The questions for me were these: for equality to exist in America for Latinos, does the outcome for them as a group require that the group outcome be one of affluence for all or is the traditional idea of equal opportunity alone enough? and if the goal is equal affluence not just opportunity, how would this be achieved?
Raising these questions set off a minor firestorm of personally aimed attacks by several Facebook acquaintances which ranged from claims that I was naive and uninformed to suggestions that I have hatred for the poor and/or minority groups for raising such questions. There was even a question of why I write for Being Latino! if I would ask the questions I asked. They wanted to portray me as a conservative white-boy who is ignorant and probably racist.
It was easy enough for me to counter these critics. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and am extremely well-read in History and Economics; my late wife was a 1st generation Mexican-American; and I am an active member and past local Council President of the League of Latin American Citizens(LULAC). I have an excellent track record in advocating for my local Latino community and have been honored for my work with LULAC.
I know that it is easier to curse the evils of the capitalist system than it is to offer ideas for reform, and it is easier to go after those that ask uncomfortable questions than to answer them; but, one would hope that those who deem themselves progressive would be able to offer thoughtful ideas and not act like the evil, uncaring people that they supposedly oppose and they would accuse me of being.
The attitudes I encountered reflect the ‘something for nothing’ expectations of so-called progressives of today and not the original goal and expectations of the early leaders and members of the Civil Rights Movement, men and women who were looking for an equal playing field of opportunity not some pseudo-socialist handouts or mooching off the work of others. In corrupting the honor and goals of those who came before them, they dishonor the memory of the efforts of their forebears and do a disservice to those in the present they claim to want to help.