Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz behavior damages the Latino brand and leadership

Ted Cruz, Senator for Texas, continues to damage the Latino brand.  In light of the assault by extreme individuals to the Senate yesterday during the affirmation of the Electoral College vote,  I remembered an article I wrote in October 2013 –a version of which follows– that is appropriate still today. Although is not a political publication, we still believe it is in our best interest as a community to discuss matters of branding and leadership.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz meets with President Trump and First Lady in El Paso, TX Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A personal brand is an asset that needs to be cherished and promoted. We, as professionals, business owners, leaders and influencers in our communities know this concept very well. There are certain values that, as Latinos, we all treasure and recognize as important such as personalism, respect, loyalty and a sense of community.

Despite our differences, based on country of origin, degrees of acculturation or even political views, when one member of the pack is attacked, then we react as a whole. We have earned our reputation of a hard-working community with no little pain and we would not accept otherwise.

So when the disturbing behavior of a U.S. Senator of Latino origin, beyond his political position and party, generates the type of damage that Senator Ted Cruz causes to the Hispanic people of this country, it is worth to analyze his position under the lens of a cultural approach.

A comment made to me in a conversation about the government shutdown put me over the edge, not politically but culturally. “One of your people,” said the person in question. It really hit home.

Is Ted Cruz one of “my people?”

Cultural characteristics of a Latino leader

As a community, Latinos have made incredible advances in economic and political power.  We represent the largest minority in the country at almost 55 million Hispanics and expected to reach 106 million by 2050 with a buying power projected to 1.5 trillion for 2015. The Latino vote also defined the last presidential elections of Republican President Bush and Democrat President Obama.  Moreover, those who dare to oppose the Latino community interests and concerns are politically doomed, and great efforts are being made by certain candidates to schmooze the Latino voter.

Ted Cruz position on immigration.

Ted Cruz position on immigration.

The need to increase leadership among members of the Latino community is, however, a matter of constant action and concern for Latino leaders from all walks of life and across the country. One particular concern is related to the lack of political representation of Latinos in federal, state and local governments.

So when “one of our own” reaches a position of power, it is desirable that he or she portrays the values that are close to our community’s heart.

What are those values that make us who we are as a people? What are those characteristics that unite us and project us to the leadership positions we deserve while making important contributions to the American society?

Latinos treasure and build interpersonal relationships around personalismo, respect, loyalty and leadership, with a high level of collectivism based on a deep care and concern for family and community.

True Latino leaders practice personalismo as a value that enhances the importance of the other person over the task at hand. Putting personal ambition over the interest of the community is an undesirable trait seen as self-centered and individualistic. The individual that practices such behavior is rejected as an outcast – un avivado or ventajero, someone who takes advantage of the rest to his own benefit.

Latinos also interact with others with this collectivist worldview that puts the interest of others over the interest of self, especially maintaining closeness and dependency with family members, which influences the way Latinos make decisions and perceive and respond to external stimulus.

Differences might be discussed among the members of a family but the young and inexperienced are never to stand up to their elders out of respect and loyalty. The same sense of fidelity towards family and friends is translated into the work environment, with respect for their work hierarchy chain or positions of authority.

Ted Cruz position on the American Healthcare Act (ACA).

Ted Cruz position on the American Healthcare Act (ACA).

Individuals who break from the pack are seen as deranged or defiant – locos, irrespetuosos or insolentes, someone who believes, in his or her immaturity, they know better than the collective wisdom of the pack.

Finally, true Latino leaders would look after their community, never building obstacles to impede the achievement of the common good. Based on Christian principles of charity and compassion, they would never refrain from offering aid and assistance to those that suffer or have unfulfilled needs, as we “see Jesus Christ in each other.”

For those who derail from the Christian principles of the faith to avoid finding solutions for ongoing social problems are deemed to face the wrath of God.

“Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.” Then they will answer and say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?” He will answer them, “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Matt. 25:41-45)

A version of this article was written for VOXXI on October 2013.

Latinxs die in isolation covid19

November 1 National Day of Remembrance of Latinxs killed by Covid-19

43,953 Latinxs are reported to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. As the pandemic takes a spike in the month of October and November with the feared “second wave,” many more are expected to die in isolation and without the assistance of family or relatives, due to health disparities and their position as essential workers at the forefront of the pandemic.

Latinxs die in isolation covid19

Photo credit Graham Ruttan –

According to a report from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for fiscal year 2018, just over 1,600 homicide convictions were on the criminal records of people arrested by ICE for being in the country illegally. ICE reported a similar number of homicide convictions (1,531) the previous year. This is well below the 10,150 claimed by numbers reported on social media.

The Catholic Church celebrates All Saints’ Day on 1 November, followed by All Souls’ Day on 2 November.  The holiday is a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, as well as a Principal Feast of the Anglican Communion.

However, Donald Trump continues to divide the nation by declaring 1 November as a “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens” nationwide. Adding insult to injury, the President continues in his senseless crusade against the Latinx community.

 build a wall

Photo credit Kalea Morgan –

A long-run strategy against the Latinx community

Obsessed with the influx of immigrants through the southern border, in the spring of 2018, as thousands of Central American families crossed to seek asylum, the Justice Department ordered the arrest of migrants entering the country without authorization.

Latinxs children detention centers

Protests in Elizabeth, NJ about immigrant children detention. Photo credit Chris Boese –

Jeff Sessions, the attorney general at the time, said, “We need to take away children.” It made no difference how young they were. This forced the separation of hundreds of families, even the removal of infants from nursing mothers.

Later, national and international response against this cruelty led the administration to rescind that family separation policy. Still, hundreds of Latinx children are still roaming around separated from their families of origin.

The Administration changed its attack strategy by shutting out asylum seekers through increasing delays in administrative detail, pausing legal processes and ignoring legality.

“Grand” ideas to contain the influx of Latinx immigrants

In March of 2020, the Oval Office met with President Trump fuming about migrants. According to a report, as “White House advisers listened astonished, he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico — by noon the next day.”

 immigrant moat with crocodiles

Photo credit Matthew Essman –

When told that was not feasible, then we continued to offer other grand ideas. The report continues, “Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal.”

However, in that same March meeting, aides recalled, “He suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.” Aids advised against it as an illegal action.

The “immigration czars,” names to be remembered by Latinxs

Policy czars are typically based out of the White House, where they oversee issues across multiple agencies.

Thomas D. Homan, who had served as Mr. Trump’s acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recalled that week in March. “The president wanted it to be fixed quickly.” Homan retired in 2017 from the job when the Senate delayed his nomination.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was taped for as immigration czar at the Homeland Security Department. He now serves as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Cuccinelli’s pending hiring was intended in part to reassure White House and Homeland Security officials who worried that Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security secretary, wasn’t aggressive enough to address the crisis at the border.

Latinxs The reality of Latinxs COVID-19 death numbers is not “fake news”

Latinos and black people together comprise 55% of coronavirus cases, nearly double their U.S. population makeup, according to CDC data released June 15, 2020.

The U.S. COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate is 193.7 per 100,000, according to CDC data updated on Oct. 23, 2020. That is compared to 120.9 on July 24. Hospitalization rates for Latinos are 4.5 times the rate among Whites.

Nationwide, Latinos are 3.2 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

This November 3rd, make your decision to vote based on real facts. #LatinasVote #RegainourLatinoPower

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