Opinion: Kevin de León’s defenders emerge, but they’re still a minority group
Kevin de León’s defenders should feel encouraged after reading this column in the New York Times. The column is well-written, well-argued, and offers important insights into the role of political activism in the Latino struggle for democracy. Here is De León’s key point:
The point is not to prove a point or even to demonstrate that Latinos are more concerned about the same issues faced by other minorities. It’s to demonstrate that there is a commonality that binds a Latino activist community.
Some of his detractors say that his work is divisive and that he only reinforces stereotypes about Latinos.
I agree with some of his detractors. I’m of the opinion that there have been many times when he has made statements that were out of the mainstream, and it’s important to understand that when he makes these kinds of statements. I agree that when he does that, he is putting his ego above all else. But his critics have the wrong end of the stick. There is no such thing as a Latino activist who only cares about Latino issues. The Latino activist community is diverse and often includes people who are just as engaged with issues that other minorities face. One of the biggest differences is that Latinos, on average, do not have as high a household income as other demographics. And, by and large, Latinos don’t have as much influence on the political process as other demographics.
There is no such thing, however, as an African-American or an Asian-American who is only interested in issues that other minorities face and whose goal is to keep them in their place with the government’s help.
A white person may be interested in issues that some other citizens are concerned with, but there is no such thing as a white person who is only interested in issues that other white citizens are concerned about. And the fact of the matter is that there are, in fact, a number of white people who are interested in issues that other white citizens are concerned about. There are black people who are interested in issues