Rick Sanchez: Latino groups shouldn’t be shocked by Trump convention     

Donald Trump during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.

Donald Trump during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Hispanic groups are up in arms over the rhetoric emanating from the GOP convention. They are calling it offensive and racist, to which anyone who’s observed the candidacy of Donald Trump would say: “And you expected what, a Latino appreciation festival?”

There was once a Republican Party that would not have allowed this.

- Rick Sanchez

Where have you been for the past year? Where were you when Donald Trump came down the escalator and began his candidacy by calling Mexicans “rapists?” My God, he’s picked a fight with Mexican President Pena Nieto — and with former presidents Calderon and Fox. 

He’s even publicly disagreed with and insulted the Pope over immigration. You’re surprised?

The head of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) said the "parade" of speakers at the GOP convention sent a message that immigrants and people not legally in the country are more pre-disposed to commit murder. Yes, that’s the "message" and guess what? That’s exactly what Trump has been claiming since he began his campaign, despite the fact that it’s clearly not true. So LULAC, what did you expect? 

By the way, for those who prefer facts to hateful fiction — here is the truth about foreign-born immigrants and crime. According to the Immigration Policy Center, foreign-born Mexicans ages 18 to 39 living in the United States had an incarceration rate of 0.7 percent, while the over all incarceration rate for American-born men ages 18 to 39 is 3.5 percent.

It is nothing less than shameful fear mongering to invite speakers whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants to speak at the Republican Convention. But should we be surprised, when we realize that fear mongering has been Trump’s vote-getting strategy all along? Whatever it takes to win, baby!  

Today it’s Mexicans, but tomorrow it could be Asians or Jews or maybe the group you belong to. He’ll have somebody on stage with him saying they lost a family member to "your kind" — a Cuban or Irish person or a Swede. Get it?

There was once a Republican Party that would not have allowed this. 

Ronald Reagan was both inclusive and inviting when it came to Latinos. He was the first president of the United States I covered as a young journalist. He was also the reason I voted Republican. This convention is not his, nor sadly is it in his image. It’s also not the convention of George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney. None will show. 

Maybe my Latino friends who lead these Hispanic groups were looking for those guys this week. Maybe they thought Bush, Romney or even Reagan would magically appear on Trump’s shoulder like the Great Gazoo and make things right again.

Maybe they forgot every horrible, offensive, even racist belief expressed by Trump from New York to California. We heard it over and over again. Yet somehow Latino activists say they’re surprised or are simply feigning shock and awe. 

Allow me to remind these acronymic Latino leaders of LULAC, the NHLA, the NAHJ, NHCSL, NHMA and others that the definition of "loco" is to hear somebody constantly sounding offensive and even racist, while expecting a different result.

When it comes to this GOP convention, in the immortal words of former NFL head coach Denny Green, “they are what we thought they were.”