As part of Hispanic Heritage Week, comedian Rick Najera gave NY1 his two cents about how Hispanics in New York City are changing the game of politics. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
Comedian Rick Najera took Broadway by storm in 2005 with his play "Latinologues." He wrote and starred in the production, which cast a spotlight on the stereotypical Latino experience in America.
The Mexican-American entertainer, who is famous for his political satire, has plenty to say about the issue.
"Latinos, first of all, have felt many times, we don't belong in politics," Najera says. "We've been kept out of it so long, and many Latinos come from foreign countries or countries where politics isn't encouraged."
A shrewd political observer, Najera says there's nothing like the city's bare-knuckle political brawls.
"New York politics. Boy, you guys got some crazy politics. No offense," he says. "I mean, come on. That Weiner guy, that was an odd blip on the screen."
Najera shares his quick wit in his new book "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood."
"The way the media looks at Latinos a lot of times, we're not black, that's one group, and we're not white, so we're 'almost white,' so a lot of times, they're unable to define us," he says. "And as a people, we are 53 million people in the United States. We're here to stay. We're not leaving anywhere, The border crossed us. We didn't cross the border."
A world traveler, Najera says the Latino political agenda is still fragmented and that Hispanics need to unite to maximize their political leverage.
"The people that are in office, the Marco Rubios, the Ted Cruzes, they're after another agenda," he says. "Normally, they're a Tea Party agenda or a Republican agenda. No one's after a Latino agenda. And what I say is, you look after Latinos first, Latinos are the solution, not the problem, in America."
Najera says he hopes to turn his book, "Almost White," into a one-man Broadway show and once again spice up the Great White Way.