In 2020, this celebration comes at a critical time, weeks before a presidential election where Latinx people will make up the largest racial and ethnic minority voting bloc.
Latinx Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the multicultural and multiethnic nature of Latinx, Latino and Hispanic-identified communities. In 2020, this celebration comes at a critical time, weeks before a presidential election where Latinx people will make up the largest racial and ethnic minority voting bloc. Specifically, according to the Pew Research Center, Latinx people represent just over 13% of eligible voters in this election cycle. This year, the Latinx vote could change the course of our country’s history. If we get it right — by which I mean, if Latinx people and allies help elect Biden/Harris — we will put an end to his hateful administration and deliver hope to the countless Latinx people who have been targeted, attacked and brutalized over the past four years.
The constant headlines detailing this administration’s anti-Latinx, anti-immigrant sentiments and actions are heartbreaking. We’ve seen the Trump administration separate families at the U.S.-Mexico border. They are responsible for putting minors in cages. We’ve seen them ignore LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees. We’ve seen them attack Dreamers. And we have seen them mistreat Puerto Ricans as if they were second-class citizens. We’ve even seen the President himself call Latinx people rapists and murderers, while calling on his base to chant ‘build that wall.’ Exercising our civil right to vote in this election will not only give voice to the most vulnerable among us, but it will also put an end to a hateful, discriminatory agenda designed to undermine Latinx self-worth and collective strength.
Ending the Trump regime is a matter of life and death. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, especially Latinx people. Research done by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation indicates that in places like New York City, Latinx people are among the hardest hit by the virus, making up nearly 34% of all deaths related to coronavirus despite being just 29% of the city’s population. We have seen similar outcomes in cities across the country. It would not be overstating the fact by saying that this election is about survival. If we do not defeat Trump, he will get to decide who sits in the Supreme Court and who to appoint in judicial appointments all around the country, he will fundamentally alter the course of our nation’s history.
This November, 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote and hold the potential to change everything. From preventing further attacks on our dignity to preserving the critical progress and efforts of those who have fought on behalf of our community since the beginning, there is so much at stake in 2020. As we observe this month, let us also celebrate the strides we made as a community toward shaping the future of this nation and continue to foster representation, visibility and — most importantly — the power of our voice in yet another critical election that will define the destiny of our community for years to come.
The resilience and courage of Latinx people have been told by powerful voices of individuals who fought the good fight to lead us where we are today. While we take this time to observe National Latinx Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15, let us also make this a time for action: Text Equality Voter to 472-472 to confirm your registration status and get alerts about volunteer opportunities.
For more information about HRC’s work with Latinx Spanish-speaking communities and access resources, please visit hrc.im/recursos.
Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.