Hispanics make great fodder for unbalanced journalists

Jan 8, 2008. Fatalist of the year, so far, goes to ...
Tim Colebatch, The Age:

The face of America has changed, and the right doesn't like it.

AN ODD thing about the US election campaign is that on one issue, the Republican race is like a contest between candidates to outdo each other in pledging to wreck the US economy.

The issue is immigration. The contest is not, as it would be here, who can attract most immigrants. It is over who would be most ruthless in deporting the 12 million immigrants who have entered the US illegally to get work.

It's the new totem issue for the Republican right, one that resonates among white Americans who feel, correctly, that their country is being quietly invaded by its southern neighbours, changing its racial mix, even changing its language. But it alarms Wall Street, which knows that if the illegal workers were deported, the economy would collapse.

I have spent the past month in the US, where I lived for much of the 1980s. The big change that hits a time traveller is the shift in the racial balance. Even in the '80s, the quiet invasion was sweeping through areas from Miami to Texas to Los Angeles, and percolating into northern cities. But now, it is something else.

Travel through Texas or California, and almost everyone you see working in menial jobs is Latino — in official parlance, Hispanic. You edge down crowded streets in the middle of Los Angeles where all the shop signs and conversations around you are in Spanish.

Even Chicago, far north, has more than a million Hispanic workers. Villagers from Mexico and Guatemala are working on farms in Idaho and Nebraska, in factories and transport networks in New York and the rust belt, and in everything in the rapidly growing south-west. Millions are illegal migrants, on whom the US economy depends.

One statistic sums it up. The US Census Bureau estimates that between its 2000 census and mid-2006, the population grew by almost 18 million. More than 9 million of them, just over half, were of Latino origin. The other half divided evenly between blacks, Asians and traditional whites.

In 1970, there were 10 million Latinos in a country of more than 200 million people. Within two years, there will be 50 million in a country of 300 million. By 2050, on official projections, there will be more than 100 million in a country of 400 million. It is becoming a very different America ...
Hey Tim, might not we be a tad more concerned that the racial and cultural rock (*) on which the USA, our protector, was built is disappearing at breakneck speed? No? Not just a wee bit? The economy managed well for a long time before the illegals. If the rate of deportation has to be regulated to smooth things out, no problem - but they still should be deported eventually. But at least you painted a good alarmist picture that might wake somebody up.

* - sorry, forgot to mention 'religion' as well. I'm not religious, but I do acknowledge that Christianity built the West. And, in some respects, the West is dangerously vacuous without its positive influences.


KG said...

Like it or not (and I'm not religous either) Christianity has been the guiding principle and the glue that binds Western societies together.
And it still offers the best hope for countering the islamists.

Abandon Skip said...

Yup. George Orwell:

"The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions—racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war—which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action."

How an irreligious and leaderless and divided country can reharness such energy and cohesion is a problem.