Florida Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor called Latinos ‘racist’ in Facebook live chat

Karla Hernandez-Mats, who is running for lieutenant governor in Florida as Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist’s running mate, said during a discussion about race within the Latin American community last year that Latino people are ‘racist.’ 

‘They’re racist too. Our Latino people are racist. It’s ok. They still have a lot of colonial mentality and we have to get through that. We have to get through that,’ Hernandez-Mats, the Miami-Dade County teachers union president, said in a Facebook Live discussion on Jan. 18, 2021. 

Hernandez-Mats, the daughter of Honduran immigrants, was recounting a conversation she had with an African-American friend who was ‘taken aback’ when Hernandez-Mats said that she was indigenous. 

‘I was so confused by the reaction that I got at that particular moment. And I’ve had conversations like this with other people that look like me and they will say they’re white,’ Hernandez-Mats said. 

‘I share that story because here we are as adults, and we’re having this frank conversation, and even as adults who are people of color and come from a very diverse background and lived in Miami, I think that sometimes we just don’t understand those nuances. And if we’re having a hard time talking about it as adults, then how do we impact our classrooms?’

Hernandez-Mats and Crist’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Marie Nuñez have a 10-point lead over Crist and Hernandez-Mats about two weeks out from election day, according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent polls. 

A poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy for Telemundo/LX News found that 51% of Hispanic likely voters favor DeSantis, while 44% lean toward Crist. 

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