By Venceremos Guerrilleras/os
As the end of the year approaches, we take a look back at all the events and people that were detrimental to the progress of our communities. While the competition was stiff this time around; we found a way to narrow it down to one candidate. We explored options from different parts of the nation and even the world, but ultimately the dubious honor of Pendeja del Año stays local to our state. This year we found that Representative Ludmya Love a.k.a. Mia Love, caused us the most headaches and in our opinion, does not live up to her last name.
During this year’s midterm elections, Mia Love was voted into congress as the first, Black Republican woman of Haitan origins. In this conservative state, that may seem like a step forward for us, but in reality her story, her platform, her ideals and morals do not align with the community she is supposed to represent.
Mia Love is a child of immigrants from Haiti, who fled war and dictatorship. The Brooklyn born Representative-elect for Utah Fourth Congressional district, moved to Newark Connecticut and eventually adopted Utah as her home when she met an LDS missionary and converted to Mormonism from her Catholic upbringings. Love does not appear to be a typical Republican at first, especially when she talks about race; she claims that race is a not a factor in her political success, yet she serves as a poster-child, tokenized by her own party. She gives in to the idea that because she won the midterm election for her district that Republicans are not the vile racist, sexist party that are often portrayed. Historically we know that is not the case. Strategic re-districting and boundary claiming on behalf of our current representatives (Majority republican) does not mean she represents the immigrant communities and communities of color.
Mia Love is a strong disapprover of Obama and his administration, she claims that he is dividing the nation with his passing of the Affordable Care Act that grants access to health insurance to millions of Americans, and his executive action on America’s broken immigration system. Yet she has stated that immigration reform should include securing the border and not granting access to education to children of undocumented immigrants. If she wants working class people to live without access to healthcare and doesn’t intend to keep families of immigrants together, then perhaps she shouldn’t claim to be for family values. So though she may seem like a triumph for Utah’s conservative party, she is still a typical Republican: Repealing Obamacare, ignoring women’s rights, adopting a pro-life stance, and a strong supporter of defending the second amendment.
Venceremos selects a recipient of the Pendejo/a of the year to someone that does not represent the greater interest of La Raza. Beyond that, this recognition is also given to someone who has not shown integrity and commitment to forward-thinking, we are glad to see that Congress will be diversified at least in part, but if this action does not promulgate diversity as a process rather than a goal it will only be another political move to try and hide the real issues. A small step does deserve its praise, but a step without progressive action is just a step.
Mia, please do not discard your Haitan Heritage and take a stance against your own Afro-Haitian roots and still call it love. . There is a reason that most people of color did not vote for you. We hope that you use the white privilege that you have benefitted from, for a better nation, and better state.
The “Pendeja/o del año” is a call to action to our communities: local and national transformation will depend on all communities coming together to create social change. ¡Juntos Venceremos!