06/22/2013 11:42 am ET Updated Aug 22, 2013

Republican Gabriel Gomez Success Based On His Heritage?


Gabriel Gomez is having his moment in the spotlight. The son of Colombian immigrants, he made Massachusetts history in April when he became the first Hispanic to win such a major Republican primary there.

On June 25, he faces 16-term Democrat Ed Markey in a special race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry. But not everyone sees him as a Hispanic trailblazer. The Boston-based Spanish-language newspaper El Planeta ran a column wondering if Gomez is a "LINO" (Latino In Name Only).

It's bad enough that EL Planeta raised this question -- and worse that its answer was "Yes."

Litmus tests for ethnicity serve no purpose besides dividing our community. They are pointless, unnecessary and borderline offensive. Yet as more Hispanic candidates join the political arena, these questions seem to be the new norm.