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40th Anniversary of the National Council of La Raza

christine-orteg
Employee
Employee
Statistics, glitz, and politics... While this might sound like the national Census gala at the White House, it was not. It was the 40th anniversary of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a national civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. It was standing room only at the two luncheons where Senator Barak Obama and later Senator John McCain addressed the group.  Obama hit several emotional and eloquent points, where he was loudly cheered and liked.  McCain held his own in a town hall  style meeting after his address taking on some hard-hitting questions.  It seems that his candor and honesty may have earned him some points in the crowd. More than 5,000 people attended the workshops, town hall meetings, and leadership training sessions in San Diego.  Southwest Airlines hosted the Affiliate Luncheon where more than 2,000 community leaders joined to hear from L.A.'s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and where we heard Dr. Samuel Betances speak about everything from education to aging.  He humorously talked of his wife and shared his view that women do not have hot flashes, they have power surges!  And with a 48% high school drop out rate among Latinos, he talked about how the best economic stimulus package is a college degree! At the affiliate luncheon, on July 12,  I had an opportunity to address the group as well.  I shared my thoughts on our connection to NCLR with this quote: "Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres."  -- Tell me who you are with, and I'll tell you who you are. This is a proverb I first heard from Dominga & Juan Medrano, my grandparents when I was a little girl growing up in Texas. At the end of my talk, I asked attendees to think of other proverbs they learned growing up and to please share them with us as well.  I look forward to hearing from you on our blog.
8 Comments
Anonymous3833
Not applicable
Um... why the hell is a blatantly racist organization being discussed on a Southwest Airlines website? Tread carefully, Southwest. You're gonna piss off a lot of customers. La Raza, ("The Race") is not a group I want to hear associated with Southwest Airlines. What's this have to do with Southwest Airlines? How is this relevant? Would it also be as acceptable if you were pandering to a group called "Aryan Race"? What about the Black Panthers?
Anonymous1293
Not applicable
What is the point of this posting?
Anonymous1750
Not applicable
"The Race", huh... and how is this appropriate for Southwest's blog?
christine-orteg
Employee
Employee
I admit that I am a bit surprised by the negative comments posted here. NCLR has attracted attention from both national parties, and as I wrote above, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama spoke to the convention. It appears that some of the contention in the comments has to do with names. A word or name can say a lot about an organization. At the same time, its interpretation can change according to where someone lives or their specific experience with the word. Take for example the name Southwest Airlines. While there's no denying that we were "born" in Texas and have been around now for more than 37 years, as we have grown, so has how people view us. We are recognized and understood very well with our strong schedules and frequent flights in the Southwest. Yet we now fly coast to coast and provide a breadth of service that may not be easily identified with us. In the newer communities like Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, or Denver, we are relatively newcomers and Customers may still reserve judgment. Sometimes Customers get us mixed up and think we charge change fees like the other airlines. For example, they think that we charge for all bags--which we don't--the first two bags are free. We offer the best Customer Service and have the best Employees in the airline industry. Often, Customers think we fly only in the southwest even though we now serve New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Washington state, and Oregon. My point is that only Southwest Airlines can truly express who we are by continually proving ourselves and offering those longhaul flights to our Customers who will eventually come to understand that we have more to offer. NCLR has a historical name that may also be misunderstood, but when looking at their members and mission, it is clear that they are committed to building stronger communities in five areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. They have received numerous awards from highly respected and knowledgeable groups such as AARP and American GI Forum, as well as respected individuals like First Lady Laura Bush, to name a few. It remains a question of proving oneself and experiencing the work and progress made by them over time. As of now, it seems that NCLR has a proven track record that deserves support.
Cygnus
Not applicable
Then Christine, why does "The Race" still have that divisive name? I sincerely hope you don't apologize away the name of the Ku Klux Klan in similar fashion. What, will Southwest next have a "Reconquista One" plane painted in the "Aztlan" map that MEChA (a component group of "The Race") seeks? Might want to read about MEChA first. And the fact that both Obama and McCain pandered, er, spoke before "The Race" is utterly irrelevant. Sorry, Southwest, but you're going to regret alienating more Customers via this latest PR goof. Surely you can find much better ways to celebrate Latino cultures.
Anonymous1294
Not applicable
When I checked my RSS feed for the latest Southwest Airlines blog entry, I puzzled as to how "La Raza" fits into a blog which is supposed to follow the ongoings of Southwest Airlines. The mere fact that politicians pander to a group like La Raza just for the vote of hispanics, instead of attempting to win each American citizens' vote purely on their merit and stance on social, economic, and political issues, is laughable in itself. What that has to do with why Southwest has posted a blog entry about La Raza, I have no idea. And, Mayor MEChA, oops, I mean Mayor Villaraigosa, is not exactly someone to look up to. Anyway, when I'm in the market for finding a civil rights or advocacy group to support, I usually go for those who stand up for ALL Americans, not just those of a certain race. But hey, that's just me.
ForSolutions
Not applicable
I was puzzled by the two anonynous comments -- so perhaps others who experienced the same can take a quick look at the organization in question. NCLR is a civil rights organization with whom U.S. presidents of both parties have been associated, as well as members of Congress, not to mention many of the top corporations and foundations in the country, and respected civil rights leaders of all stripes. So perhaps the anonymous commentators would be well served by educating themselves before spreading such libelous statements. Others may find this useful in forming their own educated opinions: http://www.nclr.org/content/viewpoints/detail/42500/ There seems to be a concerted effort to misrepresent this organization -- let's be responsible in educating ourselves before we lend credence to such comments.
Anonymous184
Not applicable
“La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.”