Charlie Gonzalez blasts New York Times Op-Ed Writer

By Raisa Camargo, Voxxi

The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), blasts a New York Times op-ed writer claiming that he failed to understand the complexity of the Latino community.

Gonzalez equates what Ross Douthat asserts in an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times on Nov 17, as another added reason as to why Republicans lost Latino support.

Douthat, who was a senior editor at the Atlantic and blogger, noted that Democrats won over Latinos and the immigrant community because of what he refers to as “darker trends” or a “downward trend” that the community struggles with.

“The weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems,” he writes.

Chairman says Latinos ensure a more prosperous America

Charlie Gonzalez criticized the op-ed as a rambling piece in a statement he released earlier this week.

“Hispanics are not a separate part of America. We are engaged in every facet of American society and successful Latinos ensure a more prosperous America,” Gonzalez states. “To say that Latinos are assimilating downward is to ignore the obvious facts.”

Part of the reason Douthat states that Democrats are enjoying support from the Latino community is because of negative trends. He cites rising “birthrates and high dropout rates.”

Gonzalez rebuts that Douthat has not kept pace with the actual statistics. The chairman goes on to note that according to the Pew Hispanic Center, last year Hispanics became the largest minority group on American college campuses. In 2011, there were more than two million young Latinos enrolled in college, making up 16.5 percent of all college enrollments.

Hispanics will also account for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. between now and 2030, at which time 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, up from 23.7 million, according to Pew.

The chairman announced his retirement earlier this year after suing Texas state for a redistricting plan that had carved a downtown out of his San Antonio Congressional district. His term would end almost 50 years of representation by the Gonzalez family.

Gonzalez defends Latino work ethic

He further states:

Immigrants do not come to this country out of laziness. They come to work toward a better life and no one can question the work ethic of Latinos. The number of Hispanic-owned small businesses is growing at twice the rate of other small businesses and since this pace is expected to continue, Latino influence on the economy and work force will only increase.”

“Latinos seek assimilation, which requires equality with and inclusion in the dominant and established American community. The Republican agenda and policies offered neither and that’s why Latinos voted for the Democratic candidates. The Latino story is the American story. It’s a simple lesson, but one that some conservatives, such as Mr. Douthat, are still learning.”

This article was first published in Voxxi.

Raisa Camargo is a staff writer at Voxxi.

[Photo courtesy CHCI]

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