NBC Latino
May 10, 2013


Where does one begin with the recent news of a Heritage Foundation analyst, Jason Richwine,who wrote in a dissertation that Latino immigrants had lower IQs?

As a Latina immigrant who is also gay, I was tempted to call Mr. Richwine and dress him down in two languages, just to show my linguistic dexterity, but he has since resigned. Still, these ridiculous lower IQ claims are not the real issue here. Certainly the Heritage Foundation has distanced itself from them as quickly as possible.

The real issue is scapegoating and vilifying, which is something that immigrants have been facing for years. The 2012 campaign season turned up the heat and it became blame-an-immigrant-for-all-of-your-troubles. It is galling that any group of people could be so dehumanized, or be blamed for anything given that they are an integral part of the fabric of our society, contributing in a million ways to our culture and, yes, to our economy. But there you have it—somehow things get turned on their heads by people or groups looking to foment dislike against a group of people.

The LGBT community has also seen this before. At so many junctures in our movement, we have seen flawed “studies” and junk science claiming ridiculous things about our parenting skills, about our mental health—you name it and it’s been tried.

These ridiculous claims about Hispanic immigrants are a stark reminder of why the LGBT community and the immigrant rights community need to stick together.

An op-ed by GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language Media Monica Trasandes.