• Hillary Clinton is #notmiabuela

    Every election cycle I get to hear about how important the Latinx community is to an ascending candidate. Their responses to our alleged importance have been comical at best. I have memories of Bush II laughing trying to speak Spanish, and Jeb Bush awkwardly thrusting his biracial son into the national discussion. We had Obama spend millions to try and communicate the importance of his Hope through the form of countless Obamanos t shirts dotted throughout the Midwest, only to have him deport our communities at alarming and regretful rates. Now we have Hillary Clinton claiming to be like our abuela.

     

    This election has left me conflicted, not so much by the candidates by rather by the powerful latinxs both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have been hiring. Each hire was accompanied by an awkward press release indicating that these prominent activists working for suspect presidential contenders have, in fact, not lost their street cred.

    All that aside what is most alarming about this series of conversations is that a women who was on the Board of Walmart, operates with an exceptional amount of privilege, advocated for the deportation of undocumented migrants and has done little to defend the rights of workers has decided that the best course of action in trying to communicate to a community that is somewhat suspicious of her is to try and claim some sort of identification with our abuelitas. I, for one, don’t have strong memories of my abuela. I only knew one, since my parents were older, and she died when I was 12. What I do remember fondly is her warmth and making sugar cookies. I remember her warmth and joy as she intermittently stayed in our home and would welcome my overwhelming embraces. I remember that she never had much money, but she would offer us what little she had, and reveled in the little things we would buy to treat ourselves with her gracious gift. She was kind, sweet and gentle. I remember my mother’s devastation as abuela became increasingly ill and eventually passed away. We weren’t able to go to her funeral and I remember my mom years later finally allowing herself to grieve for her, sobbing uncontrollably to a candle portrait of her mami. I remember tentatively entering my mother’s bedroom and tenderly holding her, sensing her deep pain. Hillary Clinton, these aren’t the memories I want you to pretend to have some identification with. Stay away from these tender memories. Hillary Clinton you are peddling stereotypes--a far cry from the actual, lived experience of my abuela and others. 

    In looking through the various tweets I am also proud of the brilliant and strong abuelas that encompass our community.

     

     

     

    The polices that the Clinton Clan and Obama himself has advocated have kept many from the warm memories I have of my abuela.  

    Heck even many of our abuelas wouldn’t be able to vote

     

     

     

    The Clinton campaign even went so far as to try and fix their gaffe

     

     

    Hillary Clinton stay away from our abuelas!

    -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez

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