Beyond Black and Brown

Don't fall for more race-baiting in California.

Getty Images
Getty Images

There is also evidence that Clinton may not perform as well among Latinos as the media and recent polls have suggested. Recent endorsements by Sen. Ted  Kennedy, labor leader Maria Elena Durazo, and California state Sen. Gil Cedillo (the champion of driver’s licenses for the undocumented in California), suggest Sen. Obama’s popularity may be expanding.

On both sides, the candidates are fighting hard for the Latino vote. Clinton’s Spanish ads focus on families and older people and portray Hillary as a “tia” (aunt) who is well known, while Obama’s ads focus on hope and empowerment depicting Obama at immigrant rights rallies. The appeals are well worn by now — the familiar and tested vs. the exciting new voice for change. They are the central themes of the campaign, whether in English or Spanish.  But they should not be inextricably tied, subtly or openly, to race.