Opinion

What conservatives can do for Hispanic Heritage Month

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Brittney Morrett
Freelance Writer
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      Brittney Morrett

      Brittney Morrett currently works as a youth projects manager for a non-profit that promotes economic freedom to the U.S. Hispanic community. She graduated with a B.A. in Middle East Studies from The George Washington University in 2010.

Conservatives are bad at engaging minority voters. Everyone knows that, but very few people seem to have constructive ideas on how to fix the problem. Hispanic Heritage Month, which began yesterday, is a great time to start coming up with them.

Every year, September 15th-October 15th is set aside as Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when Latinos celebrate their heritage through festivities, community service, and educational events. In big cities, small towns, and on college campuses across the United States there are month-long celebration calendars filled with community events.

Before pitching a fit about why Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians get designated months, just stop, and don’t. Whether you agree with the idea of heritage months or not, they exist. It’s better to use reality to our advantage than whine about it. We aren’t complainers – that’s for liberals.

The first step for every conservative or Republican group should be to Google their local Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. It’s almost guaranteed that there will be some kind of festival or block party where organizations can set up a table for little to no money. Sign up your organization. Show up. Hand out information and actually interact with your fellow Americans. If you have the time and resources, have literature in both English and Spanish. Do not use Google translate – respect the Spanish language enough to find a translator who knows what they are doing.

Before the pro-English crowd gets riled up, let me explain something: For many Latinos who speak English, Spanish was their first language. That means that for some, like my grandma, it’s easier for her to discuss political topics in her native tongue. She still speaks English fluently, but would vastly prefer reading and talking about some issues in Spanish. That’s reality – adapt to it and use it to advance your ideas. Again, whiners can go to the Democrats. If you’re so invested in people learning English, I suggest you start volunteering to teach English as a Second Language classes.

Of course, showing up is the easy part. Once you show up, don’t blow it! Too often I see well-intentioned conservatives show up at events attended predominantly by Latinos and then start spouting off about “shamnesty” or some other hot topic using insensitive terms. Just don’t. Instead, talk about topics like economic freedom. Did you know that Hispanics start businesses at three times the national average? That means they are just as affected by policies like the Affordable Care Act and discussing the basic principles of the conservative movement with them like actual, educated people will go much further.