Sunday, June 29, 2008

Still uneducated about Latino heritage

Dear Mr. Tom Brokaw,

Congratulations on taking over for the late Tim Russert on Meet the Press. It is consolation for viewers and fans of Mr. Russert. But your show this week --that focused on the West being the region that determines the general election -- had a major, missing component to inform your viewers.

Although Latinos were frequently mentioned as a big factor out West, your show failed to have a single Hispanic source. All that we of the Hispanic electorate received was more white guys making judgments on what we're thinking and how we'll vote. That's offensive.

Then your network's political analyst showed his great ignorance of Hispanic culture in referencing Sen. John McCain's trip this week to Mexico and Colombia. He mentioned that an important moment in his trip will be his visit to the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.


It is the tilma, the cloak of St. Juan Diego that he used to wrap around roses in the middle of winter to take to the unconvinced local bishop in Dec. 1531. It provided evidence of the Holy Mother's appearances on three days on a wasteland hill five miles north of then-Mexico City. On the cloak was left the beautiful, dark-skin image of the Blessed Virgin. Incredibly, that image still exists today on the material of a cloak that should have long, long ago disintegrated.

The cloak and its story is held in great, high esteem by Mexican-American voters in this nation. It is part of our being, handed down from generation to generation over almost five centuries.

McCain is very smart in stopping to pay his respects. That will make an impression on Hispanic voters, two-thirds of which are Mexican-American.

So Mr. Brokaw, please pass this information on to your political analyst so he does not make the same offending mistake in covering Sen. McCain's visit this week to the most holy site containing the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

And please consider adding a Hispanic voice to Meet the Press so someone who looks like us and knows us can have a voice.

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