RNC's Florida head of Latino outreach flips parties over "culture of intolerance"

Also citing the Heritage Foundation study, Pablo Pantoja announced that he is now a Democrat

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 14, 2013 1:42PM (EDT)

Pablo Pantoja, RNC State Director Of Florida Outreach, announced that he is now a Democrat, citing a controversial Heritage Foundation study on immigration and the overall "culture of intolerance" within the Republican party.

"It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today," Pantoja wrote in a letter to the Florida Nation. "I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them."

Pantoja was referencing the recent Heritage Foundation study on Congress' immigration reform legislation, which was written by Jason Richwine, who also once wrote: "No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against."

"Studies geared towards making – human beings – viewed as less because of their immigrant status to outright unacceptable claims, are at the center of the immigration debate," Pantoja wrote.

He continued:

The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality.  Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Florida Heritage Foundation Immigration Latinos Pablo Pantoja Rnc