Rep. Grothman Should Apologize To State Hispanics
Perhaps it is because James is a professor of both Spanish and French, and has cultural friendships, which allows for more sensitivity in our home. Perhaps it is that he strives to inculcate in his students an appreciation of Spanish/Latino culture, as much as the language in the classroom. Perhaps it is that I feel strongly about the role our larger community (government) should play in the lives of individuals. Or perhaps it is that I find bigotry unconscionable. Whatever the reason, I was taken aback by the words of Republican State Assemblyman Glenn Grothman last week when he uttered his thoughts on the UW policy, which now will include race as a factor in freshman admissions.
Grothman gave an interview after the Board of Regents made their decision, which will now affect all state campuses. He said, “I think our society is used to giving preference to African Americans. But why in the world would we give preferences to Hispanics, who’ve just come here? Perhaps we could remove preferences for those people.”
WHAT!! EARTH TO GLENN…EARTH TO GLENN! Might I suggest that Grothman’s legislative aides better counsel him before he gets in front of a live microphone! Failing that Red Green reminds us that duct tape works wonders.
White privilege has been a mainstay in our educational system, but as the state demographics change so must the state college admission policies. Far too long admissions policies have favored white students, and that fact is demonstrated every time you attend a lecture, or stroll through a campus. Legacy admissions and other types of privileges have helped to maintain a lack of diversity in our colleges. I am sure even conservative Republican Grothman understands that our colleges do not reflect our state demographics. (And they should!) I am hopeful that the new UW policy will help to bridge the diversity gap that now exists between Main Street and the large lecture halls on college campuses.
So when Grothman talked about Hispanics as if they just all arrived in our state a week ago, and wanted a college education, I was outraged. His feeble attempt at political populism fell flat. There may be misunderstandings about immigration in the state, but the bigotry that Grothman exhibited goes way beyond what true Wisconsinites feel.
A friend of ours from Mexico has lived in Madison for nearly two decades, owns his house, and has created a business. He works and pays taxes; perhaps some of the taxes paid salaries for Republican staffers at the Statehouse to work on illegal partisan projects. Last June he saw his child graduate from high school and has every right to send his child to a state college. For the college to take into account this child’s race as one of many factors is not wrong. For Grothman to suggest otherwise is a slap to a most industrious man who fled Mexico with a dream. It also is a backhand to a most intelligent child. I wonder if Grothman would have the ability to leave his homeland, find a new country, create a business, learn a new language, and succeed like so many from Mexico have done in America? For Grothman to slam those who have dared to improve their lives is an insult that deserves an apology.
Perhaps the problem is that Grothman has no cultural diversity in his own life so to better understand the real world. His record in the State Legislature has not been kind to those with skin pigmentation different than his own. Seems this unenlightened legislator thought making Martin Luther King’s birthday a standard workday was such a grand idea he actually authored a bill to make the change.
There is nothing more unseemly and disgusting than racial bigotry, and no matter how Grothman tries to spin his remarks from last week, that is what they are. Pure bigotry!