[OP-ED]: Advice to Hillary Clinton: Stop Ignoring Latinos
In the last presidential debate, Hillary Clinton failed to mention immigration or attack Donald Trump on his long history of making disparaging remarks against Latinos. Time is running out for Hillary to convince us why we should vote for her.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is dangerously close to alienating Latino voters if she continues to ignore our concerns during televised debates.
In last week’s 90-minute face-off with Donald Trump, she failed to call out her opponent for his infamous border wall plan or even his constant, disparaging remarks against immigrants. Instead, when moderator Lester Holt asked Clinton and Trump about the state of race in America, both candidates instantly turned to police shootings of unarmed black men. They did so without ever mentioning Black Lives Matter, an oversight that did not go unnoticed in the African American community.
"We have to make sure that our police are using the best training, the best techniques, that they're well prepared to use force only when necessary," Clinton said. "Everyone should be respected by law and everyone should respect the law."
For his part, Trump called for more law and order.
"If we don't have it, we're not gonna have a country," Trump said.
Blacks and Latinos are "living in hell because it's so dangerous,” he added.
Here, Clinton easily could have attacked Trump on his record of making racist remarks against Latino and Muslim immigrants, but instead she focused on the familiar tale of black versus white, police officers versus innocent citizens.
Nevermind that both candidates ventured into near-bigoted territory by instantly pivoting to gun and gang violence when the issue of race came up. And nevermind that Clinton limply went on to paint black communities as vibrant where Trump insisted on highlighting “inner city” blight.
When Holt asked both candidates about race, Clinton practically had an invitation to hammer Trump on any number of past statements - that Mexican immigrants are “rapists,” that he plans to build a wall separating two countries with close ties or that he has promised to deport up to 11 million people if elected to the White House.
As the New York Times astutely pointed out over the weekend, “The implicit point of [Trump’s] campaign theme — “Make America Great Again” — is that America was great when it was a less diverse nation.” And yet Clinton never mentioned it. Why?
If the former secretary of state has any hope of beating her opponent, who remains shockingly close in the polls, Clinton can’t be afraid of meeting Trump head-on. She came close by calling his insistence that President Barack Obama produce a birth certificate racist and by invoking the name of former Miss Universe, Venezuelan-born Alicia Machado, yet Clinton never brought up immigration. She has just three more chances to address her Latino constituency, or risk the chance of millions of potential voters sitting out this election.