Here is the video of Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday, July 8, 2008, delivered at the annual convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Founded in 1929, LULAC is one of the oldest and most durable civil rights focused organizations within the diverse Latin American-descent population. Founded as a Mexican American assimilationist organization at the height of the nativist political sentiment sweeping regional and national politics, LULAC once stood for the “best and purest form of Americanism.” Today, while they are still moderate in their political approach, they have grown to stand for issues confronting both immigrant and non-immigrant alike.
Obama’s speech is clever, delivering all the right connections for a group of political players looking to have a greater role in mainstream politics. At the same time, he speaks to activists working on the ground in numerous grassroots campaigns for justice. As Roberto Lovato so adroitly points out, he failed to make any mention of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which disproportionately affect working-class (and, more than likely) Latino families.
Both McCain and Obama will speak at the convention of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) next week. As I mentioned earlier, this is a major political even for the future of NCLR as they further solidify their function as the Latino voice in mainstream national politics.