"I took up our servants' cause and informed my parents that in following their Christian teaching and their experiences in The United States with the civil rights movement if they didn't allow the servants to eat with us, then I would eat in the kitchen with the servants."- Tibi Ellis, Nevada GOP Hispanic Caucus Chair
Sharron Angle' understands the demographics of the voters in Nevada. Like many GOP candidates in the west and other areas, Angle can't afford to get less than 25% of Latino voters to pull for her. Unfortunately for Angle, she is part of the GOP.
A recent ad scandal highlights the humongous obstacle facing Angle and others as they try to reach out to Latino voters while keeping Tea party activists in line. Angle recently unleashed a vicious and racist anti-immigrant ad attacking Senator Reid for supporting immigrants. The imagery used of scary people at a fence alongside a Latino construction worker as the voice over claims that "illegal aliens" put "Americans" jobs at risk is being criticized nationwide. In fact the chair of Nevada's Republican Hispanic Caucus and the Hispanic Angle lure, Tibi Ellis, has condemned the ad.
The ad is reminiscent of many anti-immigrant ads that have moved Latino voters from the GOP into the arms of waiting Democratic candidates. But unlike other politicians who in the past have unsuccessfully tried to scapegoat immigrants to get elected, the Angle /Tibi partnership is different. Here you have Angle using Tibi Ellis as bait for Latino voters and Tibi happily making room at our community's table for a hatemonger. It is notable that when Tibi Ellis was questioned about the ad she had already seen it, and formed an opinion, yet had not spoken up about it. The reasons for Angle to scapegoat Latino immigrants through one side of her face while kissing their cheeks from the other side are cynical and manipulative, but clear. The reasoning of Tibi Ellis and other Latino Republican leaders who support Angle is not.
The question for Ellis, and other Latino GOP elected and community leaders, is why are you bringing hate into the homes of Nevada Latinos? Ellis admittedly knows that political hate speech, such as displayed in the Angle ad, is not only despicable but also has led to a rise in hate crimes against our community. Yet Ellis has not condemned the ad in an English language venue and only condemned the ad when relentlessly questioned by listeners on a Spanish language talk show. However, even though Eillis's new political boss, Sharron Angle, has gagged her, the Republican Hispanic leader's silence speaks loudly. The decision to put party over community is made clear as the silenced Ellis's continued support of Angle screams from the political rooftops.
In her shamelessly glowing autobiography I Am the American Dream...with an Accent, Ellis says that as a child she questioned her parents for not wanting to eat with their domestic servants in Caracas. According to Ellis she threatened to only eat in the kitchen if her parents continued to ban their servants from the dining room. Yet now the supposedly mature Tibi Ellis has decided that Latino immigrants should be shunned from her table to make room for Sharron Angle's voracious political appetite. Tibi Ellis and Nevada GOP Hispanic leaders must abandon their non-principled, solely partisan support for Angle. While the current campaign may seem alluring, the long term impact for their credibility is devastating. The limited yet long suffering patience of Latino voters is only surpassed by their political memories, and Tibi Ellis and her cohorts may soon find themselves without a place to eat.
Mario Solis-Marich is the online editor of MyLatinoNews.com and can be heard Monday-Friday from 4 to 7 MT @ WWW.GoToMario.com