Many colleagues and fellow political activists are incensed at the tremendous disservice done by the authors of the article "Latinos Snub Jackson--Is It Racism?"--by Antonio H. Rodriguez and Gloria J. Romero (Op-Ed Page, July 15). Both exhibit the shallowness in their political analysis and seriously make one question their political motivations. In fact, the very voting figures they present disprove their hypothesis which turns into a spurious charge, i.e., "Among Latinos the fact is that they helped perpetuate the color line of politics by voting against Jackson." The very opposite is true.
In California 40% of Latinos voted for Jackson whereas only 18% did in 1984. In Texas, the Latino vote for Jackson jumped from 9% to 21%. The reasons the Jackson camp didn't garner a larger share of the relatively small vote lie elsewhere. Let's not blame the victim! Only 46% of the registered voters turned out to cast their ballot. This says much for both the Jackson and Michael Dukakis camps and the present political state of mind of the voters and the low level of organization among the grass roots. Anyone close to the Jackson campaign is fully aware of the organizational meagerness at the precinct level--and disparities this year even in comparison to the 1984 race. The stronger showing at the polls and the "appearance" of a better run campaign in 1988 can be attributed to the greater media exposure and a high-tech campaign made possible by an enhanced financial situation. Jackson's positions on the social issues and the broadening of the Rainbow constituency was nevertheless key.