NC Governor Angers Latinos by Closing Outreach Office

North Carolina Latino community advocates are crying foul in response to Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to close the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs, saying it sends the message that Republicans don’t care about immigrants.

A spokesperson for the governor says they closed the office for budgetary reasons and that the duties of the office will be shifted to the office of community and constituent affairs and that the needs of the Latino community will still be met.

“We are committed to serving the needs of all of North Carolina’s citizens,” Thomas Stith, the governor’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “We don’t segment our constituents by race or cultural background any more than we separate them by age or gender. In addition, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs is a valuable resource to help us address culturally sensitive issues.”

Advocates of the Latino community see the move as evidence that the Republican Party is unwelcoming to Latinos despite its recent national efforts to address immigration concerns. 

“The message from Raleigh is that Latinos in North Carolina don’t matter,” said Jess George, executive director of Latin American Coalition in Charlotte. “To close the office of Hispanic affairs only goes to confirm what many people suspect in our state, which is that, despite movement with the Republican Party at the national level towards more bipartisan solutions around comprehensive immigration reform, North Carolina conservatives don’t seem to have gotten the same memo.”

The governor’s Director of Community Affairs, who will be assuming duties once handled by the Latino outreach office, says she will have well-trained bilingual staff on hand to handle any needs Latinos might have. This has not appeased many in the Latino community as they see the closing of the office as symbolic of the governor’s lack of commitment to Latino concerns.

Will Governor McCrory’s decision to close the Latino outreach office perpetuate the perception that Republicans don’t care about immigrants and negatively affect the Republican Party nationally? Should he have made budget cuts elsewhere instead of adding fuel to the fire? Or should more Republican leaders make stands like this one, refusing to separate citizens into factions and instead treating them all, first and foremost, as Americans?

  1. Guruforhire

    Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew.

  2. Devereaux
    Guruforhire: Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew. · 0 minutes ago

    Edited 0 minutes ago

    Like you I keep wondering just why we need outreach. They’re here illegally mostly – seems they wanted to come very badly. They should then make their way like everyone else. ?Think an outreach office for whites would fly. Just another race, doncha know.

  3. Severely Ltd.

    Well, since you benefit from the Outreach To COSA (Citizens of Scottish Ancestry), why shouldn’t there be a Latino Office. There is an Outreach To COSA, right?

    Those of us with really mixed ancestry need a government program to help us decide which thread of our background will give us the most political leverage. It’s an outrage that we are neglected.

  4. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Guruforhire: Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew. · 3 minutes ago

    Edited 3 minutes ago

    But do you think the timing might be bad considering all the emphasis on immigration right now? Is this just another fight the left is winning and maybe Republicans shouldn’t add to the conflict with moves like this one?

  5. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Severely Ltd.: Well, since you benefit from theOutreach To COSA (Citizens of Scottish Ancestry), why shouldn’t there be a Latino Office. There is anOutreach To COSA, right?

    Those of us with really mixed ancestry need a government program to help us decide which thread of our background will give us the most political leverage. It’s an outrage that we are neglected. · 1 minute ago

    :). I’m calling my state representative today. The Scots must not be neglected. We’re too valuable a resource!

  6. RadiantRecluse
    Denise McAllister

    Severely Ltd.: Well, since you benefit from theOutreach To COSA (Citizens of Scottish Ancestry), why shouldn’t there be a Latino Office. There is anOutreach To COSA, right?

    Those of us with really mixed ancestry need a government program to help us decide which thread of our background will give us the most political leverage. It’s an outrage that we are neglected. · 1 minute ago

    :). I’m calling my state representative today. The Scots must not be neglected. We’re too valuable a resource! · 1 minute ago

     

    Just don’t offer them our beloved haggis.  It’s an acquired taste.

  7. Devereaux
    Denise McAllister

    Severely Ltd.: Well, since you benefit from theOutreach To COSA (Citizens of Scottish Ancestry), why shouldn’t there be a Latino Office. There is anOutreach To COSA, right?

    Those of us with really mixed ancestry need a government program to help us decide which thread of our background will give us the most political leverage. It’s an outrage that we are neglected. · 1 minute ago

    :). I’m calling my state representative today. The Scots must not be neglected. We’re too valuable a resource! · 1 minute ago

    Wait! I’m a Serb. We’re far fewer in numbers and have been terribly vilified by bad press and outright lies that we are in need of MAJOR government help – to rehabilitate, of course. Should probably work with maybe $3-4 million each.

  8. Devereaux
    Denise McAllister

    Guruforhire: Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew. · 3 minutes ago

    Edited 3 minutes ago

    But do you think the timing might be bad considering all the emphasis on immigration right now? Is this just another fight the left is winning and maybe Republicans shouldn’t add to the conflict with moves like this one? · 5 minutes ago

    Please! The “emphasis” is from the Left. We need to counter that with some rational positions on why all this “minority” stuff is bad for people.

  9. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Devereaux

    Denise McAllister

    Guruforhire: Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew. · 3 minutes ago

    Edited 3 minutes ago

    But do you think the timing might be bad considering all the emphasis on immigration right now? Is this just another fight the left is winning and maybe Republicans shouldn’t add to the conflict with moves like this one? · 5 minutes ago

    Please! The “emphasis” is from the Left. We need to counter that with some rational positions on why all this “minority” stuff is bad for people. · 3 minutes ago

    I think you’re right. Factions and political correctness are killing this country. It just seems that the Republicans don’t have a cohesive strategy to deal with it.

  10. Guruforhire

    No, because ultimately nobody cares about this stuff except a small number of vocal advocates, that get paid to get government graft via incestuous relationships between these worthless agencies and special interest lobby groups.

    Latinos as a group are more in line with the democratic parties economic agenda, and unless we convince them that its bad for them, than we aren’t going to get more of their vote.  This is just window dressing that ultimately nobody cares about.

    Most groups arent as narrowminded as their advocate groups.

    Denise McAllister

    Guruforhire: Any government office that is racially, gender, or sexually specific should be closed as discriminatory, and by definition corrupt.

    Let bigots stew. · 3 minutes ago

    Edited 3 minutes ago

    But do you think the timing might be bad considering all the emphasis on immigration right now? Is this just another fight the left is winning and maybe Republicans shouldn’t add to the conflict with moves like this one? · 2 minutes ago

  11. Devereaux

    Perhaps we should note that this angered “Latino” community. ?Who IS the “Latino community”. The group is wholly made up by the federal government to enhance “support”, but has no rational basis in fact, other than some versions of a common language. And even that isn’t as much of a bond as one might thing. Puerto Ricans go to Spain and have a difficult time being understood, Cubans have a hard time understanding Mexicans, etc. The variations are a lot more pronounced than English. ?Would we consider a group of “Englishers” as reasonable. Doubt the Scots or Irish would be pleased to be included as the same group, and what of us Americans, the Canucks, or the Aussies.

  12. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Guruforhire: No, because ultimately nobody cares about this stuff except a small number of vocal advocates, that get paid to get government graft via incestuous relationships between these worthless agencies and special interest lobby groups.

    Latinos as a group are more in line with the democratic parties economic agenda, and unless we convince them that its bad for them, than we aren’t going to get more of their vote.  This is just window dressing that ultimately nobody cares about.

    I don’t know about that. Perception is huge in politics. We might not get the Latino vote, but white voters make decisions on how they think Latinos and immigrants are being treated. While a white voter (particularly the low information sort) who thinks the Republicans don’t care about immigrants and who believes all the PR swirling around issues like this one, will say they can’t vote for party that doesn’t support immigration. The same is true for votes and SSM. They might not care about it directly, but they’ve been told it’s an essential issue and that the Republicans don’t like gay people, and so they vote for the democrats.

  13. Devereaux

    So you state, hidden in your comment, Denise, the crux of the problem.

    The Left controls the terms of the debate. As long as they do, we lose. We were seriously losing when they spoke of Pro-abortion. We began to win when we spoke of Pro-LIFE. That made them ANTI-Life.

    Continuing to speak to minorities or special interest groups is a sure way to either become them or continue to lose.

  14. D.C. McAllister
    C
    Devereaux: So you state, hidden in your comment, Denise, the crux of the problem.

    The Left controls the terms of the debate. As long as they do, we lose. We were seriously losing when they spoke of Pro-abortion. We began to win when we spoke of Pro-LIFE. That made them ANTI-Life.

    Continuing to speak to minorities or special interest groups is a sure way to either become them or continue to lose. · 0 minutes ago

    Good point.

  15. Pilli

    The governor blew it.

    All he had to do was keep the Office open (staffed by only one person and only on Thursday afternoons from 14:00 to 15:30.)

    He could then legitimately say that he kept the program AND that he is saving taxpayers money.

    He may be a good governor but he’s not a good politician.

  16. Douglas

    I could see something like a small “Office of Immigrant Affairs”… for legal immigrants, wherever they’re from, helping them do things like get settled and get local documentation in order, i.e. drivers licenses, tax affairs, etc. But a race-specific office? Hell no. He did the right thing and should say so and should stick by his guns.

  17. BrentB67

    Immigration is one of the few things the Federal government is supposed to be doing. NC has no obligation to support any group with any outreach.

  18. Joseph Eagar

    Honestly, I find this sort of thing maddening.  There should be a unified office for community outreach, not duplicate ones (likely filled with patronage bureaucrats) for each racial group.

  19. Concretevol

    Republicans should seize every chance they get to make a stand like this if they are willing to be proactive in making the moral arguement against dividing citizens into ethnic groups.

  20. Leigh

    So I read the headline and though “Oh, what did she do this time?”  And then I remembered that Beverly Purdue is no longer governor… that you’ve got a Republican in there, and a decently conservative one, apparently.

    So something good did come out of November, apparently.

    I suppose that rather than close the office he could have “moved” it under the Director of Community Affairs, if that office is going to have to hire bilingual staff anyway — same point, same savings, and might get some of the same protests, but would make it harder for those protests to ring true.  Or maybe in NC this is a fight he can just take on and win, I don’t know.