North Texas Daily

Segura lectures as part of new Mexican-American Studies program

Segura lectures as part of new Mexican-American Studies program

Segura lectures as part of new Mexican-American Studies program
February 19
02:29 2014

Tricia Sims // Intern Writer 

As a part of the new Latina/o and Mexican-American Studies program at UNT, Dr. Gary M. Segura lectured students Monday night on the Latino influence in politics, using statistics to exemplify a growing impact.

Segura, professor of American politics and chair of Chicana/o studies at Stanford University, spoke on the topic, “The Future is Ours: How Latinos will Define the Next Era in American Politics.”

He outlined several statistics for the audience, using numbers to show the role of Latinos and other minorities in American politics. He said there has been a 135 percent increase in Asian votes for the Democratic Party and there are 73,000 Latinos eligible to vote.

“Those numbers tell a very interesting story about how the racial democracy in the United States is going to change in the immediate future,” he said.

During his speech, Segura shared different theories on race and politics.

“If African-American and Latinos had the same view as whites did, then it wouldn’t matter whose votes were counted and whose votes weren’t, because they would all be the same idea,” Segura said. “But in fact people do have different views on the government.”

Segura said there are only 12 non-whites in Congress representing the Republican Party, and the total Republican office holders in the legislature who are Asian, African-American or Latin-American is 1.9 percent.

The defining issue for Latino-Americans is immigration, as 2.1 million people have been deported so far during Obama’s presidency.

“Inaction in immigration is hurting the GOP ballgame,” Segura said.  “Republicans can recover up to 40 percent of their votes and that is enough to change an election, if they were willing to make a change.”

“I wanted to learn more about Latinos and politics,” Spanish junior Kim Rosales said. “We do not cover too much in class.”

Melda Ozsut, international student and political science doctoral student, said she felt the speech was great and informative.

“He is a great presenter. The numbers he gave were impressive,” she said. “He explained everything and gave the future of the United States.”

Feature photo: Dr. Gary M. Segura. Photo courtesy of Stanford.edu

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