During this campaign period one thing has become evident: GOP candidates are fighting for the Latino vote. But it seems some candidates didn't get the memo that tossing around offensive phrases may alienate the Latino voter.
From Romney's "self-deportation" comment to Herman Cain calling the Spanish language, "Cuban" , the controversial statements made in regards to Latinos have been rampant.
But saying headline-grabbing things about Latinos is not unique to this election (although it seems to have reached new levels).
Some news anchors and political leaders have little censorship when it comes to talking about Latinos in the U.S.
From calling Spanish "the language of living in the ghetto" or saying that "undocumented immigrants multiply like rats", the controversial comments are plentiful. And we're sure there will be more to come.
Check Out Some Of These Leaders' Controversial Comments About Latinos:
East Haven mayor Joseph Maturo takes the prize for the most unforgettable comment against Latinos. In a broadcast interview, New York City-based WPIX reporter Mario Diaz asked Maturo: "What are you going to do for the Latino community today?" in response to police arrests for harassing Latinos and Maturo proudly responded: "I might have tacos when I go home, I'm not quite sure yet." To say that his comment was out of line is an under statement. You really have to work hard to make statements as insensitive as this one! Although he tried to apologize for his racist comments, Maturo's remarks had already gone viral. The Latino community in East Haven, according to the Census, make up 10.3% of the town's population and it's quite likely Maturo offended every Latino in the area. But at least the mayor got what he wanted: an immigrants' rights group in East Haven delivered thousands of tacos to Maturo's office the day after he made his taco comments.
Although Romney has remained quiet on the subject of immigration in the last few weeks of the GOP campaign, nobody has forgotten about Romney's oxymoronic addition to the English language 'self-deportation.' In response to a question regarding if whether to enforce his position on illegal immigration, he would support mass deportations, Romney answered "Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here." Romney's use of the term 'self-deportation' and his genuine belief in it as a viable means to deal with the 13 million undocumented immigrants who would not be allowed to remain in the U.S., led to substantial social media outcry, an attack by his primary opponent, Newt Gingrich (to be expected), and a measure of agreement from fellow candidate Rick Santorum. For us 'self deportation' was nothing short of comedic, not to mention completely disrespectful.
On his 2011 campaign stop in Miami, Herman Cain took some time to try some Latino cuisine, and offend a few Latinos along the way. After biting into a croqueta at Miami's famed Versailles Cafe, Cain asks, "How do you say delicious in Cuban?" Cuban, as many know, is not a language. But if you must know, delicious is delicioso in Spanish.
From a 'bunch of Mexicans' to 'rats.' In a health care panel, Tennessee State Rep. Curry Todd asked prenatal health care officials if they require potential patients to show proof of citizenship in order to be accepted for treatment. When one woman explained that such a process is prohibited and unnecessary because children born in the U.S. will be granted citizenship, Todd responded, "they can go out there like rats and multiply, then." Rep. Todd later said he had used the wrong wording. "I was actually wrong, and I admit when I'm wrong," Todd said, before clarifying that he should have used the term "anchor babies" instead. Well, good thing he decided to 'tone down' his language from rats to anchor babies.
"Si Se PuedA!" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, got her protest chant a little mixed up. "Si Se Puede!" ("Yes It Can Be Done") was the motivating slogan first popularized by Cesar Chavez back in the 1960's when referring to social change for immigrant workers. Thank you Clinton for making the attempt in Spanish. But, no thanks. Considering even the news anchors are making fun of her, her effort falls under the category of embarrassing things more than anything else.
In 2005, radio and television host Lou Dobbs endorsed his guest's comment that Latino immigrants have brought leprosy into the U.S. The guest speaker in Dobb's show was medical lawyer Madeleine Cosman, who said, "we have some enormous problems with horrendous diseases that are being brought into America by illegal aliens." CNN correspondent Christine Romans, who was invited to speak at his show, responded "It's interesting, because the woman in our piece told us that there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years. Leprosy in this country." Dobbs, without questioning any of the information, replied "incredible." Although he didn't apologized on air, he admitted he was wrong according the NYTimes. But this is not the only anti-immigrant criticism Dobb's has received. In another instance in his show, he suggested that Mexicans were plotting to reclaim the Southwest and that former president Vicente Fox's visit to Utah was a "Mexican military incursion."
After travelling to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico to campaign, Rick Santorum told Puerto Ricans they would have to make English their primary language if they want to pursue U.S. statehood. "Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law," Santorum said. "And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language." Looks like Santorum is not up to date with the U.S. Constitution which does not designate an official language, nor is there a requirement that a territory adopt English as its primary language in order to become a state.
Newt Gingrich called Spanish "the language of living in the ghetto." "The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said. We wonder if Gingrich was aware that there are 329 million native speakers and Spanish ranks as the world's No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language?
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck is facing an ethics complaint following an incident where he allegedly used the phrase "a bunch of Mexicans" to refer to a group of elected and appointed Latino officials. Apparently the person Cluck said the comment to replied "I don't think you can say that." The mayor then responded "what, Mexican?" Although the mayor apparently doesn't remember using that phrase, there are enough witnesses saying he did. One employee filed a complaint against him. "What is most important is that the integrity of the workplace be maintained for city employees," Rivera told FOX 4 in a phone interview. "It's unfortunate any employee heard the comments and was offended enough to file a complaint." Yes mayor, that is quite unfortunate.
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