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Latino Legislators: Vengeance Shall be Ours
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From the L.A. Times:

Latino lawmakers move to reverse decades of anti-immigrant legislation

For Sen. Ricardo Lara, whose parents were not legal residents, Prop. 187 felt like a “blatant, direct attack” on his family and those like them. (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)

by MELANIE MASON, PATRICK MCGREEVY

Newly empowered Latino lawmakers look to reverse anti-immigrant laws

Prop. 187 withholds public services from people in the U.S. illegally

Prop. 209 bars affirmative action for college admissions, public hiring

SACRAMENTO — Two decades after California voters took a hard line on illegal immigration, affirmative action and bilingual education, an ascendant class of Latino lawmakers is seeking to rewrite the books and discard the polarizing laws.

Some things are diverse, which is good, while other things are divisive, which is bad. How are you supposed to know? You can just tell.

Seriously, as somebody who can vaguely recall the Sixties, I’m perpetually weirded out by how what Sixties People would deride as “conformism” is now preached as the highest value.

Flexing its growing clout in Sacramento, this generation of legislators is returning to the 1990s-era fights that propelled them into politics. On Monday, they will mark 20 years since Proposition 187 — the landmark initiative withholding public services such as healthcare and education from those in the country illegally — qualified for the ballot.

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus, said there is a satisfying “full circle” feel in revisiting these formative struggles with Latinos now empowered.

But others say the legislators are falling back on yesterday’s battles for use as a political cudgel — a move that could risk alienating other voters.

Even two decades later, the feelings about Proposition 187 remain raw.

The measure barred healthcare, education and other public services for people in the country illegally. It required doctors, teachers and others to report suspected violators of immigration laws.

For Lara, whose parents were not legal residents, the proposal felt like a “blatant, direct attack” on his family and those like them.

Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who led the campaign for Proposition 187, bristled at descriptions of the initiative as xenophobic and racist.

“They are playing the race card and trying to intimidate people who had the spunk and the logic to protest against Washington, D.C., and Mexico City, who had been quite content to allow state taxpayers to be stuck with the cost of federally mandated services to illegal immigrants,” Wilson said in an interview. “Frankly, it’s beneath contempt.”

The measure — largely struck down as unconstitutional — was approved by 59% of voters in 1994. But its passage led to a surge of voter registration and political advocacy among Latinos.

Except that the evidence for this conventional wisdom is scanty.

For example, after the GOP won the Electoral Votes of California nine out of ten times from 1952-1988, Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in California in 1992, two years before Proposition 187, by 46.0% to 32.6% (+41.1%). Nationally, Clinton won 43.0% to 37.5% (+14.7%). In 1996, two years after Proposition 187 worked its toxic effect, Clinton beat Bob Dole 51.1% to 38.2% (+33.8%) in California v. 49.2% v 40.7% (+18.0%) nationally.

So, relative to the country, Bill Clinton performed 10.0% worse California in 1996 than in 1992.

In the 20 years since, Latinos have become the largest ethnic group in the state, and their share of the electorate has doubled. So has the number of Latinos in the Legislature.

“It was 187 — I cannot overemphasize — that unified the community,” said Antonia Hernández, former leader of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights group.

The measure also bound Latinos to the Democratic Party.

Is there any evidence that California Latinos weren’t highly Democratic before 1994? The two national exit polls showed Clinton winning the Hispanic vote in 1992 61-25 and 63-23. In 1992, most Latino voters were either in California or Texas, so Clinton probably enjoyed even bigger margins in California than he did nationally because Bush was a Texan

Here’s a paper on the 1992 election among Hispanics in California. It finds that in precincts that were at least 80% Hispanic according to the 1990 Census, Clinton beat Bush 82-5.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the “mean-spirited, cynical ploy” by Republicans to push the initiative ultimately backfired.

Villaraigosa was shocked, shocked by mean-spirited, cynical politics.

“That created a generation of Democrats,” he said.

Two years later, voters approved Proposition 209, which barred affirmative action for college admissions and public hiring decisions. And in 1998, Proposition 227, an initiative that effectively banned bilingual education in public schools, passed with 61% of the vote.

“It was a litany. It didn’t let up,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), of the successive measures. “lt just became not OK, in the eyes of far too many Californians, to even be Latino.”

This is what I’ve been saying for a long time: our views of acceptable political discourse are getting narrower, dumber, and more racialized. Less and less is about objective principles and more and more is about who do you like? Heck, elites are frustrated that Latino youths keep getting distracted by all the awesome summer blockbuster movies from acting out the racial rage they must be feeling.

And yet, Latinos don’t seem to be getting richer from this carefully nurtured kabuki theater of racial resentment. After 2008, Latinos in the U.S. are pretty broke on average. Instead, guys like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg try to cultivate the racialism of the (ever) growing Latino electoral tidal wave in order to get more cheap labor Indian programmers to add to their billions.

It’s bizarre when you think about it, so nobody thinks about it.

Gonzalez, like Lara, was a college student when Proposition 187 was on the ballot; both attended campus rallies against it. Sen. Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), the incoming Senate leader, was a lead organizer of a massive downtown Los Angeles rally in the fall of 1994.

1994: Nothing plays on the mystic chords of memory of American voters more than a sea of Mexican flags in downtown L.A.

That went over well.

“I cut my teeth politically organizing immigrants,” De León said.

Now De León is pushing a bill to strip much of the language of Proposition 187 from statute. The bulk of the law was overturned by a federal court, but references to it remain in the state code. …

It is time, he said, “to erase its stain from our books.” …

In addition, a measure by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would repeal parts of Proposition 209 in order to allow race-conscious college admissions. And Lara is seeking to undo and amend portions of Proposition 227 in order to expand access to multilingual educational programs. Both bills, should they pass the Legislature, would need to be approved by voters in 2016….

But revisiting these issues is not without peril for Democrats. Hernandez’s measure provoked a backlash this year among some Asian Americans who feared that their community could lose college admission slots if affirmative action was allowed. Lara acknowledges that Latino Democrats were caught “flat-footed” by the outcry.

“It was a very sobering moment,” said Antonia Hernández, now president of the philanthropic group California Community Foundation. She blamed complacency in outreach to Asians and other groups.

The misstep prompted questions of overreach.

Ward Connerly, a former UC regent who backed Proposition 209, said he thinks efforts to repeal portions of it will backfire. “Our side will argue they are opening the door to discrimination,” he said. “And racial discrimination is abhorrent to most Californians.”

 
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  1. If these Props were submitted to the people of California today, I suspect they would generate the same result from 20 years ago.

    People often reflexively vote for a party that doesn’t mean they support every issue the Party supports.

  2. California may also have a ballot initiative to split into several states. This push by Democratic Latino politicians could really crystallize in voters’ minds the demographic change underway. Maybe the breakup vote does really well, or maybe the Republicans see a surprise increase in black and Asian voters. Or maybe the California DNC tears itself apart at the convention. Whatever happens, this push by Democrat Latinos is not going to increase the warm fuzzies in CA politics.

    Is there a way to donate to help them with their efforts to strip prop 187?

  3. chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus

    CA demographics, per this link:

    Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012 38.2%
    White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent 2012 39.4%

    So there are roughly just as many Whites in CA as Hispanics. But somehow I doubt there is a ‘White Legislative Caucus’, nor will there by any time soon.

    I guess Hispanics will be an aggrieved minority even when they’re not (see Mr Sailer’s recent post on white employees at YHOO).

  4. Our laws mean nothing to these illegal invaders. They’re Hispanic so none of it applies to them. The new residents have a contempt for the laws of this country right from the get-go and yet there’s those who think this is a group who’ll become model citizens.

  5. Priss Factor [AKA "Cloudcastler"] says:

    I have a feeling that most Hispanics in power are white.
    So, why aren’t they included in the ‘white’ category?

    In America, Jews and Arabs are counted as ‘white’, but even blonde-and-blue-eyed Hispanics are counted as ‘non-white’.

    Most successful Hispanics look more like Andy Garcia than Benito Juarez.

    And does it make sense for the indigenous peoples of Latin America to be called ‘Latinos’ or ‘Hispanics’?
    They were conquered by Europeans, but they were not and are not European.
    If indigenous Central Americans are ‘Hispanic’, why don’t we call American Indians ‘Anglo’ since they were conquered by Anglos?

    If Chinese or Turks had invaded the Americas, should we call the indigenous peoples ‘Chinese’ or ‘Turks’?

    Filipinos were conquered by and ruled under the Spanish for centuries, so why aren’t they called ‘Hispanic’?
    Hong Kongese were conquered and ruled by the British, so why aren’t they called ‘Anglo’?
    Palestinian were conquered and ruled by Jews, so why aren’t they called ‘Jews’?

    And yet, we refer to the indigenous non-European peoples of Latin America as ‘Hispanic’?

    And why are white Hispanics counted as non-white but white Jews are just counted as ‘whites’?

    The system of ethnic terminology makes no sense.

  6. Priss Factor [AKA "Cloudcastler"] says:

    This is why immigration is a key issue among indiginos even though poll numbers suggest that it’s not something they care too much about it.

    Though indiginos may not be losing sleep over immigration policy, they are very emotional about Americanos opposing it. They take it an attack on their pride.

    So, while they may be only 50% pro-immigration, they are 100% anti-opposition-to-immigration.

  7. Best I can surmise, some time between 1988 and 1992, the “traditional white bread” white family and its voters lost its ability to deliver winning political punches in California.

  8. As a California resident I can attest that these fools, despite their supposed great power, are horribly incompetent when it comes to actually getting anything done.

    “Best I can surmise, some time between 1988 and 1992, the “traditional white bread” white family and its voters lost its ability to deliver winning political punches in California.”

    Two things happened:

    1. The aerospace industry went away and workers went out to Nevada, Arizona, and Texas.

    2. Clinton started his “New Democrat” tough on crime agenda which attracted lots of white voters who had before that been disgusted by the Dukakis-Dinkins Democrats.

  9. It’s all the warm feelings and togetherness it brings that make me support Dieversity 100%

  10. JVO says:

    About this Bill Gates guy and this Mark what’s-his-name – I’m no commie or anything – but you gotta be some kind of asshole to go around doing this stuff when you got that level of wealth. It can’t be about the money any more for them, it’s about the power. So the conservative in me says to these guys to go take a walk.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Nothing but an institutionalized racial spoils system. Outrageous when you come to think about it. Not only does the hispanic leadership demand the unimpeded ‘right’ to take over Cali it wants non hispanic citizens to actually effectively pay for the privilege of being displaced in their own nation. The phrase ‘shitting in the milk’ springs to mind.

  12. Fund illegal immigrants healthcare , housing, medical (egg.) and give them first dibs on fed / state / city funded colleges . And what do I get when I go to Mexico legally? Kidnapped and killed . Sounds fair. Or when a us marine goes to Mexico? What then?
    I guess you need to educate the masses and then make sure they go out and vote in their own best interest.

  13. “For [State Sen. Ricardo] Lara, whose parents were not legal residents, the proposal felt like a ‘blatant, direct attack’ on his family and those like them.”

    Yet I feel that for all our differences, if I were a pro-enforcement, Republican state legislator in California, I feel I could truly work with him. I’d be more than happy, for example, to raise raise raise taxes on the rich, to extend the trains in L.A. all the way west to the coast, to support busing to fully diversify the public (and private) school system, to support 100% equality-by-race in state universities, etc.

    These leftist, pro-cheap labor assholes have made their beds. It’s time for them to get gang raped in it.

    BTW, that proposal to split California into six states that someone mentioned above looks truly Machiavellian, to say the least. I looked at the map, and for all I can tell it looks to me like the plan is to split off the Latino-heavy inland areas from the rich coastal areas and free the rich from any obligation to support the costs of the Latino serfs they themselves imported. As the coastal counties gentrify over the next several decades, which seems inevitable, the Latinos in L.A. County Etc. will get pushed east into the new states. In addition, the “Republican” inland states will only be Republican until the demographic invasion has fully played out, and all the inland Hispanics reach voting age or are amnestied. See the link below.

    http://geocurrents.info/place/north-america/northern-california/tim-drapers-proposed-six-californias

  14. The future belongs to those who show up.

    Mainstream whites point and laugh at “fundies” and their “clown car vaginas” all the while desperately seeking approval from their betters. They think they are in on the joke, they think they are sophisticated.

    It’s going to be a sad and lonely end for many of them. I wonder what goes through a “childfree” woman’s mind when she feels the first signs of the menopause? Hopefully the late nights, whoring about and promotions were worth it. Most of them who scoff at the idea of God won’t even have religion to fall back on as the long lonely decline starts to close in on its quarry. Assisted suicide, the coming mega-trend for my generation circa 2070.

  15. Asians are not very political, but they are rabid about affirmative action. Especially because it is their kids who will be the losers. Plus they care about the relative status of the different universities in the California system.

    Sept 11 would have been the perfect time to seal the borders. Bush didn’t want to. He was too excited about invading Iraq.

  16. Actually, the commentary is evidence toward the proposition that the two populations are tragically incompatible. The social dynamic which produces the chicano pol produces someone who’s understanding of prudent public policy has it that common provision applies to anyone who elects to show up and anyone who says otherwise is a scoundrel. Alternately, perhaps his principle is more self-centered, viewing the United States as an open field for colonization by Mexicans and pay up gringo. Either way, it’s not socially sustainable and there is stupefying effrontery encoded into it.

    Who is recruited into the political class is arguably determined by social processes which do not have much to do with the dispositions and habits of the source population. That having been said, populations with healthy political cultures would have sent this unpleasant man packing. Political machines did used to provide welfare services, but it was much more personal, local, and episodic (and, one would wager, proportionately small scale).

  17. “Sept 11 would have been the perfect time to seal the borders. Bush didn’t want to. He was too excited about invading Iraq.”

    Bush used Iraq to distract attention from our unsecured borders. A trillion dollar war to make sure the borders stayed open for an endless supply of cheap labor. No one thought Afghanistan was enough. So instead of doing things that would actually prevent future terorrist attacks (and at a reasonable price) he blew over a trillion dollars on a pointless war in Iraq – because businessmen didn’t want to pay their workers $1.50/hour more.

    While Americans were being told we had to be spied on by the NSA and groped by the TSA, George W. Bush made sure he never, ever demanded any sort of sacrifice from the plutocrats who supported him.

  18. Cloudcastler – does it make sense for the indigenous peoples of Latin America to be called ‘Latinos’ or ‘Hispanics’? They were conquered by Europeans, but they were not and are not European.
    If indigenous Central Americans are ‘Hispanic’, why don’t we call American Indians ‘Anglo’ since they were conquered by Anglos?

    If Chinese or Turks had invaded the Americas, should we call the indigenous peoples ‘Chinese’ or ‘Turks’?

    Filipinos were conquered by and ruled under the Spanish for centuries, so why aren’t they called ‘Hispanic’? Hong Kongese were conquered and ruled by the British, so why aren’t they called ‘Anglo’?
    Palestinian were conquered and ruled by Jews, so why aren’t they called ‘Jews’?

    Excellent, never seen it put so well before.

  19. Steve, do you and Ron disagree about the political fallout of Prop 187? If so, I for one would like to see/read a debate between you too on that topic.

  20. “Cloudcastler says:
    June 23, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I have a feeling that most Hispanics in power are white.
    So, why aren’t they included in the ‘white’ category?

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    The system of ethnic terminology makes no sense.”

    The points you make are all quite valid. But to say that are system of ethnic terminology makes no sense is not quite right. It makes good sense to those it serves. It frames public conversation in the way it is intended to, and discourages that public conversation which it is intended to discourage.

  21. STEVE__

    Just want to say that your titles at Unz show up much better on google search than they did when you were at blogspot

  22. “Instead, guys like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg try to cultivate the racialism of the (ever) growing Latino electoral tidal wave in order to get more cheap labor Indian programmers to add to their billions.”

    And the conservative in me says “Congratulations on using capitalism to your advantage. Get whatever you can!”

  23. “I’m perpetually weirded out by how what Sixties People would deride as “conformism” is now preached as the highest value”.

    Hippies sold leftism to people raised on Americana and John Wayne on individualism by imploring them to “march to the beat of your own drummer”, while the post-modern left sells kids raised on multiculturalism and The Office on conformity not to be “on the wrong side of history” or “that guy.” This mindset still rubs a lot of the Gen X liberati raised in the post-Lenny Bruce era raw while making it costly for those with pattern recognition to declare the emperor naked. They also use the term “herd immunity” while arguing for the merits of mandatory vaccinations.

  24. The most important thing to know about prop 187 is that the neocons and corporate types campaigned against it.

  25. The Bay Area which has the least Hispanic population I think Santa Clara is only 27 percent Hispanic votes Democratic more than Kern, the most Republican large County. Kern is over 40 percent Hispanic. White vote in Kern is much more in favor of the Republicans since they are more social conservatives went for prop 8 the highest, their jobs are related to oil and so forth. Whites have a lot to do with it even in Orange and San Diego where Hispanics and Asians have grown. I would say that after the housing bubble which people blame somewhat on Bush and white conservative leaving Orange and San Diego for cheaper housing it explains why Bush got 59 percent in Orange in 2004 and Bush won San Diego but in 2012 Romney only got 53 percent and Obama won San Diego which is about 3 percent less Hispanic than Orange. Also, more east coasters moving to OC and SD in the past 10 years instead of mid westerners and Southerners but only the minority vote like Hispanics and Asians are thought of instead of changes in the white population not saying if Kern becomes 60 percent Hispanic in 2035 that it might not become Democratic but white vote is still a factor.

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