The Buzz On Meriden Mayor's Faux Latino Story


, , , recently reported on questions raised by Meriden Mayor Manny Santos’ appearance on WFSB-TV’s ‘Face The State’ program, http://ctln.local/2014/03/19/is-meridens-santos-faux-latino/.
The Mayor’s appearance was billed as Latinos and the GOP and  at one point the moderator said,  “I want to talk about the historic nature of your election. A Latino Republican.”
Santos, who is Portuguese told he has never presented himself as a Latino candidate but does identify closely with Latinos.  Our news story which also included some critical comments from Meriden Latinos,  generated numerous comments on several forums on social media and our site as well.
As always, works to bring you what people in the Latino community in Connecticut are buzzing about – this time the topic of who is Latino and are some using it for gain –  brought out strong feelings, and some passionate exchanges on both sides of the discussion.


Bessy Reyna:  The Latino response to his name is troublesome. We should check people’s qualifications and not vote “blindly” because we “think” someone is Latino and particularly if that person is a Republican. Voting is one of the most important rights we have in this country but sadly people throw away their votes by not finding out about the candidates or going with the flow.
Luis Edgardo Cotto:  Agreed! But at the same time the media needs to do their job. How can Channel 3 extend an invitation to this guy for a show re: Latinos in the Republican Party? Do your freaking research.
Bessy Reyna:  Luis come on! if you are GOP you should be able to talk about GOP nonsense, would this mean GOP men couldn’t talk about “women” that would be a first!!
Luis Edgardo Cotto:  Hermana, my point isn’t about what the GOP can or can’t do. Check the following out from the article: However, when House turned the discussion to Latinos in the Republican Party, Santos himself pointed out that “there’s actually quite a bit of a debate on that” referring to his status as a Latino, and whether being from Portugal actually counts. “It’s not considered a Latino country.” But House continued, and said “I want to talk about the historic nature of your election. A Latino Republican. A lot of people say Latinos are supposed to be Democrats.” Channel 3 reached out to Santos to talk specifically about “the resurgence of Republican Latinos” It’s obvious they looked at the last name and felt that the man was Latino.
Joyce Bolanos:  House is not well informed! The man just told him there is a debate on that (him being a Latino ) and House doesn’t listen and continues on Latino republican blah blah…es ignorante.
Santos Santana:   Latino serve only as political function. Honestly there is nothing clear about what is Latino. The root is Latin which we all know it is a language that comes from Rome. There was a time the Hispanics was use to lump group of Spanish speaking people but it was considered degrading. Hispanic is use to describe the origin of art for example. Hispanic refers to belonging to Spain/ Portugal, so the confusion is understandable. I, for clarity, like using geographical locations to understand what and where a person is from instead of using Latino. It’s just politics to me.


Comments on site
Ana María Arellano: This article continues with a very important question. I believe Santos should have been clear about his origins, and not allowed for confusion.
Patricia Martick| In reply to Ana María Arellano.
Santos always represented himself as Portugese (sic). Since it makes no difference with respect to his performance as Mayor, why should he have made a special effort to emphasize it? His citizenship as an American is all anyone should be concerned with. His ethnicity is irrelevant. And when people understand that, we’ll all be better off.
Ms. Garcia: Mildred Torres-Ferguson and Hilda Santiago’s comments infuriated me. They essentially admitted that they (and Meriden Demoncratic peers) win elections solely because of their ethnicity, not merit! Frankly, if voters vote by just looking at the origins of a last name (or in this case, misinterpretation of the origins of a name) and do not check what the candidate stands, they shouldn’t be permitted to vote.
Torres-Ferguson and Santiago didn’t think Santos would come close to winning. He did, he is shaking up local government, and now they’re scrapping around looking to launch a smear campaign. Shame on Meriden Democrats.
Editor’s Note: This is a snapshot of discussions on social media sites and comment section, our purpose is to solely offer this feature as an insight into what some in the Latino community are discussing, this is not a news story.  We welcome all opinions and diverse views, please send to editor@ctln.local