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This Hispanic Heritage Month feels different

On Monday, President Donald Trump ...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 8:39 AM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 8:39 AM

On Monday, President Donald Trump hosted a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the White House and declared, "Hispanic Americans are not only living the American dream, but their incredible efforts are unlocking the American dream for citizens across our land." He added that Hispanics "inspire our entire nation."

But under a President who has rarely missed an opportunity to demonize Latinos and immigrants, some Latinos are likely wondering whether Hispanic Heritage Month matters, and whether we really have anything to celebrate. The answer is yes on both counts.

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Hispanic Heritage Month is a four-week celebration of the history and culture of America's largest minority group. It began as a week-long event under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and Ronald Reagan expanded it to a month in 1988.

This year, something feels different -- and that is thanks to the current occupant of the White House.

The President's antipathy toward Latinos is no secret. He literally began his campaign by referring to some Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and "rapists." As a candidate, he disparaged a distinguished federal judge because of his Mexican heritage and threw Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference.

As President, he presided over a disastrous response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and then rejected the results of an independent study showing that thousands of people died on the island. Trump regularly conflates Latino immigrants with violent crime.

Given such an ugly political climate, you might think Hispanics would be losing faith in the country that elected a President who is hostile to our communities. Actually, the opposite is true.

According to research from the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos are significantly more likely than other groups to believe in core parts of the American dream. In 2016, more than three-quarters of Latinos said that people can still get ahead with hard work, a higher share than among the broader US public. So, despite the President's lack of respect for us, Latinos still believe in the promise of this country.

At a time when Latinos have sound reasons to feel under siege by the current administration, Hispanic Heritage Month remains especially relevant. It represents an opportunity for Hispanics to remind their family, friends, and allies of our myriad contributions to this country. Such conversations are important, because you may not be likely to hear them in the media, where Latinos continue to be underrepresented or portrayed as stereotypes.

In fact, Hispanics have plenty to celebrate over the coming month. A 2016 report from the nonpartisan Latino Donor Collaborative found that Latinos will be key to US economic growth in the future, and could power nearly one-fourth of the economy by 2020.

Latinos are making their mark on Wall Street, and Hispanic families and businesses are revitalizing small towns in rural America. As the Latino dropout rate has fallen, Latino college enrollment has hit new highs. Latinos are NASA astronauts and Harvard Law professors. One of the country's newest and brightest political stars is a Latina, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who stunned the political establishment by winning her congressional primary in New York in June.

Still, like other Americans, Latinos have an overall sense that the country is not going in the right direction. A September Quinnipiac poll found that 55% of Hispanics are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today, with 58% saying that they believe that Trump is unfit to serve as President. More than half of Latinos disapprove of the job Trump is doing (53%), compared with about a third who approve (33%)

The only way Hispanics can achieve our vision of what this country can be is to exercise our rights as Americans and vote. More than ever, Latinos need to take charge of our own destiny, and that means making our voices heard. Registering to vote -- and then showing up at the ballot box in November -- is the best way of honoring both our Hispanic and American heritage.

No matter what this President and his administration says or does, nothing can diminish the pride that Latinos take in our people and our culture. For hundreds of years, Hispanics have endured, persevered, and succeeded in the United States -- and that will always be something to celebrate.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
Delaware11155198
Howard10693237
Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
Huntington417882
Whitley416745
Steuben411260
Miami406073
Jasper401655
Knox388691
Putnam385762
Wabash370384
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Ripley351971
Jefferson343487
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Wells304081
Greene295185
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Posey282635
Scott281058
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Washington254637
Randolph247783
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Owen222959
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Carroll197722
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Pulaski123748
Newton123336
Benton109715
Brown106243
Crawford105816
Martin92515
Warren87915
Switzerland8378
Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
Warren24959312
Mahoning22738613
Lake21482396
Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
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