Opinion: If Mitt Were Latino

Romney has since walked back his position on the DREAM Act, saying he would replace Obama’s deferred action policy with his own form of relief for young undocumented students. Romney has said his program would affect those who have served in the military, but has not discussed any futher details of his program.

If Mitt were Latino, he’d be more likely to vote for Obama.  Despite Romney’s post-convention bounce with Latino voters, President Obama still maintains a large lead  with 66% of likely Hispanic voters saying they support Obama, and 29% expressing support Mitt Romney, according to the most recent Latino Decisions poll.

Mitt’s statement -- that he would benefit from being Latino or have a “better shot” at winning his Presidential bid -- reveals a somewhat simplistic view of ethnicityand what it means to be Latino in America.  While surely politicians aren’t only shaped by their population statistic, to presume that he would be the same Mitt Romney he is today if shaped by the Latino experience in the U.S. is similarly short-sighted.

Romney’s comment  also echoes the RNC’s choice to showcase its racial diversity in Tampa this year, by asking many minority candidates to take stage. Still, the party itself, is not as diverse as their speaker selection. According to the Pew Research Center, 87 percent of registered Republicans are white.

43 of  our nation’s 44 presidents have been white males, just like Mitt Romney. His assertion that it would be easier for him to be elected as a Latino man seems to forget the history of privilege in our country thus far and belittles the accomplishments of those Hispanics who have risen to political prominence despite these barriers.

Simply put, if the Mitt Romney had been brought up as a Mexican-American in the U.S. today,  chances are he would not be the same Mitt Romney.

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