I read with dismay Alvaro Fernandez's recent piece, "Raul Yzaguirre, NCLR, and the Menendez Investigation," an article of baseless speculation by someone who both admits he is not an investigative reporter and presents no knowledge, evidence, or any other reason to back up what he writes, other than his own conspiracy-minded opinions. Worse, this avowed "progressive" relies on the self-admittedly biased and notoriously unreliable website, breitbart.com, as a source of information on the issue.
My concern is not with his attack on my organization; we are often engaged in debates on controversial issues and speak out with full knowledge that some will disagree. Our blog post on Senator Menendez speaks for itself and was written for a very simple reason: his unparalleled record of service to the Latino community is an essential part of the public discourse on this matter. There is nothing untoward about those of us who have worked with the senator for decades saying so.
My major objection is that Raul Yzaguirre, my predecessor, the co-founder of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, and a civil rights icon who has worked on behalf of our community for more than 60 years, is unfairly maligned in Fernandez' fact-free screed. The reasons why Raul Yzaguirre was named a U.S. ambassador and why Senator Menendez would support his nomination are obvious and unimpeachable. Suggesting otherwise without a shred of evidence is nothing but a cheap shot.
Those of us in the Latino community stand on the shoulders of Raul, not only because of his extraordinary record of service and incomparable vision, but also because of his integrity. He deserves better. Much better.
And all of us with an interest in this matter deserve better than to have a prominent public figure's guilt or innocence predetermined without due process of the law.
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