Univision anchor Luis Carlos Vélez recently broke with Hispanic media orthodoxy by saying that Hispanics are “more than the immigration issue”. Although true, such statements are unheard of in an institution that depends on Hispanics being limited to the immigration issue.
Watch as Vélez continues to defy conventional wisdom:
LUIS CARLOS VELEZ: And a final word. If the Democrats want to win the presidential election in two years, they have to start doing their homework. And the truth is that they’re running behind. This footage you see next to me is footage of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and one of these videos was taken at an event in Miami with conservative Colombians. At that event, DeSantis talked about communism in the region. Let’s listen.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): And what they may want to do now to help Ortega in Nicaragua is a total joke. And so, I think this is something though. Florida- we understand this like probably nowhere else in the whole United States do people understand these issues more than in South Florida, because you have so many people that have felt the horrors of communism firsthand.
VELEZ: DeSantis talking to conservative Colombians! That is a very small universe. That event shows the tactical game that Republicans are playing in key places such as Florida. They are talking about things that tug at their heartstrings, that create opinions, and therefore, votes.
And the Democrats? If they want to regain some of that lost ground, it is important that they understand that tactical game and not allow the wave to grow- which these days is strengthening and many say, “no, it’s the media” when Democrats are in fact losing the hearts of Hispanics. Well, it’s true. The signs are ominous. The most recent Quinnipiac poll shows that only 26% of Hispanics approve of President Biden’s performance. This is an astonishing fall if you take into account that the president won 61% of the Latino vote. In short, it is time for politicians in the United States to understand that we Hispanics are more than the immigration issue. which although crucial, does not define the sum of our experience in this country. There are many other things.
Several things pop from this closing monologue. First, this is the rare instance on Univision air where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t covered as the devil incarnate. Vélez also directly mentions Biden’s abysmal Hispanic performance in the Q-poll, which is something you very rarely see on Spanish-language media.
Spanish-language media have gained and held influence within the Hispanic community by successfully suggesting that immigration is the defining political issue, and that immigration is central to the community’s political identity. ESPECIALLY within the news divisions. Now Vélez comes along and says the exact opposite- that there is a sum of lived experience that goes far beyond immigration AND that the GOP is successfully reaching into that lived experience to the Democrats’ peril. Such analysis is perfectly sound, but outright heretic when weighed against the conventional wisdom of what normally airs within Spanish-language media in the United States.
Just as well- here’s hoping that these heresies are what help Univision tack back to the center and reconnect with the audience it is supposed to serve.