Mitt Romney missed his calling. He would have been a tremendous motivational speaker for Hispanics in the 1950s when an entire generation of Latinos grew up with inferiority complexes over fearing they wouldn’t be “Anglo enough” to make it in America.
I recall that my next-door neighbor’s children weren’t allowed to play in the sun for fear their fair skins would turn brown. Another neighbor’s daughter used to lighten her skin with bleach cream. The Caramillo family down the street legally changed their surname to Miller. The Puentes family who were members of our parish came to be known as the Bridge family.
In Texas in the America that I grew up in, you couldn’t be too light-skinned or even too white. My generation of Hispanics was just trying to make it. And if you were too brown or too Mexican, chances are you couldn’t even be elected dog catcher.
And now, half a century later, the guy seeking the White House on the Republican ticket is saying that if he had been one of us–otro morenito–he would have a better chance of being elected president?
Give me a break. Go tell that to P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the grandson of former President George Bush who at one of the GOP conventions was overhead on a microphone calling the youngster “our darkie.”
All this is now relevant because Mitt Romney was heard bemoaning to millionaire fundraisers in a video that surfaced Monday that he wished he was actually Hispanic and believes it would help his election chances.
“My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company,” Mitt Romney is heard saying on the video. “But he was born in Mexico… and uh, had he been born of uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this.”
“But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”
My Lord, get this man a ticket to next year’s ALMA Awards show. Put ESPN Deportes on his cable. Make sure that any time Ann rubs his back, she does so while saying ”Sana, sana, colita de rana,” and that Mitt Romney throws a “Grito” every time he hears Vicente Fernandez. Above all, he’s got to be able to dance ranchera, cumbia or salsa without music. Finally he has to have Romney in old English lettering tattooed on his back!
Híjole! Does anybody ever edit what comes out of this man’s mouth? He wants to be president, and he’s trying so hard to woo the Latino vote because he knows it could decide the outcome in some of those critical states, but this man is now suffering from that rare malady that actually attacks so few politicians—Mitt Romney is suffering from the Hispanics.
Romney obviously has Hispanics on his mind, so much so that he’s talking like he’s been seriously considering an ethnic change operation, pobrecito, something I’ve only seen performed on a television novela or maybe I heard about it on “Cristina.” It’s so painful, I’ve heard, that the world’s most interesting man had one just to see if he could reverse it—he couldn’t.
My parents are now both dead. Otherwise they’d be wondering why they spent so much on having my teeth straightened, my lisp corrected, why they spent money on parochial school and never allowed me to play with the overly Hispanic kids from the barrio.
“They are too Mexican,” my father once said.
“So what should I be?” I asked. “Vaguely Hispanic?”
Which I guess is what Mitt Romney says he is, too. How I feel for him. We all wish our fathers could have been someone else. I would have gladly taken George Romney for a father, so long as I could have been born on third base, as Mitt was. But this fool is now telling his rich contributors that he wishes his father, above all else, had been a real Mexican.
I was fortunate enough to catch my gardener tonight to tell him about this. My gardener, who is Mexican, laughed.
My point exactly, poor guy. It never occurred to all of us that one day we would all have go tell some rich guy with a silver spoon in his mouth running for president that he should cheer up. That white can be beautiful, too.