People.”
The truth is, Mrs. Romney, “these people” are often hurt by your party’s policies. Your anti-immigration stances, border fences, your yearning to repeal the DREAM act, and now your inflammatory rhetoric that says to these American citizens, “you just don’t get it” are sufficient evidence that you have little respect for Hispanic Americans. Stop these remarks and speak to people as Americans, not “You People.”
[Your Name Here]
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