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Introducing Secretary Julian Castro

by Michael Allen

 

Approximately 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.

 

Getting to Know Secretary Julian Castro


When President John F. Kennedy took over the White House in 1961, he had his younger brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in his Cabinet.


But just imagine a president having his twin brother in his administration.


Well, if former HUD Secretary Julian Castro can miraculously turn his 2020 presidential campaign around, his twin brother Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) might play a major role in his presidency.


Castro credits his grandmother for introducing him to a life of service and giving back.

 

The San Antonio native’s grandmother came to America at seven years old but never made it past fourth grade.

 

But Castro got his work ethic from her as she worked for years as a maid, cleaning houses.

 

Castro’s mother Rosie Castro began the family’s work as community leaders by working as a Chicano activist and educator while she raised her boys as a single mother.

 

Rosie Castro taught her sons growing up on the west side of San Antonio that if a person wanted changes to happen then it was up to them to try to make those changes.

 

She put those words into action, as she became the first Chicano to run for San Antonio city council.

 

Castro credits the leadership and the sacrifices of his mother and grandmother for getting him to where he is now.

 

“With my mother’s support, my brother and I went to college and law school,” Castro said. “And in just two generations after my grandmother arrived here with nothing, my brother became a member of Congress and I had the honor of serving in President (Barack) Obama’s Cabinet.”

 

Castro wants other families to experience the American dream like his family has.

 

“As the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, I worked to expand the promise of opportunity to Americans all over the nation,” Castro said. “Together, my team and I made housing more accessible, lessened homelessness among our nation’s veterans and even offered Internet access to families in public housing. We set out to help families get back on their feet and achieve more than they thought possible. That kind of America—one where dreams become real—is one that so many families right now desperately need.”

 

Like many Democratic presidential hopefuls, Castro wants to make sure that a college education does not permanently bankrupt young Americans.

 

Furthermore, he wants people of color and immigrants to feel safe and wanted in this country.

 

Castro wants military veterans to be honored and respected when they return from fighting for American freedom overseas.

 

Additionally, Castro wants to make sure senior citizens live their golden years in dignity and with good healthcare.

 

Castro said, “I’ve spent the last several years traveling around the nation talking to Americans about their hopes, their dreams and their fears about the future.

 

“And in these times of divisive politics and hateful rhetoric, what I’ve heard has been incredible. Americans from all walks of life want the same thing: to do right by our families and have the promise of America fulfilled.

 

“I’m running for President because I believe, that if we work together, we can make—and keep—that promise to every American and work towards a future for all of us.”

 

Although Castro has his hopes for America, his presidential campaign needs a hope and a prayer to make up ground from the leaders of the Democratic pack.

 

Unlike Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas did not thrust him into the national spotlight.

 

Many Latino activists and journalists believe that Castro found himself in a catch 22 after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

 

Come out too hard against White supremacy and racism and lose the White vote.

 

Not come out hard enough and enrage Latino voters.

 

In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Ruben Navarrette, Jr. said, “What did Mr. Castro do? At first, he erred on the side of restraint. He went on the Sunday news shows and, in calm and subdued language condemned the siren of White supremacy and coming from the White House and proposed a plan to combat gun violence. He was a grownup.

 

“Meanwhile, Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke went the other way. He scolded reporters for not connecting the dots between Donald Trump’s racist pitch lines and the bloodshed in his hometown. He threw up his arms and asked: ‘What the f***??!!”

 

Navarrette’s comments depict the difficulty some see for minorities to become president.

 

Anger is respected when it comes from a White candidate like O’Rourke but is often seen negatively if coming from a person of color or a woman.

 

Although Castro did not get as much airtime as O’Rourke after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, he recently took out advertisements on Fox News.

 

It remains to be seen though what more visibility nationally in the wake of the tragedy will have on his struggling bid for the Oval Office.

 

Castro also made waves in April for supporting reparations for descendants of African-American slaves.

 

At a CNN town hall, Castro said, “We have never fully addressed in this country the original sin of slavery, because of that, we have never truly healed as a country. Sometimes people say, you know, they’ll ask me: ‘Well, nobody today was a slave owner, and nobody today that’s living was a slave.’ And I say, you know, if somebody is out there that’s 25 years old and they say: ‘Why are you talking to me? I never owned slaves.’ I’d say that, you know, that 25-year-old never fought in the Pacific, that 25-year-old never had a hand in writing the Constitution of our great country, that 25-year-old person never marched with the women who were marching for the power to vote, they didn’t march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge…In other words, even though we weren’t there in past generations, we’ve inherited a lot of moral assets, but you know what? We’ve also inherited some moral debts, and one of those debts we’ve never paid is the debt for that original sin.”

This article was published on Friday 23 August, 2019.
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