Misinformation for Minorities

As Petyr Baelish once said in Game of Thrones, “Knowledge is power.” Without knowledge, there is a lack of power, for knowing facts and figures could affect your life. I have always been a bookworm and a news snob, so not knowing information has never affected me. However, as I started analyzing different news channels, such as Univision and CNN, the difference in information was noteworthy.

It is quite disconcerting to realize that both Hispanic news outlets are heavily biased, sometimes spreading misinformation. Biases have taken control over Black Lives Matter coverage. For example, the anchors on both channels would only refer to the looting taking place and not the actual intention of the movement. This created a negative view of BLM in many communities. Many people in my own family began to refer to the protestors as “thugs,” referring back to what they heard on the news as the truth of what was going on.

They are being misinformed not only about social movements, but even about the platforms of both political parties. In an effort to combat this, I will list unbiased resources for those who want to learn more about each party at the end of this article. Some guidelines to follow while reading through these resources: What issues affect you? What party aligns with your community? It is important to choose legislators that resemble your community, individuals who will speak up for the issues that matter to you.

How is voter suppression linked to information access?

A Politico article written by Sabrina Rodriguez and Marc Caputo takes an inside look at the information given to the Miami Latinx community. A plethora of conspiracy theories have been aimed at Hispanic/Latinx voters who are crucial in winning Southern Florida. Both candidates have focused their campaign efforts on securing the votes of Nicaraguans, Dominicans and Mexicans since “they’re less tied to U.S. political parties and are more likely than longtime voters to be influenced by mainstream news outlets and social media.”

You may be asking, Well, if they want to secure those votes, how are they suppressing voters? Well, during my Political Campaigning class, we discussed how the Latinx community is sought after by Democrats, yet the polls show that those who are the most influential in the political process are rich white men. Individuals with more information and who are college-educated vote the most. Meanwhile, those who work blue-collar jobs are more concentrated on surviving than they are on finding out who’s best to vote for. Eventually, they do away with voting and accept whatever choice the affluent voters make.

Political candidates want you to vote for them; they do not want to educate you unbiasedly. The information given by both sides is for their respective benefits. The biggest sign of voter suppression is using voters as pawns which is generally what we see on the campaign trail. It is understandable that voting may be of secondary importance to a hardworking person, but the issues that you face are not the same issues as our affluent counterparts. Those individuals that dedicate the time to vote are voting for the issues that affect them and ignoring the issues that could harm you. 

Common misconceptions: SOLVED

One of the most common misconceptions comes from the debate between socialism and communism. Many Hispanic/Latinx immigrants come from countries with corrupt governments. Personally, my mother is from Nicaragua and has time and time again spoken to me about her experience under a harsh and corrupt government. Most associate the word “socialism” with the Democratic party, thus categorizing them as communists. As a result, those who do not know the difference are influenced by communist conspiracy theories.

After years of misinformation, it took me a couple of video and article searches to really understand the difference.

- Socialism and communism both focus on limiting the amount of worker exploitation in the labor industry and eliminating the economic classes within society.

- Both focus on having the governmental force maintain the production aspect.

- Socialism believes that workers should contribute as much as they can to ensure that everyone has the means to survive. Social Security and Medicare are examples of this.

Oftentimes, socialism in countries such as China, North Korea and Venezuela is implemented by the government to the point that it is corrupted into communism. One thing to note for many people coming from these countries is that socialism and communism are similar, but countries such as Sweden have combined socialist ideals with capitalism. They have done so effectively, and Socialist Democrats wish to mimic this. It is important to note, however, that not all Democrats fall under a socialist ideology.

What can we do now?

With the short amount of time we have before the November 3rd election, the most important thing to do is research. Find out about which party aligns with your beliefs, and most importantly, go out and vote. Websites like ISideWith.com and PewResearch.org are great sources to find out more information about party platforms. To find out more about the history of socialism and communism, check out this History Channel article.