Those Proud of Heritage Need Not Speak

By: Daniel Nardini


                                Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary At a town hall meeting, U.S. Representative Steve Womack (Republican-Arkansas), answered a question to one man’s inquiry about immigration reform. The young man, whose name was sadly inaudible on the video tape I watched, was asking if there was any chance for immigration reform, and that if the U.S. Congress would enact immigration reform soon. The young man further stated that he was proud of his Mexican American heritage (hence why he wore a t-shirt with a Mexican flag emblazoned on it), and that he was equally proud of being in the United States.


                                  The response by the congressman was troubling to put it mildly. Womack stated that he did not see any enactment of immigration reform this year. Fair enough. However, he then attacked the young man’s attire and why he was “asking about giving ‘amnesty’ to 11 million undocumented and wearing attire with the flag of another country.” The entire answer by Womack was more a lecture on “obeying” America’s laws and that America should not give “amnesty” to those who broke them. It is very clear that Womack sees nothing wrong with the current U.S. immigration laws (even though a majority of people in this country do), and that he slighted a young man’s attire for expressing his heritage.


                                There is no question that Womack is viciously prejudiced against Mexicans and against Latinos. If I wore a t-shirt with an Italian flag on it, does this express my disloyalty to this country? Do I not have the right to express pride in my heritage as well as pride in the country I was born and raised in? I have problems with those lawmakers who hold extreme views of not only what they think this country should be, but hold extreme view against people for their national origins. This is one of  the reasons why the Republican Party lost so badly in the last presidential election, and this is the evil monkey that the Republican Party must exorcise itself from. Apparently Mr. Womack has not noticed, or does not want to notice, that a growing number of his constituents are Latino. It may soon transpire that Womack may find himself out of a job come the next election.

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