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Ana Navarro At Penn State: Don’t Give Up. Vote.

Growing up in Miami, Ana Navarro spent her childhood in a city that radiated Latin American influence. Miami placed her family in a bubble with people who shared similar experiences after they fled Nicaragua during a civil war. 

Navarro discussed the importance of diversity and Latin American issues at the HUB Monday night as part of the Student Programming Association’s distinguished speaker series. Although Navarro was asked to focus on Latin American issues, she assured the audience that it was bound to become political.

“You cannot separate Hispanic issues from politics,” Navarro said. This warranted a cheer from the crowd.

Navarro is a Republican political commentator for CNN and CNN en Español. She is known for her honesty and ability to speak with “no filter,” so her witty sense of humor was no surprise.

Personal anecdotes allowed the audience to connect with Navarro as she shared her own stories about diversity. 

The first time Navarro truly understood the significance of diversity, she was serving as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. She mentioned that there weren’t many Latinos in leadership positions, which caused students to flood to her office. She finally realized the importance of representation that her “bubble” in Miami distracted her from.

Navarro also spoke about representation in the recent Brett Kavanaugh hearings, noting that there was not one woman among the majority members of the judiciary committee.

“[Representation] sends a message to little boys and girls that they can do anything and be anything,” Navarro said. 

Navarro them branched out from diversity in terms of race, gender, and sexuality, and touched on the diversity of political and social views. She shared her observation that many limit their social interactions to people who think and feel the same way. 

“The meaning of diversity is tied with the meaning of unity,” Navarro said. “We must stand with each other and fight for each other.”

It is no surprise that Navarro brought up President Donald Trump during the lecture. She has never been afraid to voice her negative opinions about the president. Navarro emphasized the us vs. them mentality that is plaguing America and how Trump has divided the nation and changed the Republican party.

Navarro was asked a similar question by student reporters in a press conference before the lecture and from the audience following the lecture: What makes you continue to identify as a Republican? 

This is a question that Navarro has been asked many times given the fact that her voting and public comments seem to align more with the Democratic party. 

“I’ve been a Republican since I was 8 years old. It is upsetting to me that the Republican party is so different from what I grew up in,” Navarro said.

“I feel like I am a Republican now and [Trump] is just pretending to be.”

Navarro expressed her disappointment in Republicans who are enabling Trump and how offended she is that Trump now defines her identity and her party. However, she acknowledges that if all of the Republicans who oppose Trump leave, they are just giving up. 

The lecture ended with a call to action from Navarro that urged everyone to vote. She expressed that democracy is the “vehicle” that allows us to bring about change. Our voices matter and so do our votes.

“Don’t ever, ever, ever give up on America. Vote.

“But if that doesn’t work, sleep later and drink more.”

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a junior English and journalism major and Onward State's Student Life Editor. She is from York, Pennsylvania and loves iced coffee, books, and women's volleyball. You can find her on campus by looking for the girl who always wears stripes. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or memes via email ([email protected]) and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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