Posts Tagged ‘Hispanics’

There’s no such thing as ‘the Hispanic vote’

November 16, 2020

LatinX-plaining the election by Antonio Garcia-Martinez for The Pull Request.

Hispanics and Anglos get along just fine

November 12, 2018

Ron Unz, known as a leader of the campaign against bilingual education in California years ago, wrote a sensible article on his web site about Hispanic immigration into California and the United States as a campaign issue.

Hispanics are now about 60 40 percent of the population of California, so that state is an example of what is likely to happen as they become a larger fraction of the overall U.S. population.  Here are some of his main points: –

  • Anglos and Hispanics in California get along just fine.
  • Most American-born Californians have nothing against immigrants.  Sanctuary cities are popular.
  • Hispanics as a group as law-abiding.  The killing by an illegal immigrant used in recent Republican campaign ads was the result of a firearm accident.  There is no Hispanic immigrant crime wave.
  • Most immigrants, including Hispanic immigrants, want their children educated in the language of their new country.
  • Most immigration into the United States is legal immigration.  Increased border security will do little to reduce net immigration.
  • Immigration of unskilled workers does hurt the wages and job opportunities of existing citizens.  The way to deal with this is (1) a higher minimum wage and (2) lower numbers of legal immigrants.
  • Republicans in California condemned themselves to minority status by being anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant.  The same thing could happen to Republicans in Texas and the nation as a whole.

HIs article is worth reading in its entirety.


Racial Politics in America and in California by Ron Unz for The Unz Review.

Why is the Hispanic death rate lower?

June 6, 2017

Click to enlarge

Compared to non-Hispanic whites and blacks, Hispanic Americans are survivors.


The Case-Deaton study and its new update showed that the death rate is rising among non-Hispanic white Americans while it is falling among citizens of every other important industrial nation.   Anne Case and Angus Deaton attribute this to the rise “deaths of despair”—from alcohol, drugs and suicide.

The study showed something else that I think is equally interesting.  The death rate among Hispanic Americans has always been lower than among non-Hispanic whites, and it continues to fall, in line with trends in other industrial nations.

In the chart above, the bright red line is the death rate among non-Hispanic white Americans and the bright blue line is the death rate among Hispanic Americans.

The death rate among non-Hispanic American blacks is higher than among whites, but it is falling, not rising.


How Trump used Judge Curiel as a red herring

June 13, 2016

Donald Trump’s Trump University scam was despicable.  He scammed 7,611 people who trusted in his same into giving him thousands of dollars for something he knew was worthless.

He’s being sued on behalf of students, and his attack on the impartiality of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, one of the judges in the case, based on Curiel’s Mexican ancestry, has created an uproar among both liberals and conservatives.

Actually the knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s attack on Curiel serves Trump’s purpose, because it shifts attention away from the major issue, which is the Trump University scam.

Donald Trump in 2005

Donald Trump in 2005

Trump University, which operated from 2005 to 2010, recruited students by offering free 90-minute real estate seminars in 700 cities from 2005 to 2010.  The purpose of the seminars was to sell them on signing up for $1,495 three-day seminars.  From there the next step was to sign up students for a $9,995 “silver” or $34,995 “gold” program.

Even after that, students were asked to spend more for books, additional courses and other materials.

Donald Trump said students who enrolled at Trump University would learn the secrets of getting rich in real estate from hand-picked instructors.

None of these things were true.  The instructors had no qualifications or expertise in real estate.  Trump himself barely knew them.  They were chosen for their ability to sell students on signing up for more expensive courses.

Their employee manual, which has been leaked to The Atlantic and other publications, gave extensive instructions on how to do that.  Students were encouraged to dip into retirement funds, and told how to apply for increases in the limits on their credit cards.

At least one was a high school student.  Many were veterans, retired police officers and teachers.  In return, they got little more than motivational speeches.

Trump claimed that Trump University received more than 10,000 testimonials from students—which means a lot of them must either be fake or be signed by attendees at the free seminars.

What he doesn’t have is a testimonial from anyone who attended Trump University, succeeded in real estate and attributed it to Trump U’s instruction.

Steven Brill reported that legal records show that Trump University took in more than $40 million, of which Trump himself received $5 million.


The healthy Hispanic life style

December 19, 2015


Hispanics in the United States are nearly as poor, on average, as African Americans.  Yet they live longer, on average, than non-Hispanic whites.  What’s their secret?

Jasmine Aquilera, writing for Yes! magazine, says it is a combination of close community and family bonds, a healthier diet and la cuarentena, a Latin American tradition in which a new mother rests for the first 40 days after giving birth, not lifting a finger except to breastfeed and bond with her child.

A life in which community and family take priority would certainly be less stressful than a life in which priority is given to climbing the ladder of success—particularly in an economy in which so many people are moving down the ladder rather than up.

The traditional Mexican diet, based on corn, beans and rice, is indeed a healthy one.  It should not be confused with the Tex-Mex diet, with its big gobs of ground meat and melted cheese.   I think that the Tex-Mex diet may be a big reason Hispanics suffer disproportionately from obesity and diabetes.

I was especially interested in Aquilera’s report on the custom of cuartena. It reflects a culture that is profoundly pro-life in a way that goes beyond mere opposition to abortion and contraception.

I’ve read international surveys of happiness, which in general is proportional to the level of material well-being in various countries.  The exceptions are the former Communist countries of eastern Europe, where people are less happy than the statistics would indicate, and the Latin American countries, where people are more happy than the statistics would indicate.

I think Latin Americans have something to teach us Anglo Americans about how to live.


Latinos Live Longest Despite Poverty.  Here’s Their Secret by Jasmine Aquilera for Yes!

Asian immigrants expected to predominate

October 6, 2015


Republican presidential candidates are debating how to seal the southern U.S. border against unauthorized immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries.   This is yesterday’s news.

Pew Research Center reported that immigration from Asia already exceeds immigration from Latin American and is likely to predominate for at least the next generation.  Immigration from Mexico has been declining since 2007.

Currently there are three times as many Hispanics in the United States, including unauthorized immigrants, than there are Asians, and half again as many Hispanics as blacks.  But in 50 years, if present trends continue, the number of Asians will exceed the number of blacks, and Asians will be the largest category among the foreign-born population.

The USA, more than most countries, is a nation of immigrants.  Pew noted that United States has more Mexican immigrants (12 million) than any other nation has total immigrants.

Immigration to the United States has come in three waves.  In the first wave, from 1840 to 1889, nearly nine-tenths of immigrants were from Germany, Ireland, Britain or other northern and western European countries.  In the second wave, from 1890 to 1919, nearly two-thirds were from Italy, Austria-Hungary, Poland, Russian or other southern and eastern European nations.

In the third wave, from 1965 to 2015, slightly more than half are from Latin America, and immigration from Asia equals immigration from Europe.  Pew projects a fourth wave, predominantly from Asia, based on recent trends.

Native-born Americans have always worried about how many immigrants the United States can absorb.  Angl0-Saxon Americans worried about whether they could assimilate the Irish and Germans.  Protestant Americans worried about whether they could assimilate Catholics and Jews.

Now we worry about whether we can assimilate Hispanics and Asians, and still maintain the continuity of our culture, heritage and economy.

I share these worries, but the decision has already been made that the United States is a multi-cultural nation.  Even if we wished, we could not become like Japan or Quebec, where almost everyone is of the same ancestry and cultural heritage.   Even before the age of immigration, the USA comprised African-Americans and native Americans and we could not pretend to be a merely a branch of the British nation.

Historically, immigrants have strengthened the United States.  They have mostly been hard-working people who have come to the United States in search of opportunity, and many have been liberty-loving people who have come here in search of freedom.

If this ever ceases being true, I don’t think it will be because of immigrants.  IT will be because the USA as a whole no longer offers opportunity and has lost confidence in freedom.

The American motto is “E Pluribus Unum” – “out of many, one.”  Either we make that a reality, or we cease to be a nation, and the territory between Canada and Mexico is nothing but a labor force and a consumer market.


Is immigration a right?

September 15, 2012

Years ago, when I first learned there was a controversy in California over whether unauthorized immigrants could get driver’s licenses or send their children to public schools, I wondered how that could even be an issue.  If someone is in the United States who is known to be here illegally, why is the person not deported immediately?

After a little bit of reading and thinking, the answer became obvious:  Because it is to the benefit of employers to have an underclass of workers who are outside the protection of U.S. law.

David Bacon, a former union organizer and immigrant rights advocate and current photojournalist, spelled out in detail just how this works in his 2008 book, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants.  He drew a picture of the authorized immigration situation by connecting a great many dots that usually are not connected.

He began the book by describing the labor struggles of Mexican immigrants at a luxury hotel in California and a meatpacking plant in North Carolina.  He showed how employers used immigration enforcement as a means to suppress workers who asserted their rights or tried to form union.  Then he went to the parts of Mexico where many of these workers came from, and described the conditions which forced them out of their homes.

Some came from Oxaca in southern Mexico, where imports of cheap mass-produced U.S. corn, and the cessation of Mexican government purchases of corn for government grocery stores, bankrupted many small farmers and turned them into migrant laborers, like the Okies and Arkies during the U.S. Great Depression.  Others came from Sonora, where copper miners in Cananea went on strike against wage and benefits cuts, and were blacklisted.

Historically the Mexican government provided some protection for small farmers and union workers, but, Bacon reported, these were withdrawn under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and administrators of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  They operated under the “neo-liberal” philosophy that says that benefits to farmers and working people are illegitimate because they interfere with free trade and the free market.  Unemployment in Mexico and Guatemala rose to 25 percent.  In order to survive, Mexicans and central Americans came to work in the United States without legal rights, at a time when U.S. workers were losing ground on wages and benefits.

Bacon described the political struggles of Mexican immigrant workers in the United States, and their sometimes successful efforts to form alliances with the African-American community and the U.S. labor movement.  Mexican immigrant workers, African American workers and white Anglo workers should recognize that they’re all workers, and not allow themselves to be pitted against each other, he wrote.

He ended the book by tracing the history of Filipino immigration and labor struggles in the United States, and a report on immigrant workers’ struggles in Germany and Britain, which are similar to the U.S. conflict.

He rejected sanctions against employers as a solution to unauthorized immigration, for the reason that sanctions have not been enforced.  In practice, they are used as a rationale for threatening Immigrant workers who stand up for their rights.

He said “guest worker” programs and the H-1B visa program for high-tech immigrant workers are another form of exploitation.  Both programs leave immigrants at the mercy of their employers, with no right to quit their jobs.  They are like the indentured laborers of colonial America, who were obligated to serve a particular employer on his terms for a specific period of time, such as seven years—the difference being that, after serving our their indentures, they were free to remain.

Do unauthorized immigrants have a right to remain in the United States in violation of U.S. law?  Bacon argued that if corporate executives have a right to shift capital freely from country to country in search of profit, surely people have the same right to go from country to country in search of work.

There is a legal doctrine which, I think, is called “adverse possession.”  If I allow my neighbors to use a footpath across my land for decades, and never close it off, at some point they gain a right to use it.  If migrants are brought into the United States, and the laws against their being here are winked at, do they not at some point gain a right to stay here?

A friend of mine knows a man who does work abroad as an architect and subcontractor for work on U.S. embassies and consulates.  He had just got back from doing work in Norway.  My friend said he told him that Norway deals with its immigration situation by strict enforcement of wages and hours laws.  Contractors could import workers from the Balkans or Turkey, but what would be the point if they had to pay the same wages and benefits as a Norwegian workers?

Bacon would say that is the real question.  If workers in all countries could earn sufficient wages to provide for themselves and their families, immigration would not be an issue.

Click on David Bacon News for his home page.

Click on How Mississippi’s Black / Brown Strategy Beat the South’s Anti-Immigrant Wave for an article by David Bacon in The Nation about a political alliance between Mexican immigrants and African-Americans defeated anti-immigration legislation in Mississippi.

Democrats, demographics and political destiny

June 19, 2012

Gary Segura, writing in Democracy Journal, looks to demographic changes, especially the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population, to save the Democratic Party.

When Barack Obama is almost certainly re-elected this November, Latinos will have played a decisive role in crucial swing states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida, and even in states where their population share is smaller.  Latinos should comprise just under 10 percent of the national electorate this year, compared with just 5.4 percent in 2000 and 3.7 percent in 1992.  At 15 percent of the national electorate by 2024 (a conservative estimate), and concentrated in several large-population states, Latino political power will have moved Arizona firmly into the Democratic column in the next decade and will eventually have created a chance for Democrats to carry Texas.

Republicans nationally receive 85 percent of their votes from white voters by capturing between 55 and 60 percent of their ballots in each election.  This margin, coupled with just enough votes from minorities, may be sufficient to eke out victories in the near term. But with the demographic decline of white voters, even 60 percent of that cohort will be a poor start when it comprises just two-thirds of the electorate in 2024; 60 percent of two-thirds would net the GOP just 39.6 percent of the national vote. Republicans must improve their standing with minority voters to remain competitive over the next century.

Can the GOP respond?  In the short run, I don’t think so.  Race played a critical role in the formation of the GOP coalition and is the principal reason that working-class white males, particularly in the South, have been so willing to embrace the party despite its economic policies.  To remove race and its rhetoric from Republican politics would serve to make the party more welcoming to minority voters but would also eliminate the primary claim the party makes in attracting those working-class whites.

via Gary Segura for Democracy Journal.

Actually, Hispanic voters are becoming disillusioned with President Obama.  That is why he is trying to appease them with his executive order forbidding deportation of certain categories of unauthorized immigrants who were brought to this country as a child.

The larger problem is that the reason that neither the Democratic nor the Republican leaders have policies that would move the nation from war and recession to peace and prosperity.  That is why Democrats and Republicans rely on group loyalty to appeal, respectively, to Hispanics and working-class non-Hispanic whites.

Click on The Browning of America for Gary Segura’s complete article.

Click on The Democrats’ Demographic Dreams for a critique.  [Added 6/20/12]

Click on President Obama bristles when he is the target of activist tactics he once used for details about how discontented Hispanic leaders pressured Obama on immigration policy.

Click on Yes, Barack Obama Thinks We’re Stupid (Immigration Edition) for more on the politics of President Obama’s new immigration policy.  [Added 6/20/12]

How white people can stay in the majority

June 15, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that non-Hispanic whites, now a majority of the U.S. population, will become a minority within the next 40 years.  I don’t think this will happen.  White people will remain in the majority the way they have down through American history, by continually expanding the boundaries of “white.”

In the years immediately following the American Revolution, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants were the majority of American citizens, and Irish and German immigrants were minority groups.  African slaves and American Indians were excluded from citizenship, and did not even have that status.  Americans and English were considered the two branches of the “Anglo-Saxon race.”

By the time I was born in 1936, the white Protestant majority had dropped the “Anglo-Saxon” part, and defined Negroes, Jews and Catholics as minority groups.  I was taught as a boy that I should not be prejudiced against any of those three groups.

George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Co., would not knowingly hire an Italian-American, which is why so many Italian-Americans in Rochester, NY, have British last names.  As recently as 1960, there was uncertainty over whether a Catholic could or should be elected President of the United States.  Now Jews and Catholics are included in the “non-Hispanic white” majority.

I predict that by 2050, the majority group will be broader still.  Instead of the majority being defined as “non-Hispanic white,” it will be simply “white.”  It will include all the white Hispanics and all the people of mixed race who consider themselves white.

The U.S. Census defines four broad racial groups, whites, blacks, native Americans and Asians.  Hispanics can be of any race, and more than half of all Hispanic Americans identify themselves as “white” on the census.  Hispanics once were defined as people with Spanish last names.  Now they are defined as people whose forebears came from a Spanish-speaking country, such as Mexico or Cuba, or from Puerto Rico.  I know people who are immigrants from Spain.  It would be absurd to consider them other than white.

In the days of slavery and segregation, a person with one known black ancestor was considered black.  That included mulattoes, with one white parent; quadroons, with three white grandparents; or octoroons, with seven white great-grandparents.  I don’t think that is true now, and I think it will be less true in the future.  People of mixed heritage will be able to choose which heritage, if any, is their primary identity.

Finally I think prejudice against people of Asian ancestry has disappeared, or greatly diminished, since I was young, and Asians will be assimilated to the majority group or closely allied with it.

Mixed marriages, especially between Asian-Americans and whites, and between Hispanic Americans and non-Hispanic whites, are on the increase.  My guess is that most of their children will identify with the majority group, whether it is called “white” or something else.

Some black people glumly predict that by the end of the century, there will be only two racial groups in the United States—blacks and everybody else—since white Americans have always come to accept members of every other ethnic group except African Americans.

This is highly possible, but not certain.  During my lifetime, I’ve seen more progress than I ever expected toward a society in which people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.  Given the ethnic conflicts and massacres in much of the world—Africa, southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent—and the racial tensions even in European countries, I think we Americans have much to be proud of.  We’re not where we should be, but we’re on a good road, and I believe we can stay on it.

Click on Adjusting to the ‘Browning’ of America for thoughts of Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.

We whites need not fear minority status

June 15, 2012

Source: Pew Research Center

Less than 50 percent of babies being born in the United States are non-Hispanic whites.  The Census Bureau reported that for the 12 months ending in July 2011, non-Hispanic whites were 49.6 percent of American newborns.  All the rest were Hispanic, black, Asian, native American, and mixed race.

The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2050, non-Hispanic whites will be less than half the U.S. population.  They already are a minority in Hawaii (23 percent), the District of Columbia (35 percent), California and New Mexico (40 percent) and Texas (45 percent), and in many large American cities.

While the percentage of African-Americans in the U.S. population will remain constant, the percentages of Hispanics, already the largest U.S. minority group, and of Asians will double.

Source: William H. Frey, Brookings Institution

Is this something we non-Hispanic whites should worry about?  I don’t think so.  We won’t be in the majority, but we’ll still be the largest group, double the size of the Hispanic population.

I don’t see any reason to fear  Hispanics are going to join with other demographic groups to gang up on us.  I’ve visited non-Hispanic white friends in places such as Santa Fe and San Antonio where the Hispanics were in the majority, and they didn’t feel as if they under siege.  Quite the contrary.

During my lifetime, I’ve seen a great diminution of racial prejudice and ethnic antagonism, and I hope and believe this will continue.  And to the extent that prejudice and antagonism remain, it is just as intense between the various minority groups than between any of those groups and non-Hispanic whites.

Click on Minority births outnumbered whites for the first time for information from the Los Angeles Times.

Click on Racial, Ethnic Shifts in Metro Areas for information from The Society Pages.

Click on The New Metro Minority Map: Regional Shifts in Hispanics, Asians and Blacks from Census 2010. for information from Sabrina Pacifica’s beSpacific web log.

Click on Young Hispanic population key to futures of Texas and U.S. for information from the Texas on the Potomac web log.

Hispanics and the Bataan Death March

May 31, 2010

Some years back I was a regular visitor to Santa Fe, N.M.  One of the things I saw there was the Bataan Memorial, commemorating the Bataan Death March of 1942.  U.S. forces in the Philippines were besieged by the Japanese forces on the Bataan Peninsula until they were starved out. When they finally surrendered, they were marched 65 miles in scorching heat without food or water, and many died.

About 1,800 members of the 12,000 U.S. troops were members of the New Mexico National Guard, who had been called up in 1941, prior to the outbreak of the war, to reinforce U.S. forces in the Philippines. Evidently the top brass thought that the predominantly Hispanic membership of the New Mexico guard could relate well to the Spanish-speaking population of the Philippines.

On Memorial Day, we honor all Americans who sacrificed their lives while serving in the armed forces of our country. With all the recent controversy over Arizona and its immigration law, it is worth remembering that Mexican-Americans and others of Hispanic heritage are part of that heritage. They are not interlopers.


Arizona and immigration

May 3, 2010

I think Arizona’s new law on illegal immigration is a bad idea.  But it is directed at a real problem, and I don’t have a good answer to that problem.

Arizona has a population of about 6.6 million people.  An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrants live within the state, about 7 percent of its population. Probably illegal immigrants comprise an even higher percentage of the work force.  The unemployment rate in Arizona is above 9 percent. Subtract the illegal immigrant population, and some of those jobs open up to citizens and legal residents. If you say citizens wouldn’t do those jobs, you mean they wouldn’t do them for the pay that the illegal immigrants get. Wages would rise for necessary jobs if that was the only way to get people to do them.

I don’t think you can stop illegal immigration by means of border patrols nor by means of spot checks of Hispanic-looking individuals. If you really wanted to stop illegal immigration, the only way to do it would be to have a national ID system, linked to a national data base with biometric information based on retinal scans or other unique individual characteristics, to require employers to keep records of the IDs of all their employees and to punish employers who fail to comply. No, I don’t like this.

An alternative is open borders.  Without barriers to immigration, there are no problems with illegals. No, I don’t think this is feasible.

The third option is what we have now – to restrict immigration, but to wink at violations of these restrictions.  The result is a large internal population of people who are outside the protection of the law – people with no recourse if they are exploited or cheated by employers or abused by government. I like this even less than the other two.