How a new Pew poll describes the Latino political paradox

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (3.5 minute read)  

You’d think, given the Pew Hispanic Center’s recent poll numbers, that Latinos do, indeed, love Trump.

Pew surveyed 1,001 Latino adults between December 7, 2016 and January 15, 2017 – a critical period between the election and the inaugural.

I would think that everyone’s opinion of Trump has shifted in the past chaotic month, but we’ll take the Pew  numbers as an initial Trumpian benchmark.

[pullquote]. . . instead of cowering we make and buy Trump parody piñatas.[/pullquote]

Latinos were pretty much content with the overall direction of things after the Trump election.

Here are the Pew numbers:

54% of U.S. Latinos say they are confident about their place in America after the election.

41% of U.S. Latinos say they have serious concerns about their place in America after the election.

The percentages vary when parsed for birth and citizenship status, with U.S. citizens having the lest concern (38%) and non-citizens having the most (55%).

There’s more:

49% of U.S. Latinos say the situation of Latinos today is about the same as it was a year ago.

32% of U.S. Latinos say it has worsened.

16% of U.S. Latinos say it’s improved.

Other numbers are predictable:

52% of U.S. Latinos are not concerned that they or a friend or family member will be deported.

67% of non-citizens are very concerned.

The knee-jerk reaction would be to question the poll.

How can so many Latinos be OK with Trump in the White House? How can so many of them not feel concerned about their place in the U.S.?

I think the poll is right, and I think the answer to the questions about the poll is simple.


Sign a petition to stop Trump’s immigration ban 
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[tweet_dis]It’s not that Latinos feel what they feel since the election, they (we) feel that way in spite of the election.[/tweet_dis]

Let’s draw a contrast.

Pundit after analyst after talking head have drilled the American political psyche with the story of the disenfranchised, impoverished, left-behind-feeling voters who put Trump into the White House. They’re poor, struggling, feeling invisible and are resentful. So they lashed back at the ballot.

Latinos, on the other hand, didn’t vote – the drilled-in portrayal of the sleeping giant hasn’t awakened.

Those characterizations, molded by white guys in print and on TV screens, have become standard caricatures in the political pundit world.

But it’s b.s.

The Pew poll bears this truth.

It’s a Latino political paradox.

[tweet_dis]Latinos are just as poor as the “forgotten” white voter – maybe even more so. But Latinos tend to be less educated and more entrepreneurial[/tweet_dis]; they’re just, if not more, invisible yet more optimistic. We’re starting more businesses, buying more houses, having more kids and more of us are going to college. All of this in spite of the nastiest anti-immigrant, anti-Latino sentiment we’ve seen in generations (it’s really not that the bigotry has gotten worse, it’s just gotten louder and more brazen since Trump).

But given all that, we still think our place in the U.S. is solid and we’re optimistic about the future.

Business types call that a growth market.

It’s the type of thing they invest in. [tweet_dis]Despite the dark clouds that Trump may paint over America, Latinos aren’t buying it. [/tweet_dis]That’s why his rhetoric didn’t resonate with Latinos, it’s why instead of cowering we make and buy Trump parody piñatas.

Read more about Latino optimism in NewsTaco. >> 

The Pew poll is right.

[tweet_dis]Latinos are walking with their heads held high and their expectations bright, despite Trump.[/tweet_dis]

So I’ll suggest an archetype to replace the tired sleeping giant. [tweet_dis]From now on let’s refer to U.S. Latinos as happy, tireless warriors.[/tweet_dis] The Pew numbers bear this truth.

Do you like stories that reflect authentic Latino life in the U.S.?

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