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Should Latinos seek political payback?

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I’m still waiting for my free stuff.

As we all know, President Obama won re-election only because he promised Latinos unspecified “gifts,” and we responded by casting more than 70 percent of our votes for him. Yet I have not received even a thank-you note. Hmm…

Of course, some commentators say Latinos should avoid appearing as if they want something for their votes. It apparently comes across as “prideful, boasting, and sometimes menacing.”

Now don’t worry. Rich guys are still allowed to threaten people if things don’t go their way.

But Latinos must avoid making any demands during Obama’s second term, despite the fact that there has never been a better time for Latinos to insist that our interests be addressed.

After all, it’s not as if we’re the fastest-growing demographic or that we provided the difference in the election or that we’ve been a sleeping giant for decades that is finally “wide-awake and cranky.”

No, let’s embrace our cultural virtue of humility that has gotten us… well, not much actually — especially in a cut-throat, hyper-capitalist society where being number one is all that matters and assertiveness is rewarded. Let’s stay with the Mande Mindset and just be quiet and polite.

True, the outcome of Obama’s second term will be tied to Latinos. If there are more bumps in the road on the way to a thriving economy, we will be blamed for it. Conversely, if the economy takes off, we will receive fewer of the benefits. 

But let’s not get uppity — even if hardcore Republicans are now tripping over themselves saying, “We love you, Latinos” as they wipe the sweat from their brows and plaster smiles on their faces, assuring us their newfound respect has absolutely nothing to do with getting walloped on election night. By the way, it really is an amazing coincidence how they instantly evolved on the topic. I mean, considering they don’t believe in evolution. But I digress.

Still, if we ask for political payback, we run the risk of getting lumped in with the dreaded “liberal agenda.” Of course, Latinos can do a lot worse than associate themselves with that movement.

After all, formerly liberal ideas about women’s equality and the civil rights of ethnic minorities are now accepted (well, for the most part). Conservatives now admit that universal healthcare is the law of the land. And of course, gay marriage is an inevitability.

It appears that liberals actually win in the long run. As such, it’s tempting to skip the gnashing and wailing to just get on with immigration reform before we waste any more time.

But that would be pushy. So let’s just let corporate lobbyists continue to call the shots and allow old people in the suburbs to insist that they are the only real Americans. And let’s just nod when they tell us to shut up and do what they say.

Yes, I’m sure if we’re just really patient, we’ll see some positive changes… eventually, I mean… someday soon.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. I don’t think that’s the only reason he won…

  2. lol ^^

  3. dont hold your breath

  4. Wait! I haven’t received my gift either! lol

  5. Que, que?

  6. he didn’t do it the first time around…..hello!

  7. Mmm Hmm, which is why I want to reveal NOW that I did NOT vote again for him, because I knew that he was FULL OF IT.

  8. Arent we being pretentious now? Last time I remember Mitt never even sent us an invitation to even BE a part of this country. Whoevers been writing the past couple of Being Latino posts is out of it. Bring back the person who posts the colorful part of our culture and not complains about Latinos in America. K thanks!

  9. Politics is nothing more than a scam. He sat down with the Plutocrats who financed his campaign. Executives from Goldman Sachs and the like. Lets hope he does a little bit more for Main St because Wall St is doing just fine and is actually thriving

  10. Mayans got it right. After his reelection comes the end of the world.

  11. What do u expect him to do now?? Sending a x-mas card to every Latino in the states? Jeees..

  12. You mean to say that Latinos fell for bribery? That’s got much to say about our culture, and it’s sad ( for those who voted for him expecting “gifts”)

  13. Im going to be patient. At least we won’t be getting Mitt’s gift of higher taxes on the middle class, money cut from the public school system, money cut from infrastructure building and healthcare being given back to the For-Profit rich healthcare insurance companies…

  14. Obama is a fraud. He turned on immigration reform because it was written by republicans. He doesn’t care about getting the job done for Latino immigrants. He only cares about taking credit.

  15. Not received a thank you note? Is that a joke?

  16. Sigan esperando!

  17. Well Luis Kenneth Escobar…you answered the exact question the writer was trying to convey….you stated “Last time I remember Mitt never even sent us an invitation be part of this country”….that was point he was trying to make. That some, not most, Latinos were expecting “gifts” or as you say “an invitation”…

  18. I asked for a GI Joe with kung-fu grip. Oh, and some Lotto tickets…

  19. I’m still waiting for my presidential football phone.

  20. Welcome to Merica!! Full of lies and deceit!!!

  21. Just shows the idiocy of the whole idea

  22. I did receive a letter from our President, and a personal call from VP Joe Bifen. But I did work hard on our Presidential campaign. And the biggest gift? Romney in the White House, enjoying lunch, as a GUEST, & my friends feel the same sigh of relief.

  23. I actually did received a thank you email…but don’t be so petty…

  24. You of should of known he’s a serpent, devil in disguise he’s nothing but a lier

  25. Yep thats what you get and now Obama wants more spending

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