Senator hopes his book dispels misconceptions about Latinos

October 30, 2009 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

Read any good books lately?

Came across this from Juan Castillo’s blog Somos, on

According to Elizabeth Llorente, who wrote in The Record, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey,  still encounters people who were surprised he could speak English well, despite his high-profile leadership in Congress.

As he rose to prominence, the New York-born Democrat encountered people who were surprised he could speak English well, that he was not Mexican and that he could speak masterfully about topics other than immigration, welfare and Hispanics.

And so Menendez decided to heed the advice friends and colleagues have given him over many years and write a book, “Growing American Roots: Why Our Nation Will Thrive As Our Largest Minority Flourishes,” that aims to clear misconceptions.

Menendez says the book aims to clear misconceptions.

“I wrote the book not as a memoir; that may come later,” Menendez says. “ I look at the Glenn Becks and Lou Dobbses of the world, and how they and others would have the nation believe that we Latinos all just crossed the border yesterday. There are people who want to make Latinos scapegoats, such as what happened with the Irish when you had signs saying the Irish need not apply for certain jobs, and the terrible names that Italians were called.”

He was also asked;

“Q. In your book you say Latinos must bear responsibility in chipping away at the misunderstanding of their population, and dealing with the community’s challenges.

A. We’re partly to blame for the misunderstandings. We frown on boasting, on pointing out our accomplishments. If we don’t provide understanding and insight into our community, others will characterize us andfill that void. We also have a high dropout rate. Latinos also must go to PTA meetings, get to know the teachers, contribute, but also make demands when schools aren’t performing well. And Latinos who have succeeded need to mentor, to be role models, and reinvest in their communities.”

Sounds like an interesting read to me.


Entry filed under: Arts. Tags: , , , , , .

Fore the Kids Golf Classic, 2009 Open House Thursday Nov 5, 4.30-7pm

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