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Professor Manuel Hernández
Essays Collection

Address: : 2012 Ernest St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741

Manuel Hernandez was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1963. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and finished a Master�s in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx in 1994. He has coordinated symposiums, produced and coordinated television interviews on the literature written by Puerto Rican and Latino/a writers from the Diaspora. He has done numerous presentations, workshops and seminars on how to integrate latino/a literature in the English classroom. In 2014, he participated in a TedxTalk (Connections) at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of three books, , Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003), The Birth of a Rican (Imprenta Sifre. 2008) and Living the Kingdom with purpose (Imprenta Sifre, 2013). He is a Language Arts teacher at Osceola School District in Florida.

The Latino Vote: A Historical Opportunity

By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona - copyright

The Florida electoral judicial encounter between Senator Al Gore and President George Bush in 2000 set the platform for the next four political campaign battles ahead. Two candidates are about to go head to head in probably one of the most intensive political campaigns ever. The polls display disparate percentages that reveal the difficulties that lie ahead for both Trump and Clinton. While one has taken advantage of the media’s desire to pull in ratings at all costs, the other has taken advantage of the historical moment and its significance. Although the Latino vote has not explicitly defined itself, the November Presidential elections provide an opportunity like no other race for the largest minority in the United States.

While Latino leaders are caught living in the so-called "comfort zone" and squabbling with each other, both political hopefuls come in and out of our neighborhoods without a clear and present proposal for the community. Both major political parties have taken advantage of the apathy of Latino leaders because it is only when a voice is heard that it becomes noticed. The discussion must be "voiced" by those interested in improving the quality of life of Latinos and all Americans as well. When will the education of Hispanics become a priority for those in power and control the political agenda? When will Latino leaders tear down the walls of ignorance and bigotry with wisdom and spear-headed claims? Education is the key that unlocks doors, and many in power today prefer to leave those doors unlocked.

Which of the two candidates has really made a difference in the Latino agenda? Immigration is the “talked about” issue while the education of Latinos has remained featured in charts, statistics and graphically portrayed but lost in the rhetoric of the electoral debates. Latinos in Florida hold the key to the White House conquest, but the clock is ticking, and there are many that are waiting for a last minute surge in the resurrection of the Latino voice in the up and coming elections. The election will be won in Florida. Latinos have the opportunity to rise to the historical occasion and bury the voices of those who have clearly dictated intolerance towards the largest minority in the United States. Although few have forgotten, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded America of its roots: “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists