La Opinión

Professor Talks Latinos and Politics

Ted Cruz

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is the first Latino to win Iowa. So why aren’t Latinos celebrating? Academics, analysts and Hispanics throughout the U.S. agree that the answer is complex, and dependent on each individual’s definition of what the Latino identity is.

Being Latino is much more than an ethnic or national origin. In the case of Ted Cruz, he has not made efforts to create ties or even recognize the struggle of immigrants or other Latinos — in fact, he has seemingly rejected them. This sets him apart from the Latino identity, says Alexandro José Gradilla, chair and associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Cal State Fullerton.

“I think many of those who are expressing their opinions on this matter agree on one thing: They want someone who recognizes the Latino community. They don’t have to have Our Lady of Guadalupe emblazoned on a t-shirt, but they need to at least recognize that this community exists andv that it has a certain identity and ideas,” he said.

Continue reading in Spanish. This story was also featured in La Raza, Rumbo and other Spanish-language publications.

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