Getting Past the “Bought and Paid for Hispanic Leadership” – Otis Graham on the Beam

There was a time when Hispanic political leaders and the Hispanic labor leadership reflected the true sentiment of the Hispanic community in supporting border controls and employer sanctions. Long-time FAIR board member Otis Graham details this history in this fine blog posting. That was before the Hispanic grassroots were displaced by a form of Hispanic Astro Turf. What now passes for Hispanic leadership was actually constructed beginning in the late 1960s by New York City foundation grants creating the best professional political organizers “charity” money can buy.

Today, authentic Hispanic voices are drowned out by this professional class of party operators (you know who they are) who audaciously ignore the devastating impacts of unmanaged immigration on the Hispanic community while insisting all efforts to slow immigration is rooted in anti-Latino bias. Dr. Graham, an expert in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, suggests that newly-emerging figures like Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Susana Martinez may be the harbingers of a new, authentic leadership reflecting the true voice of the Hispanic voting community. Let’s hope so, but if they are to succeed, they’ll first have to overcome the cynical harassment and manipulations of the embedded “ethnics for hire” that seek to divide Hispanic voters on crucial questions of immigration, labor and national unity. (See FAIR Board member Bill Chip’s comments after the article in which he points out that today’s orchestrated refrain that immigration control is somehow “anti-Latino” is a cynical effort to stoke resentment for partisan political gain.)

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    That last sentence should have read, “Why is the culture of one set of conquerors more important than the culture of the current set of conquerors?”

  2. avatar

    To jojiobo:

    I’m a New Mexico native. I was born and raised here and most people here would classify me as Hispanic or Mexican. I’m not surprised by what you say. Although I cannot attest personally to the specific incidents you report, I can attest to the bigoted attitudes you describe. It is very common here for people who self-identify as Hispanic, Mexican, or Latino to hate who they consider to be “white” people. These people that mindlessly talk about New Mexico as being stolen from Mexico and wanting the state to revert to Mexico, I think, are people that have spent very little time in Mexico proper. If they had real long-term experience there, they would probably reconsider their desires.

    These same people intimidate and work at keeping New Mexicans identifying as Hispanics because it suits the purposes of the so-called Hispanic leaders. Think about the yearly pilgrimage to Chimayo, the Spanish Art Market held every year in Santa Fe and other similar activities. If New Mexicans acculturate or assimilate to the main-stream American culture, who will be left to continue these activities so that New Mexico tourism can benefit. Sure, one can import lots of Mexican nationals who live here in violation of federal immigration laws so that they can continue these activities, but they come with their own cultural traditions.

    One question that keeps coming up for me is why do so many New Mexicans think it is so important to hold on to Hispanic or Mexican culture and the Spanish language? Spanish, after all, is simply the language of the previous conquerors. They brought little of value to the state. All they brought was a repressive religion (Catholicism) and a repressive, machista society that focuses on the rights of wealthy landowners even more than the English did on the east coast of the US. Also, the culture the Spaniards brought was one that never seems to have experienced the Enlightenment, so many of the ideas that they instilled here are oppressive and small-minded. Why should modern day New Mexicans fight so hard to hold on to that kind of heritage? Why is the culture of one set of conquerors more important than the culture of the conquerors?

  3. avatar

    I keep hearing the phrase this is the “browning of America and that is why “white” people are against illegal immigrants especially from the Hispanic communities in Mexico and Central America and South America and all the other Spanish speaking countries over the world.

    How many more people can America support with our limited natural resources and dwindling finances. Guess we will find out because no one in Washington is willing to actually do anything to stop the constant flow.

  4. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    Because every day in hospital delivery rooms across the country hundreds of new little ones are born to illegal alien mothers mostly from Mexico. Instant citizens. This is how the daily invasion continues with the US citizen not even aware of what is going on. As we all know the politicians in DC are not about to do something about changing the 14th amendment, any one of them that dares to bring it up is called a baby hater, racist and numerous other names. All the while taking as much of the taxpayer’s hard earned dollars in services as they can pile on. If one of them gets deported or even a threat of deportation if a reporter is around they will hold up their little one for all the world to see hoping for everybody to feel sorry for it.

    Every one of these kids are legal citizens of Mexico if that is where the parents are from. According to the Mexican Constitution if one parent is a legal Mexican citizen so is every kid they have. A lot of these open border organizations want the public to think that these kids do not have a country that they are a US citizen and that’s that. Not true. One thing I don’t get is this government not allowing some of these kids to leave the US with the parents/parent. That they are putting them in foster homes and not allowing them to leave because they are US citizens. Fair can you enlighten me about this.?? Thanks.

    • avatar

      Sorry no one is listening in Washington and neither will they answer your question. This sad state our country is in……..

  5. avatar

    But we do not want a Hispanic Lobby. Either you are assimilating and an American with the same concerns as the rest of us or we don’t want your voice at all.
    That is the point. And if most are illegal they can’t vote anyway. It is time we stop pandering to those who will not follow our laws of entry, will not speak the language of the land, will not buy insurance, and the rest of the non-compliance. We need to pay attention to Citizens, not illegal entry folks. Time to enforce the laws.
    Don’t dilute my Citizenship.

    • avatar

      If you believe that illegal aliens don’t vote in our national, state and local elections, you’re sadly misinformed.
      Illegal aliens by the thousands vote in our elections every year, thanks to the efforts of ACORN and lots of the labor unions who are competing for illegal aliens to become union members. If I had a dollar for every voter registration card that our U.S. Customs Contraband Enforcement Team confiscated from illegal aliens, I could have retired years ago.

  6. avatar

    Communism has a long history among Latinos as does anit-gringo racism. This has intensified in recent years as the policitally correct movement made it an acceptable racism and as the Mexican government and press have become assertive in blaming Mexico’s problems on the US, starting with the accusation that the US stole the southwest from Mexico. I don’t doubt there are a few genuine Latino conservatives out there but we don’t need to be pinning much hope on them.

  7. avatar

    The professional Anglo haters are legendary in the hispanic “leadership” Take Prof. Gutierrez, founder of La Raza, “We must eliminate the Gringo. What I mean is if worse comes to worst, we must kill him”. He, being a tenured professor at the Univ of Texas, still espouses that philosophy. He is supported by Cong. Charley Gonzalez, D-TX, who is a board member of La Raza, and chairman of the Cong. Hispanic Caucus. (I wonder why there is no Cong. Anglo Caucus) I’m sure it would be labeled racist. These professional pimps that include MALDEF, LULAC, etc. will stop at nothing, including constant lying to intimidate Hispanic voters to vote Democrat. Norman Thomas ran for POTUS six times on the Socialist Party ticket. In a speech in 1944 he stated: “I no longer need to run for Pres. on the Socialist Party ticket, the Democrat Party has adopted our platform”.

    • avatar

      Lee, when I moved from another state into New Mexico in 1958, I was singled out by an apparent militant Hispanic male. I applied for and received a promotion where we worked and he began to make snide remarks for the next few years about how “whities” beats the system all the time and I was just another carpetbagger who did not belong in NM, let alone work and get a promotion. I made high scores on all the various criteria for the promotion, experience, schooling, communication,, etc. The remarks persisted for another year when I finally had enough and stopped him in mid-sentence to confront and ask why he specifically targeted and harassed me. He told me he would not rest until there was not one single white person left in New Mexico and he would support any means to get us out of the state. He said NM was still a part of Mexico because the US government cheated Mexico out of the land for a mere pittance. He said if nothing else, Hispanics and especially Mexican born Hispanics would soon outnumber the “whitie” population eventually by the sheer of babies Mexican born Hispanics would have every year and New Mexico would revert back to Mexican born “Ownership” as it should be. He added he only wished. he could live long enough to see it happened. I asked was that the only reason he hated me and other white people as much as he did. He could not articulate why – just that the reason was his “business. He could hate anyone he wanted to hate and that he hated all “whities.”” There were a number of other Hispanics where I was employed too but if they hated “whities” as this co-worker did, I did not detect it. I have white and Hispanic friends and have not detected any outright hatred of whites as that co-worker displayed toward me. Later, I would be once again subjected to prejudice when I volunteered to be a part of the reading tutorship for the local high schools. I was accepted because my grammar was good and the staff felt I could help students whose first language was Spanish. These students needed tutoring to catch up to other students in reading ability. I was assigned one female high school student. Her mother and aunt came along to “inspect” me and see if I was suitable to tutor their child in reading. I was rejected by the mother and aunt because they were afraid I would attempt to change the student’s approach to the Mexican culture and try to turn her to the “white way approach to life.” I was stunned once again at that attitude. but nevertheless I dove in again to try and tutor another student. This time a student showed up at the appointed meeting without a parent but as we began, a startled family member of the girl’s family ran up to us and began to question her daughter about what we had been Spanish. She turned and said something in Spanish to me, took her daughter by the arm and left. When I asked the reading program manager what had happened, she said that because I did not speak Spanish I was not suitable tutor to teach her daughter English. I was disillusioned by now and offered my resignation to the program but the director urged me to keep trying as tutoring in English was needed desperately by these girls if they were to succeed after graduation. So I reluctantly stayed and was assigned a third student and you guessed it, the same thing happened again. I bowed out and never tried to tutor again. I felt I had enough accusations threw at me because I was not a native born Hispanic New Mexican. Years later I wrote an email to the local newspaper to make a remark that had been published in which the journalist backed Amnesty for all of the ten to twenty million illegal immigrants – mostly Mexican born illegal immigrants. I felt these illegal immigrants needed to enter our country legally. Wow, did I get a return email blasting me saying I had no idea how hard these illegal immigrants worked, in fact – out worked any American worker. I told him that I was merely saying that , in my opinion, llegal immigrants needed to follow our laws. He retorted who cares about the law. We need every immigrant – legal or illegal – to come here to this country law or no law! I was stunned by the turn of the conversation to my one question. The journalist went on to say that they did not break the law because coming to this country illegally or overstaying the VISA limit was only a small civil infractions not breaking any law. He then went on to say that I was obviously not native to New Mexico culture and unless I was prepared to”totally immerse myself in the New Mexican Hispanic culture I should go back to where I came from.” He continued to tell me that “after all there was over a 500 year history of Spanish/Hispanic culture here in New Mexico but only a 120 year history of white culture.

      And so in my opinion, there is still quite harsh opinions regarding any white folks coming to and living in New Mexico still. My daughter and grand daughter both experienced harassment by Hispanic students in middle school, high School and college but not to the extend of my experience.

      I suppose there will always be those of one culture that need to bash another culture. It just seems that it is worse here in New Mexico.

  8. avatar

    Yes, cause white people know best who the authentic Latino leaders/sentiments are. Right.

  9. avatar

    I had a feeling Marco Rubio might be genuine. Let’s hope Washington doesn’t change him into a typical politician. I’ve heard there’s a group of Hispanic-American citizens called “You don’t speak for us” that debunks the liberal political “open borders” non-sense. Let’s face it the more cheap labor that comes across the border the tougher it is for the existing Hispanic-American and Afro-American population to find jobs at a living wage.
    I wish my representative and Senators would get out of denial about the S.P.P. (North American Union) and the Nafta Super Highway (trans Texas corridor, as it’s first leg north) . I didn’t enlist to protect a North American Union !

  10. avatar

    This explaination is dead on, check out Mexican immigration laws, the Obama has broken his oath of office to uphold the constitution and the laws of this country by promising amnesty to criminals invading this country, the rest is just bull, liberals need to go live next to these drug dealers and deadbeats who use phony addresses to gain entry to american public schools and vote to the Democrats who care nothing about this country, only reelection, make it to dry land to have their babys and bingo, american citizen, read the paper, every day another illegal commiting a horrible crime, hollywood liberal liars ought to have to live next door to these fake citizens who are draining our tax dollars and taking jobs Americans will do, racism is just a word used to fake out the braindead liberals who agree with the invasion of america, your kids will have to live with your stupidity.