By Raoul Lowery Contreras
The State of Hispanic America plummeted in 2007.
The downward slide began in 2006 when some in America took umbrage at Spanishspeaking people on the streets protesting a Draconian immigration bill pushed by F. James Sensenbrenner, Junior, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin.
Ignoring the largest political demonstrations in American history, all objecting radio talk show blatherers saw were Mexican flags on American streets. They ignore Italian flags on Columbus Day or Irish Flags on St. Patrick’s Day. They historically ignored Nazi German flags of the German American Bund’s heyday in the Thirties. This time, they exploded with rage. How dare Mexicans fly their flag in America, especially in parts of America formerly Mexican?
Mostly American protesters waved thousands of American flags but that didn’t matter on that day in May 2006.
Then came the protests from the unsophisticated linguistically-limited crowd that objects to private enterprise responding to market forces by offering Spanish language options at ATMs or on the phone. They object to foreign language ballots. They object to bilingual education, despite huge successes in educating Spanish-speaking kids and taxes paid by Spanish-speaking people.
Their views of Hispanics hardened focused as they are on illegal aliens from Mexico. They blur the lines between legal and illegal, between immigrants and native-born.
Hordes, invaders, criminals, they call them. Their American children are called “Anchor Babies.” They are all called Mexicans. Not all illegals come from Mexico but no matter, it is Mexicans who draw ire from Ku Klux Klan-like Americans.
Amnestied Illegals in 1986 came from over 150 different countries. That fact makes no difference today, Mexicans are the focus of loud mouth talk show hosts and the Great Unwashed they lead.
Gary Walker of Escondido, California, expresses thoughts common among Mexican-haters in the North County Times (12/22):
“The relentless illegal alien invasion from Mexico…the catastrophic North American Union scheme, are the single (sic) most destructive, diabolical and dangerous things to ever happen to our nation…all other problems/issues pale by comparison.” Like Iraq, like the War on Terror, like 9/11 Mr. Walker?
He continues: “Do you see Germans, French, Chinese, Italians, etc., marching in our cities, waving their flags and issuing harsh demands? Do you see stores promoting their languages or having to “press 1” for their language? No! Then why “press 1” for English and why all the Mexican protesters/flags?”
If the Great Unwashed knew American history they would know that Germans came irking Benjamin Franklin who described them as “dirty, Catholic and would never learn English.” Germans so dominated Mid-western areas that some public schools taught in German only. Additionally, they were so powerful that German-only speaking soldiers successfully demanded that President Lincoln appoint German-speaking generals to lead them in the Union Army.
They would also know that Irish soldiers in the Union army had their own regiments, their own officers and flew Irish flags. Those patriotic Irish who didn’t serve rioted in New York, burned much of the city and murdered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Blacks in 1863.
Then there’s the all-but-one-white 1923 Congress that slammed the immigration door shut because too many Catholics, Mexicans, swarthy Italians, Greeks and Jewish Russians and Poles came to America. It founded the Border Patrol specifically to keep Mexicans out.
Most on the streets in May 2006 were native-born Americans and their flag flying was no different than Italians on Columbus Day and Irish flags on St. Patrick’s Day.
The ubiquitous hate skyrocketed during the debates on Comprehensive Immigration Reform with the flames of hate fanned by bellicose radio talk show hosts and pseudo-journalists like CNN’s Lou Dobbs, who will never win a Truth-in-Broadcasting award.
The hate peaked during the Senate debate. Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid unenthusiastically brought the issue to votes and the Reform was scuttled by an alliance of Democrats working for anti-immigrant labor unions and Republicans deeply mired in Know Nothing hate.
Then, because the Congress accomplished nothing on immigration, local and state politicians entered the fray to combat illegal immigration by laws and methods the courts are busy ridding us of daily.
The views expressed by Walker are emotional, hateful claptrap but, unfortunately, they have currency among many. Such hate affects Hispanics 24/7 in all life’s endeavors such as looking for jobs, apartments or, with cops driving on a Sunday afternoon while looking Hispanic.
Deep as the hate and its effects are, help and reinforcements are on the way!
In 1950, Thomas Sowell reports, only 8-percent of California’s Mexican Americans graduated from high school. Today, Rand Corporation studies conclude native-born Mexican Americans graduate at the same rate of non-Hispanics. That’s assimilation!
More importantly despite talk show propaganda that Hispanics are worthless, lazy, good-for-nothing traitorous Spanish-speaking school drop-outs, as of Fall 2006 there are 596,000+ mostly Mexican Hispanic full-time students in California public colleges and universities.