While in DC this week, CA Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez warned the GOP of a possible Latino-voter backlash over proposed immigration reform.
Unfortunately, Nunez is likely right that they should fear a possible Latino-voter backlash. I say "unfortunately" not because I don't think such a reaction is warranted, necessary, or valid. I say "unfortunately" because I wish it the GOP should fear a voter backlash.
I'm a proud Mexican-, Italian-, Irish-American and I'm a voter. At various points in American history, each piece of my own ethnic puzzle has been hated, excluded, and discriminated against by those ethnic groups who had come before them and assumed the mantle of the American trust. How quickly we forget though.
One commenter mentioned in a previous post on the topic of immigration policy that Asian immigrants aren't really getting any play in the media over the issue - despite their comparatively large presence in California. We can't build a floating fence in the Pacific, so the visuals for that immigrant group just aren't as made for TV. But the underlying point remains the same: this is hardly a niche issue for Latinos/Hispanics/Chicanos/Pick your descriptive word.
I suppose it is naive - and repetitively so - at this point to wonder aloud where all the Americans who believe in the American Dream have gone. Yet what else can we do?
So Nunez is right - this issue will motivate many Latino voters. I can only hope that non-Latino voters and leaders will remind those present longer in America why they should honor their own forebears by lashing back with their votes.