Our friends at the Tequila Party are at it again, and this time they are going after the Rev. Sam Rodríguez, one of the nation's top Latino ministers and (good God) a Puerto Rican. In a press release issued today, the leaders of the Tequila Party —yes, the same group whose LLC license was not approved by Arizona and who lost key Latino Democratic strategic Gus García from its leadership— said the following about why Rodríguez cannot speak for Latinos and his support of Florida Senator Marco Rubio: because he is Puerto Rican.
[Rev.] Rodriguez is of Puerto Rican descent, and Puerto Ricans receive automatic citizenship. Therefore, we believe he does not fully understand the hurting other Latin groups endure as their families get ripped apart and deported. We also believe Rodriguez is not fully aware of how Rubio is helping to destroy Cuban and Mexican relationships due to his unjust policies against the poor, the undocumented hard workers who contribute to the American economy and good immigrants who are afraid to defend themselves.
While we actually think that Rubio's stance on immigration is a bit out of touch with reality, we seriously think that the Tequila Party made a huge political mistake by showing its ignorance about Puerto Ricans and their history in this country. Rev. Rodríguez's Puerto Rican descent should not be called as the reason why he cannot speak for Latinos. The Tequila Party showed its lack of understanding that the new Latino politics is about UNITY and not about DISUNITY. Once it realizes this, they might actually gain political allies in Washington. The reality is that this "movement" has no momentum, and it continues to belittle the contributions of other Latinos in this country.
By the way, according to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Rodríguez was named by CNN as "The Leader of the Hispanic Evangelical Movement." His bio also states:
The Wall St. Journal has identified him as one of America’s 7 most influential Hispanic Leaders, and the only religious leader on the list. Meanwhile the San Francisco Chronicle described Samuel as one of the 6 Leaders of the New Evangelical Leadership. By God’s Grace, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez stands today as America’s voice for Hispanic Christianity.
As one of Newsweek Magazine’s Top 12 People to Look For in 2008, and as the President of America’s Preeminent Latino Christian Organization, Samuel is regarded as one of the most prominent voices in the Kingdom of God and as the lead spokesperson for the 16 million strong Hispanic American Born Again Christian Community.
Featured, Profiled and quoted by the Washington Post, CNN, FOXNEWS, Bill Moyers, Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Newsweek, Univision NY Times, The Wall St. Journal, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, Ministries Today, and others as the Preeminent Leading Voice of Hispanic Born Again Believers in America, Sam lives to Build the Kingdom of God, reconciling a platform of righteousness and justice.