Why Whitewashing Harms the Latino Community


The aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election saw a backlash among the voters who are categorically against not only Donald Trump, but also the Republican Party. I don’t understand why people of color, especially Latinos, would vote for a man who wants to be rid of their influence in American society. Latinos have been targeted as “rapists, murderers, and thieves” by Trump. He represents one of the major problems that exists today: Latinos who succumb to whitewashing. This not only harms the Latino community, but also gives more power to whites.

When it comes to politics in America, the Latino vote has had a significant impact on the outcome of previous presidential elections. Latinos, along with Blacks and Muslims, are among the most targeted minorities when it comes to stigmatization in America. With the growing likelihood of Trump as president, the number of Latinos who registered to vote increased immensely leading into the election. For years, the media has been convincing the American public that the Latino vote would be the catalyst that would win elections. For example, George W. Bush appealed to Latino voters because he was in favor of a path to citizenship. However, the Latino vote only really matters in rural America, where Latinos are sparse. Because of this, Trump’s rhetoric of hatred and bigotry appealed more to Latinos who were outraged by Trump.

Yet there are some Latinos who are completely ignorant of their heritage and disregard the fact that they are not Caucasian, but Hispanic. Take Cubans, for example. According to the PEW Research Center and the National Pool Election Poll, “Cubans were about twice as likely as non-Cuban Latinos to vote for Donald Trump. More than half, 54 percent, supported the Republican president-elect.” Florida has 29 Electoral College votes up for grabs, and the Cubans contributed to the continual whitewashing of Latinos in America through their election of Trump. It is overkill for Hispanics to vote Republican when Hispanics are a minority in America. You are basically providing more power to the people who want to take away your food stamps, health insurance coverage, and path to citizenship.

The fact that more than half of one Hispanic group voted for Trump is traitorous. How could this group vote for someone who represents ignorance, hatred, and bigotry? These people let other Hispanic groups down when it came to morally making the right decision. This type of mindset–the learned helplessness of succumbing to the whites in power–is a massive letdown to Latinos as a whole. I honestly question where their loyalties lie, with Whites or Latinos.

This shows the increasing separation of groups-within-groups in the Latino community. With Florida being a swing state, the results of the election displays the failures of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in key states, and the overall defeat for Latinos in general. The Republican majority held in Congress and a Trump presidency spells doom and gloom for Hispanics. This election not only showed the divide among Americans, but among minorities themselves.