The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a leftist Latino rights group, is launching a campaign to get members of Congress to sign a pledge opposing "irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric toward Latinos," reinforcing Hispanics as "an integral part of the fabric of America, and vowing to denounce "politicians who dehumanize and scapegoat Latinos."
Besides affirming the importance of Hispanics, the document, part of the Pledge for Respect campaign, also includes a clause that members of Congress will "meet with advocates and leaders from the Hispanic nonprofit and business communities to hear a Latino perspective on the issues and to find areas of common ground based on our shared values and interests."
In order to sell the pledge, NCLR hired the Latin funk group Ozomatli to create a PSA-style YouTube video. In it, the group uses scare tactics to make it some some wacky campaign ideas are mainstream political thought.
The ad begins, "Microchips implanted in undocumented immigrants? Landmines on the border? Those are some of the outrageous things that candidates for public office were calling for during the last election. Others used stereotypical and menacing images of Latinos in their campaign ads."
"Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped," the group says, however, before accusing politicians of "fashioning extreme, draconian proposals against the immigrant and Latino communities:"
The video's website concludes: "It’s time to tell Congress that we won’t stand for this anymore. We need to know who is with us and who is against us!"
In general, the pledge seems odd. The demands the NCLR makes are nothing more than what members of Congress are already expected to do with all citizens. But the pledge also has the feeling of a catch 22: if a member of congress signs it, then it appears he is aligning himself with the NCLR and vowing to give it his ear; but if he doesn't sign it, he will most likely be demonized by the group and decried as someone "exploiting xenophobia for political gain."
It's a lose-lose. Unless you're La Raza.
(H/T: The Moral Liberal)