latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

May 1 boycott looming

I've been asked by several people about my lack of commentary on the on-going immigration controversy and demonstrations. I reiterate that the focus of Latino Lingo is about how to effectively market to Hispanics, not about addressing all issues affecting our communities.

With that said, it is appropriate to address and highlight the call for a Hispanic economic boycott on May 1. The boycott calls for Latinos to not attend work, not purchase any product or service, and keep their kids home from school.

From a strictly marketing perspective, the May 1 date does present an interesting opportunity to show the economic power Hispanic have in the U.S., now estimated at more than $700 billion. However, with many companies now actively seeking to not only seek Hispanic purchasers but also to employ Hispanics, it is an effort that could also backfire and lead to more resentment.

In my dialogues with people, the point I try to make clear is that while everyone talks about the 11 million or so illegal Mexicans in the U.S., that is only the tip of the iceberg on the total illegal population in the U.S. In essence, if you're proposing to build huge walls across the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration, then you also should do the same for the Canadian border. And perhaps build one around JFK airport and other places where illegals from other countries make their entrance to the U.S. That's where I feel the real security threat comes from. After all, if you were Al-Queda, would you want to treck across the deserts for days to try to get into this country or simply walk in through the lovely state of Maine?

The biggest strategic mistake being made in the pro-immigration stance, in my opinion, is that the immigration debate has manifested itself into almost exclusively an illegal Mexican issue. Not an illegal alien issue. Mexicans are not the only illegals here. However, nearly all the debate has to do with Mexican illegals. I think protest organizers realized their mistake and the backlash it caused because later protests seemed to have more U.S. flags waving, and we began to see other minority group representation. This was too little too late as still nearly all the the video footage the media shows is usually of large crowds waving Mexican flags. These images have only added to anti-Mexican sentiment across the U.S., and not positively contributed to an actual debate and/or dialogue about existing and/or proposed immigration laws.

I've gone on and on in my postings how today more and more companies "get it" when it comes to having to outreach to us Latinos. My fear is that when all is said and done, the May 1 boycott may do little more than add to this pervasive and growing resentment against Hispanics, especially in non-border states.

If this was a true boycott about immigration issues and laws, it should have included more calls from pro-immigration groups of all minority groups, not just Hispanics, and specifically Mexicans.

15 Comments:

  • At 9:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's inevitable that there be a focus on Mexico, since that's where the vast majority of illegal aliens come from. As you concede, the boycott itself is basically Latino and will inevitably be heavily Mexican. You can't blame Americans for conceiving of the alien demonstrators as they conceive themselves.

    That said, your points about the northern border are well taken. But really you're addressing two problems. One is more strictly a security problem involving a tiny number of infiltrators, the other is a combination of security, labor and immigration policy.

    I think the boycott is a very bad idea for two reasons. First, it's not likely to have much effect as an actual boycott. Second, it's going to encourage further resentment on the part of the native population.

    This is an issue that has to be handled very delicately. Pro-illegal alien demonstrators have a worthwhile point to make, but one that is weakened by the simple fact that they are defending criminal activity. You can argue that the system is broken and plea that the humanity of illegals be taken seriously, but for illegals and their supporters to take an attitude of entitlement is a big mistake. A much greater mistake is to take an attitude of arrogance. People who come across the border want a part of something that is not theirs by legal right. They need to convince the citizens of this country to welcome them.

    Waving Mexican flags is outrageous and also ridiculous. If Mexico is so great, why are you insisting on staying here! Ditto on the extremists who want to make the Southwest into a new Azatlán. They don't seem to want to live in the old one!

    -AOD

     
  • At 12:51 PM , Blogger SUSAN said...

    AOD, I AM SURE YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. IF IT WASN'T FOR THESE ILLEGAL MEXICANS THAT YOUR SO CALLED COUNTRY CALLS, THERE WOULD BE NO ROADS, NO YARDS, NO HOUSES REPAIRED OR BUILD. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT HOW HOT IS IT, THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SHOW HOW HARD THEY ARE WILLING TO WORK TO PROVIDE. ISN'T THAT ENOUGH. YEAH THEY LOVE MEXICO SO MUCH, BUT WHAT YOU SEEM TO NOT UNDERSTAND, IS THAT THEY WARE WORKING FOR YOUR COUNTRY BY REPAIRING SOME DAMAGES, AT THE SAME TIME THEY ARE SAVING THEIR HONEST MONEY AND SENDING IT TO MEXICO TO MAKE IT BETTER OVER THERE SO THEY CAN GO BACK. THESE PEOPLE THINK ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY, IN HOW TO MAKE IT BETTER, THEY ARE ALL UNITED, TELL ME ARE WE ALL UNITED HERE IN OUR COUNTRY? NO. WE ARE NOT. IF BUSH HELPED OUT A LITTLE IN THIS SITUATION THIS WOULD NOT HAVE COME OUT OF HAND, BUT HE IS TOO BUSY TRYING TO FIGHT A WAR THAT HE SHOULD HAVE NOT INVOLVED IN. THIS IS THE REASON WHY OUR COUNTRY IS THE WAY IT IS. IF OUR COUNTRY WAS SO UNITED, WOULD WE HAVE OUR SOLDIERS IN IRAQ? NO. THESE PEOPLE ARE HELPING OUR COUNTRY IN SOME WAY. I AM SURE THAT IF YOU WERE IN THEIR SITUATION YOOU WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. I KNOW I WOULD. I AM WITH THEM 100% AND I WAS BORN HERE, AND YES I AM SO ASHAMED OF OUR PRESIDENT. HE IS NOT WORTHY OF HIS TITLE.

    SUSAN

     
  • At 1:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Susan,
    You seem to think that only Illegal Mexicans work. You are very mistaken. Try getting out more and seeing the real world.

    FYI, Even Hispanics/Mexicans that are American citizens resent these illegals coming to the USA illegally.

    I live in Dallas, surrounded by illegals. They don't even attempt to assimlate. Not only do they think they have the right to be here, they treat our country like a trash can. I've never seen so much trash on the roads and in my yard since so many illegals have moved into this area. One night at 2 am I heard this blood curdling scream. The next day I found out it was some illegals killing a goat.

    I have no problem with people who come here legally. All others must be deported.

     
  • At 11:01 AM , Blogger rakim said...

    Susan, do you really think that the Department of transportation or Public Works employs illegal aliens or attempts to solicit them to work to build roads and broken public projects? Try calling them yourself and let them know you don't have a social, visa, or drivers license and see if they hire you for these projects.

    I am aware you feel so strongly about letting all the illegal immigrants into the United States but please don't exercise your racist beliefs that they have to be Mexican. What about the 2 billion people of India, the billions in China, Africa, or the former Soviet Union? Shouldn't they be allowed to come as well? These countries are much more impoverished than Mexicans or other latino nations. Their daily wages are one tenth of what they pay for a days labor in Mexico. The US population is 300 million. If you vote to allow illegals here, please know that over 400 million from India will fly here tomorrow who use to make $.90 a day for labor and can now make $8.00 per hour. Your racist beliefs have only caused more resentment and division in our Nation. Why don't you really drive your point home and boycott for at least one year. The United States would be a much better functioning country with reduced taxes, unemployment, insurance, social security, and social services.

     
  • At 1:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Susan,

    There's no doubt that most illegals are hardworking, decent people. That's beside the point. A country needs to have a sound immigration policy.

    Whether I would have done the same thing is beside the point. I don't blame desperate people trying to better their miserable lives by coming here. Nevertheless, I think the law should be enforced. Legal immigrants go to a lot of trouble to respect the law of this country. As someone not born here, I can tell you that dealing with the INS has not been a pleasure.

    Anyway, the topic here was the boycott. I made some points about its advisability. You really haven't addressed my arguments, you've just let loose with an indiscipined rant leading you to spout about other things that bother you (President Bush, his Iraq policy) but have nothing to do with this discussion.

    -AOD

     
  • At 8:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Look, I could go on about how illegal immigration, the crime that it brings, etc. However, AOD is correct. This discussion is about the boycott.
    If you were to take part in the boycott to demonstrate favor for illegal immigration then you'd need to check your head. "Illegal" means against the law. If you're for breaking the law in this country - get out; you're part of the problem! Further, a boycott of your job, your child's school, or the good businesses that support your community only goes to show that you have no real appreciation for what this country has to offer you. If I were to walk out on my job to support X, Y or Z, I would fully expect that my employment would be terminated.
    Here's what I suggest:
    All businesses allowing participants of this boycott to return to work should be boycotted themselves. All business boycotted by these participants should have the right to refuse any future service to these individuals.
    With any luck, these economic "ditch days" will backfire and result in tougher immigration laws. If that means I have to pay more for my next house or do my in-laws landscaping...so be it!!!

    -JSP

     
  • At 2:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is what racist uneducated Whites also known as Americans do for a living, is hate, hate, and hate. 1st they attack the black community to make them slaves, now its us latino meaning all the brown people no matter if you are illegal,resident, or citizen this law goes against the latino race. We are getting ready to show our green cards to the Whites even though we are born in the good USA. The other thing that this uneducated poor bastards don't understand is that the prices of everything will defanetly will go up and minimum wage job will have to pay more because English spocken here will take over and the lazy workers will take over. The existence of hard workers will be extint. This country knows deep in there hearts that they have no idea of what they are doing. By the way it means the the United States of America will get more hatred from all the latino countries and this will produce more crimes especially more support for terrorist, trust me.

     
  • At 2:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OK. Just so I understand the logic here. Minimum wage will increase as a result of folks speaking English. You have a problem with showing green cards even though every legal citizen has to show proof of status (i.d., social security card, etc.) prior to being hired by any legitimate employer. And to top it off you threaten terrorist acts if we don't lay down for the illegal invasion of this country.
    Does that about cover it?
    Oh, and for the record, I don't hate any racial group on the whole. However, I do have a problem with people entering this country illegally and expecting (and often receiving) free handouts from our government. Now, with that being said, if I could "make a living," as you say, opposing these illegal acts and the additional problems that they bring, I'd be the first in line for the job!! It's not a question of racism. At worst, it's nationalism. At best it's protecting the laws, culture, and lives that make the United States the place so many in this world aspire to be a part of.

    -JSP

     
  • At 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    oh please, you talk as if ALL mexicans are hard workers. they have slackers just like everyone else. they want handouts just like everyone else, but could you please go ask your own government for assistance? riot and protest in your own country for better jobs, and whatever else you feel you have the right to. just quit making demands on the good ole USA. we want better lives for ourselves and ours just like you and taking in few million more maids, grass cutters and uneducated laborers is just NOT in our best interest as a country.

     
  • At 5:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I can only assume from your comments that if there were no illegal aliens (not to be confused with legal immigrants here to support, improve and benefit from the country that they have assimilated into) we would simply stop mowing our lawns, building our homes and our country would completely fall apart. That is a huge and very false assumption. I guess I should also be offended that you compare criminals with the people demanding to be treated as humans. Maybe if those illegal aliens making this argument took the time to become legal citizens they would learn American history and realize the error in this comparison. Dont confuse the issues.

     
  • At 5:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the boycott will be a great motivator for Americans. Then we can see what the true effect of illegal immigration has on our society. I hope that they boycott social services and health clinics so citizens can get the assistance that the systems was designed for.
    It will also be great for our classrooms. Smaller class sizes.

     
  • At 6:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What I am going to do the day after the great UN-AMERICAN BOYCOTT!
    I will shop or buy any goods from any business that closes on MAY 1, 2006.
    I will not vote or give financial support for any elected official that publicly supports this un-American Boycott.
    Now is the time for all Americans to come to aid of their country.
    Write your elected officials:

    [Sen.] or [Rep.] [FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME]
    Washington , DC

    RE: Oppose "Guest Worker" Amnesty for Illegal Aliens!

    Dear [Sen.] or [Rep.] [LAST NAME]:

    I’m writing to ask you to please oppose ANY "immigration bill" that includes ANY "guest worker" amnesty provisions, and to support the Sensenbrenner immigration bill that has already passed the House of Representatives.
    Until the federal government is willing to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books, Americans will be highly skeptical of any additional promises to enforce a new and deeply flawed approach.
    If recent history is an accurate guide, this so-called guest worker notion would only encourage a new wave of illegal aliens and make America 's uncontrolled and unacceptable immigration debacle even worse than it is now.
    Such legislation is a bad idea not only because it creates a transparent path to amnesty, but also because it would reduce work opportunities, depress wages, and lower worker protection for Americans. Further, it would be impossible to administer and even more unlikely to be enforced.
    The most important job you have to do right now is to SECURE OUR BORDER against illegal immigration. Like millions of Americans, I'm sick and tired of the "inside the beltway" politics on this issue; I will listen to NO MORE weasel words or slick excuses.
    This issue is BLACK OR WHITE - there are NO "shades of gray." We need you to pass TRUE border security legislation, such as the Sensenbrenner bill already passed by the House. Please, oppose ANY "immigration bill" that includes ANY "guest worker" amnesty provisions. I will be watching your vote on this issue very closely. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    [YOUR NAME]
    [ADDRESS]
    [CITY], [STATE] [ZIP]

    For Congress:
    http://www.house.gov/writerep/
    For The Senate:
    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

     
  • At 10:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Attacking immigrants is attacking the Latino community because majority of us have relative and friends that are illegals. This people just work, they are not begging for money on the freeways exits. Begging is for the lazy people with no morals. Illegals are hard workers because they do more and better work for minimum wage than lots of the US Citizens. US Citizens like to save and we are cheap, we like to hire the cheapest company we can find. Why don't we go and hire US Citizens to do the work. I guess not because we can't afford it and thats how ignorant people contradict themselves about this law. This people that come to work are not taking our jobs away, especially in California. We Citizens can't live with jobs that pay minimum wage. People lets get real, our politician are trying to brain wash us so that we can see that they are doing an excellent job like our President Bush that talks about war,war, and did I mention war. Why doesn't our freaking politician attack other issues like getting rid of ware fare, completely. Ware fare is for lazy US Citizen people. Also they talk about building better border walls. They just talk and freaking ignorant US Citizens (Republicans) believe them and vote for them. I better not say anything about GAS. Freaking ignorant US Citizens voted for a Billion dollar Oil Presiden Bush. He bacame a president for him to find ways on how he can improve his business and have more power. Thanks you Republicans =). Me as a US Citizen I don't want this law to pass because I don't want to be stopped by a Police officer and be asked for a green card just for my light brown of shade skin color. Lets open our mind and find solutions not discrimination and hatred laws.

     
  • At 10:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The guy who posted earleir made a good point. We are being to specific on one race, if a law were to pass it would benefit all immigrants not just mexicans. But seriously who wants to take a minimum wage job washing dishes? Not I. So before you post or say something think about it will an new immigration law benefit only mexicans.....I dont thinks so.

     
  • At 9:08 AM , Blogger Latin Lingo said...

    Let's all take a deep breath and, as my 8-year-old says "chill-ax." While I appreciate the debate, only AOD has even addressed my original points.

    First, I said that while the day of protest is an interesting concepts from a marketing perspective in that it can demonstrate Hispanic's purchasing power, I think tomorrow we will be looking back at today and be saying that all this has done little more than just add to the growing resentment and anti-Mexican sentiment.

    Second, I stated that the protest organizers have made a huge strategic mistake in making this a U.S. versus Mexico debate and not fully communicating (or showing) that not all illegals here are Mexican.

    AOD is correct in that all this undisciplined ranting about other issues (Bush, war, oil prices) only serves to dilute the debate, and I see it as an overused tactic by those who can't or aren't willing to effectively debate their points.

    Let's try to get back on point if we intend to keep this debate going. Let's leave the rest to other blogs that focus on those issues. This one is about communication and marketing.

     

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