Martha Montelongo - Contributor
Montelongo is a political commentator and radio talk show host
in Monterey, Calif. [Montelongo website]
54 An Affirmation for Self-Identity
But the "experts" don't think so...
[Martha Montelongo] 10/5/03
A recent poll commissioned
by four education and nonprofit ethnic-identity organizations
found that more "minorities" (Latinos,
African- and Asian-Americans) were in favor of Proposition 54
pollster Sergio Bendixen said, "It's counter
to what experts might have predicted." How outrageous! He,
an "expert," was surprised that Latinos would indicate
that they oppose the government's racist practice of classifying
us by ethnicity or race, herding us into groups -- as if one
part of our ancestry was more determinant then another, as if
the box we checked said something inherently defining about who
we are as a group.
could it be that we see ourselves as more complex, as citizens,
individuals, equal before the law? Might we see those
boxes we are asked to check by the government as inherently
suspect? And could it be that we think it is none of the government's
business to ask?
according to the "experts." Their existence is
contingent on our being counted as part of their groups. Their
concerns, they insist, are our concerns, and they propound our
victimhood, claiming that we suffer because of our ethnicity
and race -- and then they cast themselves as our self-proclaimed
are these people? Well, they are the same "experts" who
sued California to stop the recall on our behalf, arguing that
we are too stupid to know how to vote with a punch-card ballot-and
so they had to protect us from ourselves. Hmm, let's see: We
can figure out how to get to this country, how to get a job and
keep a job, raise our kids, and even register to vote, but we
must be protected from our own stupidity over and over again
in the voting booth -- and so we become nothing more than part
of an ethnic identity group and remain the helpless victims for
whom they speak.
the "experts" must
really believe we're stupid. Participants in the Racial Privacy
Initiative poll were read
the actual initiative twice, in English or Spanish, and then
read three supporting and three opposing arguments before being
asked, "now that you have more information about Proposition
54, do you support or oppose Proposition 54?" In response,
46 percent of Latinos still favored the initiative, with only
33 percent opposing -- but the "experts" insist it's
because we didn't understand what we were talking about.
could the poll results be so wrong, from the perspective of
protectors? Well, according to the "experts," we
simply hadn't been educated enough about the question. Sergio
Bendixen concluded, "The case against Prop 54 has not
been made, and if Prop 54 is going to be defeated, it's opponents
need to find a way to turn these ethnic minorities around."
think they have. They lie and distort the truth. They hire
more "experts" like
C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General who curiously
dressed in a naval-like looking costume
for no reason known to the public, and Jocelyn Elders, another
Surgeon General who was pressured to resign because the public
didn't quite agree with her insistence that it was vital
to teach our children how to masturbate in kindergarten.
hire these "experts" to tell the voters that the
initiative is tricky. It might sound clear and direct and say
specifically that "lawful classification of medical research
subjects and patients shall be exempt," and that "nothing
in this section shall prevent law enforcement officers, while
carrying out their law enforcement duties, from describing particular
persons in otherwise lawful ways." In other words, medical
studies, research and police procedures are clearly exempt from
the initiative's mandate!
the "experts" target us "minorities" and
tell us that our health and safety are at risk anyway if we support
Proposition 54. Why do they resort to such treacherous tactics?
Because, in truth, it's their own existence that is at risk.
We don't need them if we're not chronic victims. And so, in desperation,
the "experts" are willing to say whatever it takes
to turn us pesky minorities around -- all so that they can continue
to "protect" us from our own good sense.