Will Julian Castro be the first Latino President of the United States? (VIDEO)
The most buzzed about speech of tonight's Democratic National Convention opener has GOT to be San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro's. As the first EVER Latino keynote speaker, Castro has a lot riding on this speech and I have to say--I don't think they could've picked a better man for the job.
Mayor Julian Castro is about as close to a Latino Obama as we can get, and I'm not exaggerating here. He is the Democratic party's rising star and they have made an incredibly wise decision in bestowing upon him the honor that so many other notable men and women have held before (President Barack Obama himself, as well as incredibly influential TX Rep. Barbara Jordan come to mind). Most importantly, his story is one that many Latinos can identify with and believe in. You see, it all started with Castro's mom...
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No really, it did. The mayor's mother has influenced his life in a major way, and I don't just mean with discipline and a woman's touch. After a failed run at San Antonio city council back in the 1970s when Rosie Castro was just 23-years-old, Castro's mom found her calling as a civil rights activist. Dragging both Julian and his twin brother Joaquin to political rallies, marches and speeches was a natural thing for Rosie, a single mom, to do. She wanted to keep her boys close, but she also wanted to show them how much hard work it was to really effect change.
During those years, there was a serious struggle going on with regards to civil rights for Mexican-Americans and she was in the center of it all in the contentious state of Texas. It was a struggle that earned her hate mail and the unwanted attention of the U.S. Dept. of Justice--but she refused to be intimidated and what resulted was two sons deeply committed to public service and the greater good. Rosie isn't the only strong female role model the Castro twins have. Their grandmother, an orphan, immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in 1920 alone as young girl and taught herself how to read and write. I mean, you can't get any more "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" or--dare I say--American, than that?!
Both Julian and his brother Joaquin attended top rated colleges (Stanford undergad and Harvard law for BOTH) and clearly followed in their mother and grandmother's footsteps. This is why I think Julian Castro's moment in the spotlight tonight might be a turning point for Latinos in American politics. I believe he has a really solid chance of becoming not only the first ever Latino keynote speaker at the Democratic National convention, but also the first Latino President of the United States--if he plays his cards right.
Mayor Castro already has a clear path to follow, laid out by current President Barack Obama, who back in 2004 electrified the Democratic party and had everyone talking about the 2008 election before the voting for the 2004 election was ever stolen finished. Castro, 37, is the youngest Mayor of any major city in the U.S. and San Antonio has been thriving under his leadership, but many feel that he is too young for a national spotlight and they may be right. But I guess it's up to us decide!
Watch his speech below:
Are you watching Mayor Julian Castro's speech tonight at the DNC?
Image via JaimeRPuente/flickr