Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) - the person who holds one of the most powerful positions in our government - a protector of the constitution, of free speech and of tolerance - called me stupid.
Perhaps he was indicating that I'm mentally challenged or maybe that I'm just uneducated - I'm not sure. But what I doknow is that his comments were a profound insult to me and every other American of Hispanic descent.
During a campaign event in Nevada Tuesday, Reid made an appeal to Latino supporters whose votes he needs for re-election in November, by making this condescending remark:
"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK," he said. "Do I need to say more?"
Yes, Sen. Reid, in fact you doneed to say more.
Perhaps Sen. Reid should have came out and said what he was getting at rather than making such inflammatory comments - implying that all American Hispanic voters would be foolish notto conform to a herd mentality for their own good.
I can only assume that the point Sen. Reid was trying to make was that the majority of Latino voters in Nevada would be hurt by a Republican taking office in November because of the GOP's stance on immigration reform.
But perhaps Sen. Reid would be interested to know that the Hispanic community in this country can make their own decisions. A CNN pollconducted in late July showed that 65 percent of all Hispanics questioned want to see tighter security and increased federal law enforcement at the southern border.
With all the recent talk of ethnic profiling since Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law came into play - I have to say, that is exactly how Sen. Reid made me feel today.
I highly resent Sen. Reid's remarks for suggesting that I lack the brainpower to make a rational choice, and for deciding for me how my ethnicity should play out politically - because I ama Republican and I also happen to be of Hispanic descent.
And I happen to know many American Hispanics that are Republicans. They are Republicans that share the strong fundamental values this country was built on. They value family, education, freedom, respect and love for this great nation - the United States of America.
But I guess I shouldn't be that surprised by the generalizations and stereotyping coming out of Democratic Party and its leadership. It's quite a familiar theme these days, because it seems that I as a doctor also lack the intelligence to make the right choices for my patients.
If this is the formula for success in fixing a broken health care system, it would stand to reason that Sen. Reid may also believe that I can't be a doctor and be against Obama's health care reform - especially me - since I'm not only a doctor, but a Hispanic doctor at that. By Sen. Reid's calculations, I may as well cut my losses and become a Democrat who practices medicine in federally-funded clinic. OK, OK - so I have a flare for the dramatic, but I think I've made my point. But all sarcasm aside, what hurt me the most about Sen. Reid's ignorant remarks is that he has insulted the memory of my father.
My father was a hardworking man that fled communism in Cuba and arrived in this country in pursuit of the American dream. And part of that dream, were the freedoms and opportunities afforded by an economy built on capitalist ideals. Those ideals allowed a man like my father to build his business on his own terms - never asking for help - but always thankful to this great nation. My father was a Republican through-and-through until his dying day. And yes, Mr. Reid, he was also of Hispanic decent.
Hispanic Americans are proud people. They are proud of their heritage, but they are also proud to be citizens of this democracy we call the United States of America. We do not want to be boxed in. We simply want the same respect given to any citizen of this country - to be viewed through colorblind eyes, and to have diversity of choice free from ethnic bias.