Sunday, October 10, 2010

Diversity in New Mexico’s Politics

I am a handicapped single mother and I have experienced hate because of my handicap as of late. Just last term a former supervisor of mine called me lazy because I cannot spend long periods of time on my feet. The past supervisor was also displaying stalking behaviors which made me very fearful for my safety at work. I am not able to get up and down many times during the workday without it resulting in great amounts of pain because of my hip replacement and a bad back that resulted from my limping for the past 20 years. I was told by doctors at the young age of 29 that I had bone cancer. I am now faced with dealing with a school that throws up every form of paperwork that they can find to refuse accommodations. It has not been easy for me lately when it comes to work since a new manager took my desk away and has told me to work with what I got which is less then other employees at my college.

I am taking a law class this term that deals with the issue of diversity and ethics. The law is based on what we call professional responsibility which states that even if you do have biases that you have a duty to never show those biases while dealing with the general public at work. Work being the court system. Our top state candidates are lawyers so I would think that they understand these ethics and professional responsibilities.

You don’t spend much time thinking about your own biases until you take a class like this one. I was raised back East in West Virginia by Irish American parents. They taught me to hate the English as a people because of what we call the troubles in Ireland. Because of that I know to guard against that bias. Growing up in the Old South I also know to guard against the bias of how we treat African Americans. What I did not think to guard against is a bias pickup in the many years I have lived in New Mexico. Like most New Mexicans I over many years have learned not to trust people from other states like Texas. Ok, mostly Texas although Arizona is coming in as a close second nowadays. Politically Texas is considered a very conservative state but even I know that there are some democrats in Texas. Bias Alert!

When I first meet Brian Colon the candidate running for lieutenant governor one of the things I most loved about him was his ability to accept people from other states like myself. I was told by him that he grew up in Belen so I naturally assumed that he was born in New Mexico. Never did I think for one minute that he was born in New York. Being at Brian’s home during social events over the years I saw people of all races, national origins, social backgrounds, economic backgrounds, disabilities, and even sexual originations. Brian often spoke about including people from all 33 counties in the state in our political party which I found to be a wonderful idea of fair and balanced justice for all democrats in this state. I had the idea that diversity and ethics were core values of his.

To my great disappointment I have lately seen a man who only wants to win this race at all cost. He refused to help me when I ask him to help standup against my work because of my disability. He attacked Susana Martinez for being born in Texas. My only question is where is the man who welcomes people of diversity into his home over the last few years. Why is he turning his back on the values that he has displayed over the years I have known him? What kind of person calls their opponent a hateful name in ads because of the state where they were born. Where is all of this anger and hate speech coming from? Can this all result for the hateful influence of Diane Denish and their close personal friend Katy Winograd? It does make me sad to see all of this hate coming from our candidates for state offices. How can we begin to trust these candidates in the future? Where has my friend gone who loved ethics and diversity?