Is Marco Rubio Latino Enough?

When we saw this editorial in the Washington Times by Mario Salazar, just the headline was enough to turn us off: Marco Rubio: Latino or Not? It reminded us of all of our readers who have told us that other Latinos made them feel bad about themselves and who they are. Whether they don't speak Spanish, don't dance salsa or lack some other stereotypical "Latin" trait, many readers have told us that they feel less than when speaking with other Hispanics.

This idea of "not being Latino enough" has flourished in our communities here in the U.S.  as our culture tends to consider our lack of assimilation a point of pride, as it should. But there comes a point when we begin to tear each other down for no other reason than the fact that some Latinos here in the U.S. have assimilated. Yes, we're Hispanic, but we're also American, and we should be able to embrace all the parts of who we are.

Salazar's argument stems from the special treatment Cuban American immigrants have received since arriving to the U.S. at the start of the revolution in 1959. The American government welcomed Cuban immigrants with open arms, a far cry from how many other Latin immigrants have been treated upon arrival. Salazar also shares a personal anecdote to try to back up his claim that Rubio may not be Hispanic, telling the story of a Cuban man who, when asked if he was Latino, responded, “No, I am not, I am Cuban.”

Maybe Rubio shares political beliefs that put him in the minority when it comes to national voting trends among Latinos, but to question his upbringing and cultural background seems like a ignorant attempt to try to tear one of our own down. We don't have to all think the same to be Latino.

What do you think about questioning Marco Rubio's cultural heritage?