One criticism of the popular term “Latino vote” or “Hispanic vote” that Americans may be trying too hard to predict the influence a stereotype that simply doesn’t exist in the way it’s perceived. In the article, “Immigration and Political Racial Profiling,” Michael Cutler, former Senior Special Agent of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, states, “To talk about the “Latino vote” is to postulate that all Latinos will vote the same way and presupposes that all Latinos have the same values, orientations and concerns. This is racism and bigotry plain and simple. It is unfair, it is insulting and it is divisive.” (View this article here.)
Although 27 million Latinos will be eligible to vote this year, it is doubtful that their influence will reach its potential, based on history of voter turnout among Latinos. The New York Times article, “27 Million Potential Hispanic Votes. But What Will They Really Add Up to?” describes how the Hillary Clinton campaign program, “Latinos con Hillary” has been hard at work to educate the Latino population on voting procedures and rally them together in support of the Democratic party. This so-called “Latino” or “Hispanic vote” has been speculated to have a major influence on US elections. Spanish-language media has been promoting this idea as well.
A high percentage of Latino citizens simply do not vote. Yet, despite misunderstandings about the “Latino population,” could there exist a unifying force that will unite Latin American voters and call them to action after all? Could Donald Trump’s offensive bigotry and radical plans related to immigration and deportation awaken this long-awaited “sleeping giant” of political influence? (After all, mass stereotyping and discrimination has played a key part in the birth of civil rights activism in America’s past.)