In CA, the Latino Future is Now

There’s a great piece in today’s LA Times spotlighting the rift in the CA GOP over a proposed ballot initiative which would do for California what SB 1070 did for Arizona.  You can read it here.

The Republicans who favor the initiative, like others across the nation, are addicted to their game of (white) race politics and immigrant scapegoating. Those who oppose it (or at least oppose supporting it) are worried about the long-term damage to their party’s political influence.

As the piece notes, in the last election in CA:

…one in five voters was Latino; 80% of them cast ballots for Democratic Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, while 15% voted for Whitman despite her multimillion-dollar effort to woo them. Their participation, driven by labor unions who used the Arizona immigration law to pull Latinos to the polls, was nearly double what it was in the last gubernatorial contest. And those numbers are expected to grow.

Indeed, with a clear majority of the under 18-year-old population in the State of “Hispanic” origin, we are no longer a sleeping giant but a yawning and stretching one. Political power will increasingly depend upon your ability to garner Latino voters.

But far too many Republicans in this State are so myopic (and just plain hateful) to see what is staring them plainly in the face. As current Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (a Republican) laments:

“You can pull the life-support machine off the party, just pull the plug,” he said. “Because there’s no secret, if you look at obituaries and you look at the birth notices in any newspaper, I can tell you what California is going to look like in the next 10, 15, 20 years. If you continue to alienate the fastest-growing population, then you can continue to be a party that is successful in certain areas, but you won’t be able to run the state.”

The debate and political contest over immigration in California is vitally important for the rest of the nation. Unlike what you might guess, this importance is not based on premonition. While many of the Southwestern states, and a few others, will continue to trend toward the Latino plurality California now enjoys, most will not. If Latinos and other pro-immigrant constituencies (especially Asians) choose their representative wisely, CA will set the example for the rest of the nation on how a State can build strength from immigration.

Our unique and historic context is an opportunity to create a society that can withstand the loss of a white majority while continuing to hold to more basic elements of the US political system, nothing short of a fulfillment of a political vision set in motion more than two centuries ago yet, still, only imperfectly realized.

3 thoughts on “In CA, the Latino Future is Now

  1. Another excellent post, Tomas. I’d like to add that immigration hardliners in areas with large Latino populations (Tom Tancredo, Sharon Angle and of course Meg Whitman) were handily defeated. The less-than-subtle xenophobia of these demagogues were a powerful motivator for a unified Latino turnout at the polls. At the same time, if the Latino vote is perceived as monolithically Democratic, it will be easier for conservatives to marginalize (and demonize) us in areas where the Latino vote is not a plurality. Personally, I do not support the positions of Marco Rubio, Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez. But in the long run, the election of these Republican Latinos may help bridge the dangerously growing gap between the Latino community and the mainstream population. (For example, support for Arizona’s SB 1070 is sharply divided along ethnic lines.) Nativist demagogues prey of public fears of Latinos as a faceless, alien group that threatens Anglo primacy. Showing the true diversity of the disparate collection of people who make up the Latino communities across the entire United States helps dispel this noxious nativist myth. Just as in the United States as a whole, the diversity of the Latino community is an asset which can help us move together toward common goals such as immigration reform and raising the educational standards of our youth.

  2. Most Latinos came to the US to escape Socialism and Big Goverment rulers, now it follows them here. What do you think.
    October 8, 2009
    The Director of the Human Rights Foundation, Armando Valladares, said that electing Barack Obama as the next U.S. President, would go against “the values, principles and ideals that have shaped this great nation…”
    …Valladares spent 22 years in a Cuban prison before moving to the United States, where he currently resides. According to him, Obama is governed by the Marxist belief that “the end justifies the means.”
    The Latino leader said that if Obama wins the election, “more than ever, our society will be in great danger. One of his objectives is the dissolution of the family and its values. Obama supports marriage between same-sex partners. He wants to bring it to the Constitution. Obama is in favor of the adoption of children by gay couples. Rather than favoring prayer in schools, he advocates the distribution of condoms.”
    The greatest concern of Valladares is Obama’s relationship with terrorists. “William ‘Bill’ Ayers was one of the founders of the leftist organization ‘The Weatherman.’ It was this group that put the bomb at the headquarters of the police department in New York back in 1970. Additionally, the bombings at the Capitol in Washington in 1971 and at the Pentagon in 1972 are among their other terrorist acts.”
    “Obama and Ayers served together in the extreme leftist organization, Woods Fund Board, from 1999 to 2002. Ayers introduced his terrorist friends to Obama and organized parties at his house to raise money for Obama’s campaign to the Senate in Illinois. They appeared together many times in public lectures, panels. Ayers was a donor to the Obama campaign in 2001.”
    According to Valladares, if Obama is elected, Ayers would have a place in his administration.
    Lee ADDS: I wonder if Farakhan or Wright would be the first to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom?
    April 21st, 2009
    This article was published on Oct. 8, 2008. It is now April 21, 2009. Obama has been elected. He now has the country in econmic distress, taking control of banks, car manufacturers, and growing government and our national debt to stagering proportions. He is putting our constition under attack, weakening our countrie’s soverenigty, and strength. The nightmare has come true. Obama IS destroying America!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s