I’ve been a board member of the Latino Donor Collaborative for two years. The organization is chaired by Sol Trujillo and is governed by an impressive board of many of the top Latino business leaders and entrepreneurs in the country. The organization produces research reports and hosts twice annual convenings where LDC board members interview top executives, celebrities, and economists about the surging power of the American Latino Cohort, or what Sol refers to as the “New Mainstream Economy”. On Thursday, the LDC hosted their 17th convening, and it was one of the best. About a month ago, Forbes Magazine published a story on the online version of their magazine entitled “Hispanics, not Trump, are the Biggest Engine of U.S. Economic Growth“.
On the surface the title of the article was a bit shocking coming from a conservative business magazine, but anyone who knows anything about Forbes Magazine and their publisher Steve Forbes shouldn’t have been that surprised. Steve Forbes has mostly libertarian views, which means he’s not big on social policy and believes strongly that government should stay out of the way of free enterprise, but it also means he is not easily swayed by partisan ideology. The LDC thought it would be good to have Steve Forbes himself at the convening to discuss the article and other economic issues. The LDC’s work focuses on moving the narrative about the Latino community from a social policy discussion to economic policy discussion, and having Steve Forbes validate the importance of the Hispanic community from an economic standpoint could be big. With the help of EY, Steve Forbes’ participation was secured and Mr. Forbes spoke on a panel with Ted Acosta from EY and a gentleman from the Peterson Institute who produced the study that was referenced in the Forbes article. Forbes did not disappoint and at one point referred to Hispanics as the “Cavalry that will save the U.S. Economy”. Forbes said the Trump Administration got things right on taxes and deregulation, but disagreed with their policies on tariffs and immigration. No matter where you stand politically, it was refreshing to hear Steve Forbes speak so pragmatically about the importance of getting things right with Latinos in America. I have an idea for a Forbes Magazine cover photo of three Hispanics dressed as a construction worker, a medical doctor, and a tech entrepreneur with the headline “The Cavalry is Here”.
We hear frequently how Latinos are not a monolithic community. In other words, we are not all the same. We come from different countries, have a variety of political views, and even eat different foods. I get all of that, but I also think focusing constantly on our differences versus our similarities undermines our political and economic power as a community...
This might be my most provocative blog in a while. Let me first state that I am happily married to a beautiful gringa. My kids are half- White and some of my best friends throughout my life have been White, so don’t let the title of this blog throw you.
A few weeks ago, Twitter was blowing up when John Leguizamo spoke out against the recent casting of James Franco as Fidel Castro in the independent film ‘Alina of Cuba’. Leguizamo took plenty of heat for his stance and was ridiculed by some including Bill Maher.