Race Traitors, Sellouts, and Uncle Toms: Thoughts on the Election of Barack Obama

Last summer, I came across this thought-provoking piece by conservative pundit Larry Elder.  In it, Elder responds to a letter he received attacking him for being, essentially, a traitor to his race by supporting John McCain.  “How can a fellow black American feel this way?,” his reader asked.  Elder goes on to attack the premise that the only way to cast a compassionate vote for “the underprivileged”–specifically, the underprivileged Black community–is to vote for Barack Obama.  He declares, “Compassion is not about making people dependent on government.”

Elder’s rebuttal provoked a tidal wave of responses from me, none of them, I suspect, the ones he intended.  Though he tried to make the case that the Republican party represented more potential progress for Black Americans, he did so by embracing the basic assumption of the letter writer.  He proceeded from the assumption that, in fact, Black Americans should be voting for candidates who support the broader issues confronting them as a people.  That the political awareness of people of color should include an awareness of “race” and the distinctive issues it frames for the nation.

In this post, I want to embrace this fundamental assumption as true yet as something more than the simplistic form of “race politics” as expressed in the above piece. I then want to use this as a first step in making sense of the (upcoming) presidency of Barack Obama.

To point you in the direction I am heading, I want to emphasize the importance of thinking about Tuesday, November 4th not as an end but as a beginning.  This is not a beginning of a new form of government, or even of a new day in race relations in the United States. It is the beginning of a new opportunity, if we will it. It is time for progressive people of color and our allies to begin the difficult work of transforming all the electoral energy and organization we see around us and refocus it toward nurturing the change we seek in our nation and our world.  This thirst for change fueled these electoral efforts, and now they have elected a new president. But that is not change in and of itself. In fact, unless we do something about it, this change in leadership will not bring about any of the meaningful transformations of public life we seek. Historically, that kind of change has only come with the realization of common purpose and the mass mobilization and organization of people.

This begins with a sober realization.  While Barack Obama will be president of the United States of America, his electoral victory is not “justice,” racial or otherwise.  This election–like all elections in this nation’s history–has not been about changing the nature or location of power in this nation but, rather, about who should manage it.

The Obligation of Racial Solidarity
The question at the heart of Larry Elder’s piece is: Are African Americans, and people of color more generally, “obligated” to vote for Barack Obama? Are they “race traitors” if they don’t?

You might think this question is simple. “Of course not,” you say. “People can vote for whoever they want.”  To suggest otherwise is, in the view of many, a kind of “reverse racism”–voting for him because he is black is equivalent to not voting for him because he is black.  But for people of color–especially those who are politically engaged–the question unleashes a host of complicated issues. In the end, the question is not as simple as it may seem, and the reason is anything but “political correctness” or the “policing” of people’s politics. Instead, it has everything to do with power.

As a person of color, (many) other people of color assume Barack Obama understands their realities of “non-white life in the U.S.” like no other candidate we have ever seen.  This is not because he is black.  This is because he expresses a sensibility that he understands what it is like to be black in the U.S.  You see, white candidates can (and have) also expressed this sensibility before.  Even the best of them, however, can only empathize–say they understand in the imaginary.  Another person of color can sympathize, express solidarity with and validation for your own personal and communal experience.  [It is the difference between saying you can imagine what it is like to walk in my shoes and showing me your own pair, looking and feeling just like mine.]

I say “can” very intentionally here because not all people of color do express this sensibility.  Not all people of color in the U.S. express a consciousness which is rooted in the same analysis of race.  Not all seek out political power that recognizes these.  And, of course, not all can therefore sympathize.  Barack Obama does.  This isn’t about the color of his skin, then, as much as it is about the life he has experienced because of it and the meanings he associates with and becasue of it.

Let me state, without hesitation, that certain basic assumptions guide my thinking on the following points.  In fact, these assumptions are the point I am trying to make.   I believe race (both “white” and “non-white”) continues to be a factor shaping people’s lives in the United States.  I believe white supremacy has been fundamental to this nation’s history and continues to operate in measurable ways as the de facto standard of most of our systems.

These assumptions are grounded in my own experience as well as the experiences of people I know.  They are complimented by the things I study for a living, a distinct process which nurtures my understanding providing me a context to the above assumptions.  Combined together, I see race not as anything biological but rather as a set of historic meanings assigned to biology.  I see racism not as people’s beliefs in racial superiority or inferiority but as systems of power whose rationals of allocation are based upon these.  [For the sake of space and time, let me say these beliefs are easily “provable” historically.]

All this is the context of most of the support of communities of color for Obama.  It is the hope, that for the first time in this nation’s history, a person who can affect profound change–DIRECTLY–is a person who understands your struggles.

Talking Race and Voting Race
So where does this leave “us”?  As Larry Elder and I are both suggesting, people of color bear a heavy responsibility in dealing with racial inequality (itself a reflection of that inequality) and one of the ways to do this is to advocate for “our” issues within the systems of political and economic power.

But the election of Barack Obama doesn’t necessarily bring with it the changes we seek.  Just as the election of McCain wouldn’t have, what we debated these months is the person most likely to be an advocate for those changes.  The first step is, of course, an ability to understand these issues exist but, also, to be a steward for them.  This is where Barack Obama defeated McCain for many of us.  It is the difference between (yet again) placing your hopes in the good intentions and effort of “white” politicians or in another person of color.  But those changes still have to be made into realities.  Those issues still require relief.

I believe the 2008 presidential election will be a watershed moment in the history of the United States with respect to “racial discourse,” that is, the way we think about and talk about race in this nation. In saying this I mean to suggest it will act as a moment for the society-at-large to consider what they really and truly think about race, and, more importantly, why they think it.

These moments have happened before, but not all that frequently. They are moments in history where the national focus revolves around race and/or the consequences of race. These are moments which almost force us to take pause and be reflective, just by their context.  Perhaps one of the first such moments in U.S. history was the conclusion of the Civil War, when Northerners and Southerners alike had to reevaluate the ways they thought and talked about race, even if it was only to reinvent and strengthen what they had thought before. The same sort of phenomenon occurred in the post-WWII era, when the Civil Rights Movement and a host of radical movements for change forced the nation to look at itself in the mirror and contend with what they saw.

Moments such as these are not inconsequential to the life of “race” in this nation. In fact, they are its flesh and its bone, its breath and its thought. That’s because “race” has very little to do with a person’s biology. It has everything to do with the way a society thinks about that biology.  That is where the election of Barack Obama is very important, in and of itself.  A black man ascending to the highest elected office in the land will unquestionably alter how some people think about African Americans and future elected officials.

But, on November 5th, the core of racial inequality in this nation will remain in tact. Big changes will come in how people think, in how they view the racial “other,” but this is but the pretext to an altering of the system of power and power allocation with which we live.

Our Work has Only Begun
I do not mean to sound as pessimistically as did George Will when he recently opined “The question we settle on election [day] is not whether elites shall rule but which elites shall rule.” While I do believe the two party system is often nothing more than competing factions of the same interests, there are tangible differences between the two parties and very real world differences in how we each experience life under their respective rule. I also don’t want to minimize the symbolic significance of a nation whose history is inseparable from the enslavement of millions of Africans electing as their leader a man whose personal history is also intertwined with these two continents.  This, too, will have real effects in the way we see race, and in the ways we racialize leadership.

However important these developments, they are both really just the context of change, not meaningful change itself.  The racial system is which we live (in which we are trapped) has existed so long because it creates advantages for its maintenance.  Its defeat will require what has always been required: active mobilization by people of conscience to create change.

Many people are beginning to express a concern for Barack Obama since they 1) believe he will seek to ameliorate “their” issues, and 2) they know he will face opposition from a system of power opposed to progressive (racial) change.  While this may be true, I think it is far more complicated than that.  The maintenance of white privilege doesn’t just create incentives for its protection and nurturing for “whites” but for everyone, Barack Obama included.  He will require no less pressure and effort by “us” to make the changes we seek (and, after all, he never ran on a fundamental altering of the system of power in question).  But he, alone, is not the source of change.  Racial injustice is far bigger and diverse than saying what the color of the president has to be.  Accordingly, we shouldn’t read too much into that change, or expect too much from that person to create change.

This also sheds light on the obligation many of us felt (feel) to vote for the first black president.  We have never before been presented with the opportunity to cut through so much of the struggle toward power–that is, having to communicate your “reality” to a politician.  This also sheds light on the idea of a racial “sell-out.”  The inequality of the system has placed the cause of racial justice in the hands of people of color instead of where it should belong, in the hands of those who have historically most benefited from it. Regardless, what do we do?  We advocate for the change we seek by representing the issues of our experience and those of our communities of solidarity as best we can.  To ignore this, smacks of working to maintain that system of privilege rooted in the past.  If you read Elder’s piece carefully, you will see how even he works from an awareness of this.  The notion of a “race traitor” or “Uncle Tom” is far more complicated, then, than merely violating the rules of the “thought police” or a breech of “political correctness.”  It is rooted in the numerous historical examples where white supremacy has sustained itself on the backs of people of color and, sadly, often due to their effort.  Right or wrong, it comes from a very nuanced understanding of the system of racial inequality in which we continue to live, one which encourages people of color to ignore the specificity of their own experience.

In the upcoming months, progressive people of conscience (“non-white” and “white” alike) will have to begin the difficult work of checking their own assumptions.  Many have this belief that because a black man will be in the White House that everything will magically become better.  Many expect Barack Obama to take a leadership role in transforming the political system in meaningful ways.  But why?  Why should this special burden be placed on Barack Obama when it has not been evenly placed upon all politicians?  Of course, he does have a special obligation regarding race, but that is the same responsibility we all share–white, black, or otherwise.

This week can be the beginning of a new course for our nation.  Barack Obama may be a big part of that but, if it is to be true, we must be.  The brilliant James Baldwin said it well, in his 1960 speech titled “In Search of a Majority”:

“…the majority for whch everyone is seeking which must reassess and release us from our past and deal with the present and create standards worthy of what a man should be–this majority is you.  No one else can do it.  The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”

Who are the “real Americans”?

One of the failures of the left has been their inability to claim the language of patriotism while the right has made it synonymous with their obectives.  This isn’t too surprising.  After all, some element of the left is troubled by any form of nationalism.  Many, many more are aware of the death and imperialism which has historially followed this kind of rhetoric making its use not only troubling, but also morally questionable.  But most, I think, are just uncomfotable with the unspoken assumptions behind it, about who is or isn’t part of this nation.

The following post from one of my favorite blogs is an exceptional take on this:

In defense of “real” Americans at 8Asians.com

FULL TEXT: Rep. John Lewis calls McCain a hater

Perhaps you’ve seen today’s story of the bold and truthful words of Representative John Lewis of Georgia. The veteran of the Civil Rights Movement called out the McCain-Palin campaign for their recent tactics of fostering fear and hatred.

Here’s the full text of his statement today. [As a sidenote, McCain waved his enormous white privilege wand almost immediately, condemning Lewis and demanding the Obama camp do the same. True to the power Lewis analyzes, the Obama campaign issued its own press release doing just that.]

Rep. John Lewis Responds to Increasing Hostility of McCain-Palin Campaign

10/11/2008

As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.

[Source.]

UPDATE:
Here is the full text of McCain’s response. He gets to take the position that Lewis’ analysis is divisive and inappropriate. Privilege!

Statement By John McCain

October 11, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement:

Congressman John Lewis’ comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale. The notion that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Governor George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign. I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.

I call on Senator Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.

Relections on the “undecided voter”

We have fetishized the “undecided voter.”   In a political campaign with fairly profound contrasts (just like the last) the media seems to be showing us a steady stream of “everyday Americans” who still have not made up their minds in the current contest.

Huh?

It’s not as stupid as it sounds.  Sure, there probably is a measurable number of people who are confused and still unable to make a decision.  We live in a time of complex political issues, especially if you don’t have any established personal analysis of them.  But most of these “undecided,” I think, are coming from somewhere else.

We live in a culture that has embedded the misinterpreted words of Andy Warhol, who posited that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  Leaving aside what he meant, we all have this expectation–almost this need–to be recognized as something special and unique.  In our warped and eccentric need for individuality, we think each one of us is special and that “special” is worthy of noting.  It gives us a sense of value, of worth. (This is especially true in a world where we are subsumed by the massiveness of the forces around us, made almost invisible in our own daily lives.)

When a media outlet tells somebody they are “special” because they are undecided and then puts them in a room to watch the debate and comment on it, we are nurturing the addiction, feeding it if you will.  People get attention for being “undecided” and then are unwilling to give up that attention, that sense of specialness.  Even if you don’t make it on TV, the media is communicating to you that you are special if you are undecided.  It’s a never-ending cycle.

No wonder then, as the 25 undecided Ohio voters hosted by Soledad O’Brien of CNN did, these voters seem almost fixated on maintaining their “swing” status.  Though CNN’s electoral EKG tracker of this group showed a clear preference for Obama and his presence, a straw poll by O’Brien resulted  in a vote of 14 for McCain and 11 for Obama.

Or maybe everyone’s racist.

“That One”

Excuse me?  Yeah, you heard it right.  Last night, during the presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, the Republican referred to his Democratic rival as “that one.”

Was this a peak into McCain’s head and his inability to see Obama as an equal, as a human?  Was it politically bad?  Was it racist?

The Obama campaign apparently began sending around feeler emails almost immediately to some (many?) of their allies–while the debate was still happening!–to see if there was a sense of disgust or outrage developing because of McCain’s choice of words.  The lack of much discussion of “it” suggests, perhaps, most didn’t care.

Bloggers (some of whom are likely on the email recipient list of the Obama camp) have been commenting on McCain’s word choice since last night, as a review of The Huffington Post shows.  Alec Sokolow wrote “That one? THAT ONE??? Like Barack Obama’s subhuman. Like Barack Obama’s an animal. Not like an elected Senator. Not like the potential future President of the United States.”  Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks dismissed the “racist” analysis as he commented “it was just more awkward than anything else.”  Not one of the attendees at an Indianapolis “swing state” debate party also attended by journalist Christina Bellatoni even seemed to catch the slip of the tongue.  Writer and director Nora Ephron found the gaff “patronizing and revealing” while Arianna Huffington suggested the senior’s choice of words communicated “contempt [that was] palpable.”

I tend to side with the “contempt camp,” viewing McCain’s choice of words as reflective of his seemingly endless disgust of his opponent.  That isn’t to say I think it is free of racial overtones.  The comment is dehumanizing, not even employing a personal pronoun to refer to another human being.  I don’t know if the level of disgust rises that qucikly for the oldtimer if Obama isn’t black.  But, there is no way of knowing.

What we can see and learn from this is that McCain has very little physical control over anger and contempt.  He isn’t able to hide how he feels about his political opponent–to be, in effect, politic–when he is running for a job in which he will have to do so with “leaders” who make Obama (or almost any politician in the U.S.) look like Pipi Longstocking.

What this also helps voters see (if they’re looking) is tangible evidence of the reputation which has followed McCain for almost his entire career.  He is known as an aggressive, emotionally uncontrollable, stubborn, and self-righteous politician, from those who know him and those who like him, as well as those he has offended in his nearly three decades in Washington.

Now in the twilight of a long career, a young black man is standing in front of McCain’s legacy, one the man thought he should have tasted eight years ago.  And he’s pissed off about it.

John McCain is Still Fighting Vietnam

Let me start by saying that I don’t hate John McCain.  While I think its kind of trite and meaningless to say I “respect” him for his experience in Vietnam, I do have a sincere sense of reverence for it.  Though I am left of center relative to the U.S. political culture, and would never consider voting for a politician of his record, I have long been interested in his repeated inclinations to act differently in the political realm.  I think his maverick status is far overblown, but so is the critique labeling him a run of the mill Republican and/or politician.

That said, he is a politician.  The degree to which he differs from the pack does not absolve him from this “condition.”  And, from my perspective, his great failure as a man seems to be his stubbornness as a politician.  This quality and its accompanying inability to exhibit self-reflection have been part of his long career and continue to exhibit themselves in his campaign for the presidency.

A true maverick wouldn’t buy his own hype. He wouldn’t possess a chronic inability to see the cracks in his own self-constructed facade.  He would exhibit a little introspection on matters of state and the question of war.  Most politicians do that only when they’ve been caught with their proverbial hand in the cookie jar and need to exhibit humility or act contrite in order to save their political career.  That’s expedient.  I don’t necessarily fault a politician for being expedient (that may be the nature of the game), but I do fault one for pretending they aren’t so and then acting accordingly.  John McCain has created and then cultivated his maverick persona as a political tool to make him more effective and win himself reelection.  That is expedience.  Worse, however, it seems he has also nurtured this self-construct as a way to absolve himself when he is stuck in the politics of expediency, corruption, and incompetence he so often criticizes.

It’s his stubborn unwillingness to question himself and his motivations that are troubling in this world of complexity.  I’m not a psychologist, so I’ll leave those kinds of analyses aside, but as a historian who has more than a little bit experience with the process of weighing evidence and forming analysis with respect to politics, McCain has a record of acting in a rash, impulsive, and blind manner, and then sticking to his mistakes as if he were an adolescent caught in a lie.

The clearest example of this tendency is his defense of his actions in the “Keating Five” scandal.  In that episode, as with other times he was in the wrong, he manages to externalize the blame as something outside of himself.  For example, in his 2003 book Worth the Fighting For, McCain can never acknowledge any fault of his own, he is never guilty of a lapse in judgment or wrongdoing, no matter how unintentional.  Even in the final chapter, when he discusses his stance on the South Carolina flag controversy (a position he later recanted) it is the environment of politics and not himself that is to blame.

The recent debate offered numerous examples of McCain’s unwillingness to reconsider the failed stances of his political career.  While you can attribute these to political expediency (“what else can a politician do”), the times in which we live and the examples of his failed decisions are far too important to let alone due to the swarthy mess of U.S. politics.

With respect to Iraq, he is unable to admit his mistakes.  When asked what the lessons of Iraq were, McCain said the following:

What?  Did he just say the lessons are that you can’t lose a war?  He did.  He could have said the lessons were that we need to exhaust diplomacy before going to war; or to question with extreme scrutiny all evidence before going to war; or to honor our soldiers by making sure we never again deploy them for the wrong reasons.  Maybe he couldn’t.  But he could have shown that he is aware that such answers are reasonable and common.

My great fear is that McCain is trapped in Vietnam.  The “again” he refers to in his answer above is Vietnam.  The great lesson of this war, to him, is that you keep fighting until you win–as if all wars are able to be won by the U.S. if we only have the right strategy, use the right weapons, or want it enough.  He exhibits the exact tendency shown by the U.S. government and military in the 1960s and 1970s, as revealed in published evidence like The Pentagon Papers, that is, a government so stuck on thinking of themselves as right they could not (re)consider the litany of fallacious assumptions that got them into war in the first place.

McCain is no maverick when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, including his record on when to use force and how to remain engaged in wars for the wrong reasons.  There is no “honor” in this failure of his, there is only severe tragedy.  In Vietnam, that tragedy amounted to more than 58,000 U.S. lives alone, not to mention the millions left injured in less lethal yet no less real or painful ways. What will McCain’s tally be in Iraq?

Obama and McCain en Español

The Barack Obama campaign began running a new Spanish-language ad in the Latino-rich battleground states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. It is titled “Dos Caras” (“Two Faces”).

For those who do not speak Spanish, here’s the text:

“They want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with, the intolerance. They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much. John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, worse yet, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put powerful interests ahead of working families.”

This commercial comes in the wake of John McCain’s recent Spanish-language ad which began running in the same states and which accuses Obama of derailing immigration reform. The ad is called “Which Side are They On?”

Translated, the ad says:

“Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But they are not. The press reports that their efforts were ‘poison pills’ that made immigration reform fail. The result: No guest worker program. No path to citizenship. No secure borders. Reform did not pass. Is that being on our side? Obama and his Congressional allies: Ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead.”

The ads reflect a very different tactic in terms of the point they seek to make and the way they construct it. Just on the surface of things, Obama’s has a Spanish title and McCain’s does not. Obama’s ad begins with the candidate declaring in Spanish “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this ad.” John McCain’s declares the same but in English. Obama’s uses the subject noun “we” while McCain’s is accusatory, using “they.”

While the Obama ad could be understood as a Latino voice talking to Latinos as a Latino, it could also suggest a matter-of-fact demonstration of nonwhite solidarity within an increasingly hostile political system. In the wake of the recent study by Pew Hispanic, this is a voice that will resonate with a growing number of Latinos. Furthermore, as any government action is distrusted and seen as disingenuous with respect to serving the Latino immigrant population, the “failed” legislation referred to in the McCain ad might not seem all that much of a loss to Spanish-speaking Latinos.

Even Neo-Liberal Stalwarts Think McCain is Losing Latinos

A succinct summary of much of this blog’s meandering commentary of the past two months can be found in this article from The Economist.

My disappointment in the association of my views with this relentlessly (and blindly) capitalistic, free trade, and neo-liberal magazine is assuaged by two things: first, the magazine–for all its faults–is at least consistent and thorough; and, second, this article about Latinos and McCain actually uses the word “fortnight.”

All kidding aside, when this news is getting consolidated and regurgitated by The Economist, McCain and the Republicans have some worrying to do.

I think the biggest concern for Republicans (not addressed by the piece) should be the “permanent” loss of the so-called “Latino electorate.”  As I and others have been writing about, the notion that there is a monolithic, Latino voting bloc is not only historically inaccurate but also far-fetched in current political culture.  But this seems to be changing.  The recent immigration debacle, and current raids, are all creating something of a unifying political experience for politically-diverse Latino population.  Inasmuch as the Republican party is being linked to the aspects of these we find disturbing and, often, reprehensible, they suffer through the loss of any support by Latinos.

Latinos Give Juan McCain the Frío Shoulder

A new research report issued by the Pew Hispanic Center shows Barack Obama leading over John McCain by a 66% to 23% among registered Latino voters.

That almost a 3 to 1 margin.

The report is a reminder to hesitate in believing political pundits, though you most likely don’t need that reminder. Still, if you remember, last month as the Democratic primary finally came to its long awaited close, every time you turned on the TV to the news you would see some talking head predicting Obama would struggle with the Latino vote in November, as he did during the primaries. Well, doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case.

Come to think of it, I remember hearing a lot of commentators predict Hillary Clinton voters would jump ship over to McCain as well. Turns out, more than 75% of Latinos who once supported Clinton now support Obama. Only 8% have declared their support for McCain. That’s better than Obama’s numbers for whites who voted for Clinton (where 70% support him and 18% McCain)

The most important numbers in the poll are the ones showing where Latino registered voters “lean.”  The poll estimates 65% of us are leaning to the Democratic Party while only 26% are leaning to the Republicans.  This 39% point differential is the largest “than at any time in the past decade.”

Why this is important is because this shows that, in fact, the Latino electorate may be becoming an actual voting bloc.  The debacle of immigration is becoming the equivalent of the Civil Rights Movement for the African American voter.  By the time my kids are old enough to vote, the words “Latino Republicans” might sound like “Black Republicans.”  It’s not impossible, or so rare you never meet one, but you always wonder about them.

Download the report here.