December 27th, 2011
A Look At Latinos In 2011 In Today’s Political Headlines

Bad news associated with Latinos frequent in 2011:  The most memorable headlines concerning Latinos fell under the “made us look bad” category. As in I saw a negative news story attached to someone with a Latino surname and thought “Why, oh why, did the perpetrator have to be ‘one of us’?” After five years of increasingly coarse anti-Latino and anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric, there is a special kind of disappointment and dread of hostile reaction when bad news is associated with Latinos.

2011: A Depressing Year For Latinos: Life hasn’t been good, and Hispanics have suffered the same fate as the much of the general population: persistent unemployment, political uncertainty and a deep sense of dejection. But as a group, their fate was worse: according to the Department of Labor, last month, when the national unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, for Latinos it reached 11.4 percent.

Politicians Study Myths, Realities of 2012 Hispanic Vote: The Hispanic vote represented a mere 9 percent of all ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election, but the peculiarities of the United States electoral system makes the presence of those votes in certain states crucial for the national result.

Polling Trends for 2012: Hispanic voters hold increasingly negative views of the Republican Party. Since January, favorable views of the Republican Party among Hispanics has dropped 13 points.  In the Congressional vote, Democrats are winning Hispanics by a two-to-one margin over Republicans, equaling 2008 levels.  President Obama holds a 58 to 31 percent lead over Mitt Romney and shows no signs of weakening.

Voting Rights Act still matters:  Discrimination in voting has evolved since 1965. The Justice Department’s focus is now less on explicit procedures designed to bar black individuals from the polls than on systemic abuses that dilute minorities’ voting power and make it harder for them to elect candidates of their choice. Among the actions that impede minority voting are gerrymandering to dilute black voting power, restricting early voting and abolishing Sunday voting, which is said to be particularly attractive to African Americans.

Arpaio resignation demanded by Latino leaders: Local Latino community leaders and activists called for the resignation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday and asked that his officers change their tactics and stop what they call racial profiling.

Arizona lawman Arpaio resembles southern sheriffs from 1960s: Newly documented policies and practices shaped by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio that have created a “civil rights crisis” for the state’s 6.4 million Hispanic residents are being framed by community leaders as mimicking actions of segregationists, including southern sheriffs and state governors, who used force to subjugate blacks during their freedom struggles across the South during the 1960s.

Replacing Rangel? Congressional Politics 2012: Charles Rangel – The Unbeatable Incumbent: Rep.Charles Rangel, an enduring Harlem institution at 81, won’t be yielding his Congressional seat anytime soon, it appears. A high-profile Rangel fundraiser last month at a Washington, D.C., restaurant reportedly raised around $50,000, with major Democratic Party figures out in force.

Mississippi’s voter ID amendment faces fed scrutiny: Mississippi officials are confident the state’s new voter ID constitutional amendment will pass muster despite the Justice Department’s rejection of a similar South Carolina law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

All minorities underrepresented in Legislature: According to data compiled by The Topeka Capital-Journal on each of the 165 legislators in the Kansas House and Senate, women and all minority racial and ethnic groups are underrepresented when compared to the state’s 2010 census data.

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