Republican pundit Ann Coulter's sweeping generalizations in her recent column about the Hispanic community in the United States shows the lack of leadership in the GOP. Coulter is a shrewd and smart individual. She has singlehandedly built her brand by being provocative, timely and outspoken in the national news. Coulter is an entertainer. She has built a powerful following -- and I am certain that those on the far right are applauding her recent portrayal of Hispanics. However, what Coulter has done this time around will diminish the value of her brand and expose the GOP's inability to manage their own. While Coulter's insults are harsh and her facts aren't all wrong, by no means does her argument represent the totality of who Hispanics are and what they represent as business owners who generate $465 billion in annual revenue; consumers with a purchasing power projected to eclipse $1.5 trillion dollars by 2015; and an electorate whose influence is on the rise and no longer for sale. With 31 Hispanics in Congress starting in 2013, it is clear that Hispanics are earning influence in Washington from the inside, too.
At a time when the GOP is attempting to reestablish its brand identity and strengthen its position with Hispanic voters, Coulter's comments represent poor judgment. Like Romney did, Coulter would rather find ways to divide a nation's growing multicultural demographics rather than become more educated about the Hispanic community -- where big data shows the growing influence of Hispanics will create new business models and shape the future of politics in America. Coulter needs to become more familiar with the bigger picture impact of what Hispanics represent as America's new economic development engine -- and begin to reposition her own brand.
Regardless of the arguments and harsh criticisms of the Hispanic community - they are a force to be reckoned with. Their brand -- represented by their cultural values that will empower their voices and enable their advancement as leaders -- is only going to get stronger and will change the conversations about how businesses will grow, how government will lead and how the media will report the news. In fact, if the lack of collaboration amongst the business, government and media sectors remains, the United States is certain to experience one of the most dramatic modern day economic and societal meltdowns imaginable. As such, political pundits like Coulter should stop trying to minimize a community that will soon have much more influence than her voice. Coulter -- much like those in government and business who share her perspective -- must become more culturally intelligent about themselves and others if their brands and points of view are to remain relevant. The changing face of America is only going to continue evolving and we must all become smarter and wiser about working with and understanding one another. It's easy to defame a community that one hasn't taken the time or genuine interest in to understand and engage with. The "Hispanic movement" is real -- it's America's greatest unknown and disengaged economic resource.
Failure of business, government and the media at-large to educate themselves about how to earn loyalty and trust and engage with the Hispanic movement in America will result in accelerating the decline of America's global competitiveness and will make it difficult for the U.S. economy to rebound long term. The Hispanic movement will lead the way to cultural capitalism -- as the changing face of America redefines markets, products and services, new revenue streams and business models.
It's time to accept a powerful reality: Hispanics will reintroduce the importance of culture and values back to America. They will help reclaim America's authentic spirit by giving rise to one's own cultural values and the identity of its people. Hispanics will be responsible for America's new cultural mosaic.
Do we need immigration reform -- without a doubt. Do Hispanics need to become more responsible and accountable contributors to strengthen the U.S. economy -- no question. Do Hispanics need to become a more organized, trusted and united community -- this is long overdue. Should Hispanics begin to speak-up and enable their leadership and talents at work to influence corporate growth and innovation -- absolutely.
We all have a lot of work to do as it relates to the Hispanic movement in America. We must all become accountable to empower and advance a community that will redefine and strengthen America's future. Finding ways to alienate and marginalize Hispanics in America is irresponsible and unnecessary. Stop fighting the movement and give it a chance to build positive momentum. It will benefit us all in the long run.
My condolences to the family and friends of Jenni Rivera -- who passed away early Sunday, December 9th in a plane crash. A popular Mexican-American singer -- known for her work within the banda and norteña music genres -- Ms. Rivera was an inspiration to many in the Hispanic community. A mother of five, she had a strong work ethic and recently closed a deal to topline her own sitcom for ABC called Jenni. I wonder if Ann Coulter even knew who she was?
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