District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez had some harsh words for the Texas Republican Party on Monday, responding to accusations leveled by Attorney General Greg Abbott following his visit to Lubbock on Feb. 25.
Abbott accused Hernandez of referring to his wife, who is Hispanic, as a "prop" during his Feb. 25 visit to the Jimenez Bakery and Restaurant here in Lubbock.
Abbott posted the accusation on his Twitter account on Feb. 28, saying, "It's deeply offensive that a Democrat elected official called my Latina wife of 32 years a 'prop.'"
Hernandez has denied the accusation, telling the Texas Tribune, "I categorically deny having ever referred to Mrs. Abbott as a prop. I think that would have been improper. They made a mistake."
Abbott's Twitter post cited the PJ Tatler blog, which did not identify their source by name.
Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson issued a public apology to Abbott on Sunday night, apologizing for the comments allegedly made by Hernandez.
Here's the mayor's statement, exactly as it appeared on his Facebook page:
General, this is Glen Robertson, Mayor of Lubbock, Texas. I wanted to contact you to apologize for the comments of a Lubbock City Council Member during your recent visit to Lubbock. This Council Member does not speak for the Council, the City of Lubbock or for the citizens of this great city. Our local government is non-partisan and I find it troubling that a Council Member would attempt to use his influence as an elected official to personally attack you. I am especially upset about the verbal attacks made against your wife. Please understand that the vast majority of Lubbock citizens do not share his views and definitely do not share his lack of civility or his unprofessional method of attacking those who do not agree with his politics. Thank you for your service to all Texas citizens and good luck in your upcoming election.
Glen C. Robertson
Hernandez released this statement on Monday:
My name is Victor Hernandez and I am the current Chairman of the Lubbock Chapter of Tejano Democrats.
As you know, I delivered a statement publicly this past Wednesday (February 26, 2014) concerning the overall negative tone being taken against the Hispanic community by Republican candidates vying for their party's nomination.
Since then, commentary on my statement has included two primary assertions. The first concerns the use of the metaphor "our house" and the second, concerns a tale involving candidate Greg Abbott's wife and the word "prop." Since I have publicly addressed both of these issues, I will not revisit them here.
However (and related to the responses by the Abbott campaign to my February 26th statement), I must admit that I find perplexing the fact that the Abbott campaign responded to my statement at all. Surely it cannot be because of any clout I sway in either local or state Republican Party politics. And, surely it cannot be because of any personal financial wealth which I could contribute to his opponents.
After much thought and reflection, I realized that the Abbott Campaign is not faint-hearted when it comes to me personally but rather, the Abbott Campaign is afraid of the message I, and others across the state (including his fellow Republicans), have brought forth. Sadly, the message the Texas Republican Party fears is one of basic humanity, i.e., Hispanics are "people," Hispanics are fellow "human beings," Hispanics should be respected, engaged and understood.
One would believe that all people, whether seeking political office or not, would recognize these basic tenets. One would believe that, in the year 2014, we should not have to have this discussion at all. And, one would believe that the Texas Republican Party would not engage in such tactics.
I will not apologize for being an American of Mexican descent. I will not apologize for being a Texan of Mexican descent. I will however, apologize to all people of goodwill, regardless of race or ethnicity and, regardless of party affiliation, for the insensitivity being exhibited by the Texas Republican Party towards the Hispanic community.
The Latino community is not a problem to be dealt with or worse yet, to be dismissed. The Hispanic community is very much a part of Texas, the Hispanic community is very much a part of America.
In closing, my name is Victor Hernandez. I am a person. I am a human being. I am a first generation American of Mexican descent. I am a first generation Texan of Mexican descent. I deserve to be respected, to be engaged and to be understood.
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