It seems like no matter how hard the GOP tries to appeal to Hispanic voters — no matter how many times it refers to them by affectionate names like “wetbacks” or compares them to “dogs” — it still can’t win them over. Even the most conservative members of the Hispanic community are kind of uncomfortable with the “let’s send them all back” messaging they’ve noticed within the party.
Case in point: conservatives like Pablo Pantoja, who until recently served as the State Director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee and previously worked as a field director for the Republicans during the 2010 midterm elections. Pantoja recently penned an email explaining that he had decided to renounce his Republican affiliation in favor of the Democratic party, stating:
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today …
The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable…
…I’m taking a stand against this culture of intolerance.
While Pantoja said he’s always harbored some concerns over the GOP’s “seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others,” the final straw was the Heritage Foundation’s recently publicized study predicting long-term reduced income levels among Hispanic immigrants, which some Republicans have used to advocate against immigration reform. As Pantoja notes, the lead researcher previously claimed, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” Pantoja’s aunt, who earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics, might disagree.
Pantoja’s former classmate, Florida Nation editor Kevin Cate, has published the email in its entirety here.