I recently read research that indicated that as humans we are more likely to react to immediate threats than we are to long term ones. It seems that when we see a snake our entire brain brightens like a light house but when we are warned about longer term dangers, like smoking and tornadoes headed our way, only a small part of brain sets off a few sparks.
This may explain why as Latinos we have been reacting so deftly, aggressively, to the nasty snakes known as Buchanan and Sessions while we have, until now, given the assault on our community via a denial of health care reform by Lieberman (Conn.), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) Ron Wyden (Ore.) Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collin a bit of a pass.
The racist attacks on Sotomayor by the President and Vice President of Bigots Inc., Sessions and Buchanan, were clearly and accurately recognized by Latino advocates as a direct assault on our families and our overall community. The hissing tails of Buchanan et al were responded to deftly and aggressively. The immediate threat from these reptiles has been, for the time being, conquered. However the looming threat of Lieberman/Snowe is more insidious and may prove to be far more dangerous. The danger becomes even more apparent when you realize that 30% of Latinos in the US have no access to health insurance at all and many more are underinsured.
The alarming statistics on the lack of Latinos with insurance take on a more ominous tone when you consider that these numbers were complied more than a year ago when the economy was much stronger and the horror of double digit unemployment had not yet hit the Latino community.
Lieberman has long portrayed himself as a friend to Latinos often touting his credentials based on his impressive rhetoric in the immigration arena. However his current assault on health care reform puts in direct conflict with the well being of Latino families and he should take notice. Latinos currently make up over 10% of the population in Connecticut. An important number that I am sure the "independent" Senator should remember.
As racist as Buchanan and Sessions have shown themselves to be, Lieberman and his fellow snakes are presenting as great a danger to Latino families as they are.
I wouldn't want any of these words to detract from efforts to punish Buchanan or rebuke Sessions. Nor do I believe any of my words could do so. However I do think that the danger to our community by Lieberman and his mini-me's demands equally aggressive action.
The signal to the Lieberman anti-health reform coalition must be clear: health care reform is a top Latino priority. We must let them know that we know that all deadly snakes don't have tails that rattle. In fact some that slither quietly hold the deadliest venom.
Mario Solis-Marich can be heard on Am760 and at www.GotoMario.com Monday through Friday from 4 PM to 7 PM MT.
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