Guerrero: Latino support for Karen Bass shows voters rejecting Black-brown strife
In what has become an all-too-familiar headline, The Chronicle’s Juanita Reyes recently wrote that for Latinos, the election of Karen Bass is not about Karen Bass. She was only mentioned in passing and no mention was made of the fact that Latino support for Karen Bass is a rejection of the current Black-brown strife.
Juanita wrote that Karen Bass, who is running against incumbent Congressman Luis Gutierrez, is “the first Latina congresswoman… in a long time,” and that “It’s a very significant moment. Latinos have never had a Hispanic female member of congress.” Juanita also wrote that Latinos “are voting today for one of their own, the first Latina.”
Now let’s look at what Juanita wrote recently. There are many Latinos who have never had a Latino-American woman in Congress:
It’s a very significant moment. Latinos have never had a Hispanic woman in Congress—that is, a Latino woman who could pass the language and cultural test required of those serving in Congress.
This is one of the most significant moments in Latino history. The first Latino woman in Congress is Karen Bass. She was elected to Congress out of the Chicago public school system, in a district that has historically been a majority non-Latino. The district also had become majority black, largely because of the migration of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.
I wrote about this fact in 2013, and the history is still apparent to all. My point was that if you want to look at the history of Latinos in the United States, the first Latino to serve in Congress was Jose Angel Gutierrez. Jose Angel was elected to Congress in 1974, and was the first Latino to be elected to the House from Illinois and the House from Illinois, which by the way had always been a majority non-white state. He represented mostly south-east Chicago.
In my opinion, one of the most important facts about Latinos is the history of Latinos in Congress: in the last century, the representation of Latinos has remained stable, year after year. This fact is quite remarkable, and it means that we have