LATINO VOICES

Cristela Calls Out Presidential Candidates' Pandering To Latino Voters

"We’re real people. We have different likes."

Cristela Alonzo wants every Latino to know that their voice and their vote matters.

In an impassioned and hilarious speech at DePaul University from May 5, posted online Wednesday by LatinoUSA, the comedian and actress addressed not only the importance of the Latino vote but the problem with presidential candidates' "Hispandering," or pandering for the Latino community's support.

During her nearly one hour-long talk, Alonzo opened up about how her personal experiences have shaped her political views which don't necessarily align with what politicians often think matters the most to many Latino voters.

“My mom died because nobody told her about programs that were available to go see a doctor that, for me, makes healthcare very important to me," Alonzo says in the video above. "Me not graduating from college... education becomes very important to me. You know what frustrates me? Is that they make it seem like Latinos, we’re all about immigration. [Like] that’s all we care about, immigration.”

She went on to discuss the many inauthentic ways presidential candidates have tried to pander to Latino voters by using her favorite movie "Die Hard" as an example. 

“Hispandering would be adding a piñata [or] a mariachi band to 'Die Hard'," Alonzo said. "Will Latinos come and see it now? No! Because you’re trying too hard to get us. When you start being specific and you start using things that you think we want then you stop treating us like real people. We’re real people. We have different likes."

Alonzo specifically pointed to Hillary Clinton's self-comparison to an abuela debacle and Bernie Sanders serving tamales at his events.

"I don’t need [Hillary Clinton] to be my abuela, I need you to show me that you want to be president. I don’t want my abuela to be president," she said, before turning to Bernie's tamales tactic. "Don’t try so hard. Did that come from a genuine place? Did you really think: ‘Hey the tamales, this is something that’s really important to people.'”

She then brought up an unlikely example of what it means to be a relatively authentic presidential candidate.

"What Donald Trump is doing though, what someone like him is doing is he’s being an authentic version of himself to try to get people that are supporting him," she said. "And in theory, I know it sounds weird, but that’s what every candidate should be doing."

Watch Cristela's full talk in the video above where she discusses the Latino vote, Hispandering and how assimilation "means that we're losing a part of ourselves."

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