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(His) panic attack in Oklahoma

13 December 2008

Marisa Treviño on some of the less effective Republican Party efforts to woo Latino/Latina voters:

…soon to be governed by a first-ever Republican-controlled legislature, Oklahoma is also home to a sizable Hispanic population.

In 2004, the Democratic-led legislature created the Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education Task Force to study and make recommendations on how to recruit and ensure that more Latino students graduated with Bachelor’s degrees.

In July of next year, authorization of the task force is up for renewal and members are in a panic about changing the name.

The reason?  “Hispanic” is seen as too much of a “lightning-rod-type-word” for Republican legislators who might not want to refund the task force because of it.

One Republican legislator suggested that the task force change “Hispanic” to “international students.” A ridiculous and insulting suggestion since international students automatically insinuates those students from other countries who need no help, financial or otherwise, to stay in school.

Also, the suggestion of using “international students” completely discounts that the task force was set up specifically for Hispanic students and that Hispanic students belong here by virtue of their citizenship or having grown up in this country.

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