After a few tense moments, a Clinton supporter in her fifties spoke up in support of the two women. “They have a baby, it started to cry!” she explained. The man shot back, “I didn’t hear no baby!”
The family, obviously first-time caucus-goers, was visibly uncomfortable. It was now clear to everyone that they were not fluent in English. The auditorium was silent. Alane Houck finally approached them and, using the older daughter as a translator, told them they had arrived late and were not eligible to participate. A few minutes later, they left, heads hung.
Thirteen minutes had cost this family, part of a demographic severely underrepresented in the caucus, their voice in the nominating process. They were exposed to public ridicule and denied adequate translation services. It’s remarkable they came out to the caucus at all, but after this experience, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll try again in upcoming elections.