Day 1 of the Democratic Convention had a total of 35 featured speakers, out of which only three of those speakers were Latino. When speaking with the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, AXIOs Alexi McCammond discussed not just this lack of representation but also the Democatics party handling of system racism and unjust regarding the Latino community.
For the past few months, the American people have witnessed an astonishing amount of support for the Black community. An uprising against systemic racism, discrimination and unjust treatment towards a community that has long been swept aside as though this was just part of every day life. Now, people amongst various races, cultures and even other countries are standing together in solidarity demanding justice and retribution for the wrongs committed.
Unfortunately they are not the only community that has been dealing with discrimination and unfairness, and while all media and political focus has been on the Black Lives Matter movement. The Latino community was and still is facing separation and incarceration, leaving many to wonder “What about us?” “Where is the urgency to help us too?” “Where is this show of solidarity for us?”
In her sit down via webcam with former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, Alexi McCammond asked him about the difference in response the Democratic party has shown when it comes to addressing the issues facing the Black community and those facing the Latino community.
“They are not addressing the issues they are facing with the same urgency and consistency that they hear them addressing Black folks, why do you think that is?” – McCammond
Castro’s response is that it shouldn’t be either or, that both need to be addressed with the same level of urgency. “They are both long standing urgent issues that need to be addressed. With regard to the African American community I am happy that we are in some ways just beginning to address, some more substantially. It is also true that and I saw this very clearly that the Latino community too often is invisible. It’s an afterthought even though its going to be the largest non-white voting group in 2020 and is the largest non-white population in the United States.”
Given that the Latino community is essentially becoming the dominant group of the United States, it comes as a surprise to think that the community is still overlooked. As McCammong asked, how is it possible for the Democratic party to still make the community and Latino candidates feel this way?
“I don’t think it’s only the Democratic party,” says Castro. “I think in every way in American society, in the media, in Hollywood and in many professions there’s this image of the Latino community as though everybody got here five-minutes ago. The community has also been demonized especially in the era of Donald Trump as ‘other’ as foreign.”
With day two of the DNC happening tonight, many are curious as to who the featured speakers will be and what they will say. As McCammond pointed out, last night there were only three Latino speakers featured during the DNC primetime coverage. A show of representation that Castro found to be disappointing.
“I wish that there were more,” said Castro. “I do think Joe Bidon has a commitment to listening to the Latino community and a vision for the future that includes the Latino community. But representation does matter and you do need to make sure that people are hearing from a diversity of voices.”
Day two of the Deomcratic National Convention continues tonight.