I was thinking this morning about the support Bernie Sanders is getting from Hispanics. If I were a person of Mexican origin living near the southern border, I would support him, too. Here is the reason why:
The current president during his campaign 4 years ago called those coming illegal immigrants murderers and rapists. He supported his statement by citing isolated cases where an immigrant did commit a crime ignoring the statistics that suggested that there is less crime, percentage wise, done by immigrants than by white Americans. People who are afraid have trouble trusting that just because one person of a race does harm, that doesn’t mean all people of that race would do harm. So I suspect that many folks in Texas and Southern California who are or even who look like they might be Mexican have suffered profiling by police or discrimination in jobs or housing, or just plain disrespect. I also suspect that this is worse because of the attitude and the verbiage of the president of the United States.
Having supposed the above, I will also say that if I were in these people’s shoes I would be angry. When people are angry and doesn’t have a safe outlet to express that anger, they will often look to others who have more power to do so on their behalf. After all, if a person in power expresses your anger, they are more likely be able to do something about it.* For Hispanic people, Bernie Sanders seems to fit the bill.
Joe Biden is touted as a man of peace and civility. He really is an easy kind of guy and has a history of being well liked by his fellows in Congress from both parties. He reminds me of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Those of us that just want the country to heal are looking for someone like Joe. If the Republicans were to bring forth a person of peace, I could easily support that person. This is why I struggle with Sanders. He is too angry and we don’t need more divisiveness. We need unity and respect.
If I were to be an adviser to Biden, or any of the centrists, I would suggest that people’s anger needs to at least be recognized and named. I haven’t heard the crisis at the southern border mentioned in the debates for some time. I think it is time. The reason Hispanics supported George Bush was not because he could speak Spanish, but because he respected them and he had a good plan for solving our immigration problems. I think, if Biden wants to win,, he may need to look more to Bush than Obama for guidance.
* Rallying behind a person of power when they are able to express your own anger, I believe, is why Trump is in the White House right now.