MANA President and CEO Calls for Apology from Congressman Boehner to Congressional Hispanic Caucus





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Published on May 4, 2009

MANA Outraged by Video on House Minority Leaders Website
Calls for Apology to President Obama and Congressional Hispanic Caucus

MANA, A National Latina Organization, with headquarters in Washington, DC, twenty-five Chapters, six affiliates and individual members across the nation, is outraged by the recent inappropriate and inflammatory video Do You Feel Safer? posted on the websites of House Minority Leader Congressman John Boehner (OH) and Congressman Pete Hoekstra (MI). The imagery includes footage of President Barack Obama meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus members along with scenes from 9/11 and other terrorist attacks. Congressmen Boehner and Hoekstra have wrongfully insinuated that the President and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are part of the threat to national security. We call on both Congressman Boehner and Congressman Hoekstra to not only take this video down from their websites, but to issue a statement of apology to President Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus immediately.

The Hispanic community takes very seriously the issues of national security and terrorism. To have the Congressional Hispanic Caucus grouped with terrorists and national security threats is both inappropriate and inflammatory. As a community, Hispanics have historically served the United States military and been on the front lines to defend the nation, most notably in World War II, when an estimated 500,000 Hispanics served and over 7500 Hispanics were recipients of every major U.S. military decoration.

Comments from Congressman Boehners staff labeling the response of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to the video, beyond silly, further reflect the lack of sensitivity and concern being shown to the Hispanic community. These comments devalue the leadership of the caucus members who have earned the trust and respect of their constituents nationwide.

It is beyond unacceptable for Congressmen Boehner and Hoekstra to portray the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and by extension the Hispanic community, as being advocates of terror or a threat to national security. This week President Obama renewed his commitment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a day before this video was released. We urge Members of Congress to not take the Do You Feel Safer? video as an example for how immigration reform will be treated. The issues should be kept separate and we demand that Congressman Boehner and Congressman Hoekstra remove the videos and apologize, said MANA President and CEO, Alma Morales Riojas, who also serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), which consists of 26 key national and regional organizations representing Hispanics.


About MANA: MANA, A National Latina Organization, is a nonprofit advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. With chapters across the country, it is the oldest national Latina membership organization in the United States. MANA, whose mission is to empower Latinas through leadership development, community service and advocacy, envisions a national community of informed Latina activists working to improve the quality of life for all Hispanics. MANA also has the only national Latina mentoring program for girls 11-18, HERMANITAS®, which brings over 100 girls each year to a Latina leadership institute that includes educational activities at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon.

For more information, please contact the MANA National Office at 202-833-0060


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