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Hundreds of activists, supporters of illegal immigrants and members of the Latino community rally against a new Arizona law in Union Square on May Day on May 1, 2010 in New York City. Spencer Platt—Getty Images
Hundreds of activists, supporters of illegal immigrants and members of the Latino community rally against a new Arizona law in Union Square on May Day on May 1, 2010, in New York City. Spencer Platt—Getty Images

Latinos in the United States: Do we really know our power?

A field research has shown that Hispanics are not aware of the true power of their community when it comes to creating a change in the United States.

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Hispanics seem to have an elephant’s memory. We are so accustomed to being a minority and to marginalization, that the gradual changes within our demography go unnoticed.

Even when we have become a community on which electoral results depend, we still believe that we are "disposable.”

But an investigation between the Zeno group and "We Are All Humans" determined that Latinos are one of the most important economic engines in the country.

According to the study, Latinos lead the way in business and "reach higher levels of education, even reaching the C suite of the Fortune 500 companies" in an overwhelming manner.

The figures "show a positive image of Latinos in the United States," demonstrated by the fact that "they initiated 86 percent of all new businesses in the United States in the last decade," and the quickest to be founded are created especially by Latino women who do it "six times faster than any other group in the country," explained CBS News.

During the Chicago Ideas Week, the founder of We Are All Humans, Claudia Romo Edelman, presented the study and explained that, although the data speaks for itself, the Hispanic community doesn’t seem to realize its power.

Even when we represent 18% of the nation, we earn an average of $45,000 and generate 12% of GDP, many of the people to whom the results were presented were surprised.

According to PR News Wire, the most important discoveries of the study are the following:

  • 82% of Latinos said they feel their community should be valued more than it is today
  • Only 48% of Hispanics in the United States believe they are unified, and 62% believe that they don’t speak with the same voice
  • 90% say they identify as part of the Hispanic community
  • 66% of Hispanics, in general, believe that their vote does count in the United States
  • 69% of respondents are optimistic about the long-term future of the Latino community in the United States
  • 62% think that a Hispanic/Latino person is likely to be elected president of the United States in the course of their lives
  • Younger Latinos (born and raised in the country) are less optimistic about the veracity of the "American Dream" than first-generation Latinos

For Romo, the obstacle remains in the inability of the community to join and speak "in one voice.”

"Our young generations deserve to be guided and there’s a lot of people that can be a role model, they just need to speak up and we just need to provide them with the right platforms," she explained.

The issue has to do with "trust.”

Latinos represent a "vast untapped potential", as the Edelman Trust Barometer reported earlier this year, showing "a continuous collapse in the trust of institutions in the United States", deeply marked in the Hispanic population, who is 13 points below the general population when it comes to believing in government.

"That meant the Hispanic community felt betrayed and felt bruised after the election," Romo continues, echoing the effect the Donald Trump campaign had on adopting anti-immigrant rhetoric as a weapon to collect votes.

This may explain the urgency of so many platforms to "wake up" the Latino vote before the midterm elections.

"Overwhelmingly, Latinos are saying that they’re undervalued and that their contributions aren’t fully appreciated," Romo concluded. "The political candidates who recognize this and work to give full voice to Latino achievements will surely be the ones who benefit from Latino support at the polls."

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