I find it interesting what communities have supported to take away the rights of other human beings. Below is a commentary by a latino radio talk show host on the Latino vote for Proposition 8.
By Fernando Espuelas
Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Fernando Espuelas is the host and managing editor of Café Espuelas, a Los Angeles Spanish-language radio talk show and a media entrepreneur.
In spite of what seems to be sweeping approval for a progressive agenda, Latino support of Prop. 8 has exposed an entrenched bias against homosexuality at once profound and confounding. A marginalized minority — Latinos — voting to take away the rights of another marginalized group — gays and lesbians — is like the kid who’s picked on in the third grade and only makes some headway when a punier kid comes along to take the punches instead.
Throughout this campaign, in an avalanche of Spanish-language commercials, Latinos were exhorted to vote "Yes" on Prop 8. A calm voice — a voice that could be selling baby wipes or low-fat cookies — told us that we should check yes "for the good of our families," that we must save everything that is good and decent about America.
Take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians so that we can be safe. But safe from what? The low-fat cookie voice of the radio commercial did not really say.
Latinos were asked not just to look away as these rights would be withdrawn, but to actively vote for the demolition of someone else’s family. We were implored to look at "them" as the unredeemable "aliens" that must be expurgated from our society. And we did.
Once you start the process of taking away other peoples’ fundamental rights — like food and water in a jail cell, or the right to drive and listen to whatever music you like — you must ask yourself where to draw the line, and who will draw it? What — and whose — rights will be next on the chopping block?
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." You’d think that as Latinos, proud and strong and willing to fight for our own rights,- we’d refuse to turn against the "punier kid," wouldn’t you?
That we might in fact stand up for that kid, tell the bullies to back off, the same way we told the bullies of racism and "the real America" to take a hike — and in the process carried Obama to triumph.