Crying Me A Patti

02/19/2008 10:40 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

It has been with shame that I have read the tears of ink spilled over the firing of Patti Solis Doyle from her position atop the management of the Hillary Clinton campaign. The fact that she was the first Latina commanding a presidential run seems to have led some members of La Comunidad to believe that her ousting constitutes some sort of affront - one to all Hispanics, and also a personal slap in the face to their leaders. Let's set it straight right here: That's like saying (as Maureen Dowd lucidly argued), that if Hillary Clinton does not make it to the White House, it will be a failure of the whole female gender, not of the candidate.

Such hand-wringing versions of Ms. Solis Doyle's departure have appeared in places like El Diario, the country's main Spanish newspaper, which in Tuesday's editorial affirmed that Solis Doyle was "a fall-person" for Clinton's current streak of losses. To make a case for Patti, El Diario deemed even necessary to use her personal story ("the daughter of a Mexican immigrant who worked as a janitor in Chicago"), finishing the tango by comparing her to an African American or Latino factory worker, who - the old saying goes - is "last hired, first fired."

Does the fact that she is a Latina have anything to do with her discharge? Until when are we waiting for people to be guarded and protected just because they've come from the other side of the tracks? In case El Diario (or State Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. and Assemblyman José Peralta, who also tore their clothes over the case) do not realize it, this is a political campaign - if you fail, you are out. As is normally the case in politics, someone -- most likely the one in charge -- has to pay the price of failure, even if the guilt is shared. (And, yes, Díaz and Peralta are right in saying that the male Clinton has his role in the Hillary debacle, but was he the campaign manager? No.) The bottom line here is that Solis was not fired for being Latina, but because she must have done something wrong as campaign manager if the former frontrunner is trailing behind a first-term Senator whom she regularly calls "inexperienced."

Apart from those cold but undeniable electoral results, if we believe those who know Hillaryland from the inside, Solis Doyle (who used to call herself "the queen bee," said that the voice of Hillary spoke though her mouth, and had a thing for watching daytime soaps in her office) has enough reasons to explain her failure, particularly disastrous financial management. No need to cry over her, Mi Gente -- if her story fits so perfectly in the clichés of the hardworking immigrant, and she rose from la nada to the highest spheres of politics, she has enough strength to take this blow and rebound.

Once again, Messrs. of El Diario, Messrs. Díaz and Peralta: to compare successful professionals like Solis Doyle with factory workers or to try to exculpate them from evident failures does nothing for Latinos, other than eternally typecast us as the weak ones, those who need to be helped to move up and can't really compete. I simply don't know for how long are we going to be blind enough to keep insisting in the myth of the Monolithic Latino -- all the same, all connected. It's the worst possible "favor" that can be done to that enormous diversity of people (me included) who check "Hispanic" in official forms -- disrespecting us all in turn, including those who really make ends meet as factory workers.