The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information

Publications Filter?
Nothing found
 TeasersiSteve Blog

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
🔊 Listen RSS

Screenshot 2015-07-01 16.54.40

Paul Krugman argues today that Puerto Rico is kind of like West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama:

Put it this way: if a region of the United States turns out to be a relatively bad location for production, we don’t expect the population to maintain itself by competing via ultra-low wages; we expect working-age residents to leave for more favorable places. That’s what you see in poor mainland states like West Virginia, which actually looks a fair bit like Puerto Rico in terms of low labor force participation, albeit not quite so much so. (Mississippi and Alabama also have low participation.) … There is much discussion of what’s wrong with Puerto Rico, but maybe we should, at least some of the time, just think of Puerto Rico as an ordinary region of the U.S. …

Okay, but there’s a huge difference in test scores.

The federal government has been administering a special Puerto Rico-customized version of its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam in Spanish to Puerto Rican public school students, and the results have been jaw-droppingly bad.

For example, among Puerto Rican 8th graders tested in mathematics in 2013, 95% scored Below Basic, 5% scored Basic, and (to the limits of rounding) 0% scored Proficient, and 0% scored Advanced. These results were the same in 2011.

In contrast, among American public school students poor enough to be eligible for subsidized school lunches (“NSLP” in the graph above), only 39% scored Below Basic, 41% scored Basic, 17% scored Proficient, and 3% scored Advanced.

Puerto Rico’s test scores are just shamefully low, suggesting that Puerto Rican schools are completely dropping the ball. By way of contrast, in the U.S., among black 8th graders, 38% score Basic, 13% score Proficient, and 2% score Advanced. In the U.S. among Hispanic 8th graders, 41% reach Basic, 18% Proficient, and 3% Advanced.

In Krugman’s bete noire of West Virginia, 42% are Basic, 20% are Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. In Mississippi, 40% are Basic, 18% Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. In Alabama, 40% are Basic, 16% are Proficient, and 3% are Advanced. (Unmentioned by Krugman, the lowest scores among public school students are in liberal Washington D.C.: 35% Basic, 15% Proficient, and 4% Advanced.)

Let me repeat, in Puerto Rico in Spanish, 5% are Basic, and zero zip zilch are Proficient, much less Advanced.

Am I misinterpreting something? I thought I must be, but here’s a press release from the Feds confirming what I just said:

The 2013 Spanish-language mathematics assessment marks the first time that Puerto Rico has been able to use NAEP results to establish a valid comparison to the last assessment in 2011. Prior to 2011, the assessment was carefully redesigned to ensure an accurate assessment of students in Puerto Rico. Results from assessments in Puerto Rico in 2003, 2005 and 2007 cannot be compared, in part because of the larger-than-expected number of questions that students either didn’t answer or answered incorrectly, making it difficult to precisely measure student knowledge and skills. The National Center for Education Statistics, which conducts NAEP, administered the NAEP mathematics assessment in 2011. But those results have not been available until now, as it was necessary to replicate the assessment in 2013 to ensure that valid comparisons could be made.

“The ability to accurately measure student performance is essential for improving education,” said Terry Mazany, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP. “With the support and encouragement of education officials in Puerto Rico, this assessment achieves that goal. This is a great accomplishment and an important step forward for Puerto Rico’s schools and students.”

NAEP assessments report performance using average scores and percentages of students at or above three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient and Advanced. The 2013 assessment results showed that 11 percent of fourth-graders in Puerto Rico and 5 percent of eighth-graders in public schools performed at or above the Basic level; conversely, 89 percent of fourth-graders and 95 percent of eighth-graders scored below that level. The Basic level denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for grade-appropriate work. One percent or fewer of students in either grade scored at or above the Proficient level, which denotes solid academic performance. Only a few students scored at the Advanced level.

The sample size for 8th graders was 5,200 students at 120 public schools in the Territory.

UPDATE: I’ve now discovered Puerto Rico’s scores on the 2012 international PISA test. Puerto Rico came in behind Jordan in math.

Results this abysmal can’t solely be an HBD problem (although it’s an interesting data point in any discussion of hybrid vigor); this has to also be due to a corrupt and incompetent education system in Puerto Rico.

New York Times’ comments aren’t generally very useful for finding out information, but Krugman’s piece did get this comment:

KO’R New York, NY 4 hours ago

My husband and I have had a house in PR for 24 years. For two of those years we taught English and ESL at Interamericana, the second largest PR university. Our neighbors have children in the public grade schools. In a nutshell: the educational system in PR is a joke!!! Bureaucratic and corrupt. Five examples: (1) In the elementary schools near us if a teacher is sick or absent for any reason, there is no class that day. (2) Trying to get a textbook changed at Interamericana requires about a year or more of bureaucratic shinnanigans (3) A colleague at Interamericana told us that he’d taught in Africa (don’t remember where) for a few years and PR was much worse in terms of bureaucracy and politics. ( (4) The teaching method in PR is for the teacher to stand in front of the class, read from the textbook verbatim, and have the students repeat what he or she read. And I’m not speaking just about English – this goes for all subjects. 5) Interamericana is supposed to be a bi-lingual iniversity. In practice, this means the textbooks are in English, the professor reads the Spanish translation aloud, and the usually minimal discussion is in Spanish. …

Public school spending in Puerto Rico is $7,429 per student versus $10,658 per student in the U.S. Puerto Rico spends more per student than Utah and Idaho and slightly less than Oklahoma.

Puerto Rico spends less than half as much as the U.S. average on Instruction: $3,082 in Puerto Rico vs. $6,520 in America, significantly less than any American state. But Puerto Rico spends more than the U.S. average on Total Support Services ($3,757 vs. $3,700). Puerto Rico is especially lavish when it comes to the shifty-sounding subcategories of General Administration ($699 in PR vs. $212 in America) and Other Support Services ($644 vs. $347). PR spends more per student on General Administration than any state in America, trailing only the notorious District of Columbia school system, and more even than DC and all 50 states on the nebulous Other Support Services.

Being a schoolteacher apparently doesn’t pay well in PR, but it looks like a job cooking the books somewhere in the K-12 bureaucracy could be lucrative.

The NAEP scores for Puerto Rico and the U.S. are for just public school students.

A higher percentage of young people in Puerto Rico attend private schools than in the U.S. The NAEP reported:

In Puerto Rico, about 23 percent of students in kindergarten through 12th grade attended private schools as of the 2011-2012 school year, compared with 10 percent in the United States. Puerto Rico results are not part of the results reported for the NAEP national sample.

So that accounts for part of the gap. But, still, public schools cover 77% of Puerto Ricans v. 90% of Americans, so the overall picture doesn’t change much: the vast majority of Puerto Rican 8th graders are Below Basic in math.

Another contributing factor is likely that quite a few Puerto Ricans summer in America and winter in Puerto Rico and yank their kids back and forth, which is disruptive to their education.

It’s clear that Puerto Ricans consider their own public schools to be terrible and that anybody who can afford private school should get out. The NAEP press release mentions that 100% of Puerto Rican public school students are eligible for subsidized school lunches versus about 50% in the U.S. Heck, Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro’s lawyer father didn’t just send him to private school, they sent him to a boarding school in Pennsylvania.

Still, these Puerto Rican public school scores are so catastrophic that I also wouldn’t rule out active sabotage by teachers, such as giving students an anti-pep talk, for some local labor reason. For example, a PISA score from Austria was low a couple of tests ago because the teacher’s union told teachers to tell students not to bother working hard on the test. But the diminishment of the Austrian PISA score wasn’t anywhere near this bad. And Puerto Rico students got exactly the same scores in 2011 and 2013.

And here’s Jason Malloy’s meta-analysis of studies of Puerto Rican cognitive performance over the last 90 years.

🔊 Listen RSS

The NYT notices something I’ve harped on for about a dozen years:


Latinos Onscreen, Conspicuously Few

Anna Bahr

JUNE 18, 2014

If you went to the movies in 1946, when Latinos constituted barely 3 percent of the American population, you might have caught Carmen Miranda, reportedly the highest-paid woman in the world at the time, dancing with her improbably tall fruit hat. By the 1950s, Desi Arnaz graced network TV as a star of “I Love Lucy.”

But it was more likely that the Latino actors seen on big and small screens occupied a narrow range of stereotyped background roles.

Actually, after WWII, Hispanics tended to be, if anything, over-represented in movies. They were featured prominently in Latin Lover roles, such as Fernando Lamas, whose image lives on in his sailing buddy Jonathan Goldsmith’s Dos Equis beer commercial character “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” George Clooney’s uncle-in-law José Ferrer won the 1950 Best Actor Oscar for Cyrano de Bergerac. Ricardo Montalban was on the cover of Life Magazine in 1949. The best of the Latin actors, Anthony Quinn, had been working steadily since the 1930s and ascended to stardom in 1952, winning the Best Supporting Oscar playing Marlon Brando’s brother in Viva Zapata.

There was a lot of pro-Latin American propaganda and warm feelings during the 1940s in America, such as Mayor LaGuardia of NYC renaming Sixth Avenue the “Avenue of the Americas” in 1945. I imagine there were several reasons for this trend, including

- To encourage Latin America to side with the Allies rather than the Italians and Germans or sit it out like the Spaniards;

- Because Latin America prospered mightily during WWII (for example, in 1946 the Mexican League tried to become a third major league in baseball by raiding 18 American big leaguers), thus making Latin America economically fashionable for awhile.

- With movie markets in Continental Europe cut off, Hollywood focused on cultivating the Latin American market.

Still, relative to the total population, the stardom of even a few prominent Latinos was culturally and statistically significant.

It would seem that way if you project today’s attempt to racialize Conquistador-Americans as an oppressed minority back on to the past. There’s a huge effort today to rewrite the past to make it seem like Latinos were treated like blacks in order to emotionally justify amnesty and affirmative action as reparations for white racism.

But 65 years ago, a white guy from Argentina was a white guy with a sexy accent, while a mestizo like Quinn was a Cliff Curtis-type who was popular in Hollywood because he could plausibly play an Arab or an Eskimo.

In general, being Latin deracialized individuals in mid-Century American eyes. For example, the color line in baseball wasn’t actually broken by Jackie Robinson in 1947, it was broken by several Cuban players for the Washington Senators in the late 1930s. You’ve probably never heard their names, because it wasn’t a big deal at the time: there was some resistance to playing guys who were obviously part black, but mostly the Latin understanding that one drop of white blood makes somebody more or less white was applied to these ballplayers. Organized Latin lobbies like LULAC wanted Latins to be seen as white, so the Census Bureau stopped counting them in the 1950 and 1960 Census. Our crime statistics to this day mostly count Latinos as white.

In fact, terms like “white” and “nonwhite” probably confuse matters more than they help. Something like “core” v. “fringe” is more useful.

In 1950 people felt it benefited them to seem more core American (although being a little bit of something else as long as it wasn’t African-American, especially a little American Indian like Herbert Hoover’s Vice President Charles Curtis, could be glamorous). Being a black American was a major problem, but everything else was more or less negotiable.

Today, however, ambitious people almost all understands the advantages of claiming to be more fringe. (Mormons are the only ones who don’t get it, yet. But I’d hardly be surprised if there is a BYU grad student write now compiling the magnum opus that will re-redefine his people as an oppressed minority.)

Today, Latinos make up 17 percent of Americans, but there has been little change in network television in the number of Latino lead actors and in Latino roles, according to a study, “The Latino Media Gap: A Report on the State of Latinos in U.S. Media,” released on Tuesday by Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.

When roles calling for Latinos appear today, they tend to fit generations-old labels: the cop or the criminal, the illegal immigrant or the emotional sex kitten. During the 1994-1995 network TV season, 6 percent of Latinos on television were linked to a crime; from 2012 to 2013, 24.2 percent of all Latino TV actors played criminals. Behind the screen, the study found that no Latinos wrote network TV pilots in 2011 and 2012.

The nightly news on TV offers an even more limited view. During the 1995-2004 period, stories about Latinos, most of which focused on illegal immigration and crime, made up less than 1 percent of network news. There are no Latino anchors or executive producers on any top English-speaking network news programs, according to the study.

Frances Negrón-Muntaner

“The narrative that gets circulated in news is pretty much the narrative that Latinos are foreigners and somewhat threatening to America,” said Frances Negrón-Muntaner, the lead researcher of the study and an assistant professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia. Latinos, she went on, “are only important in the news when they confirm something about our world that we already hold true — stories about illegal entry, for example, reinforce the idea that we don’t belong here.”

Or when Conquistador-Americanas like the (not very) Negron-Muntaner pen studies hyped in the New York Times about how they suffer under the lash of racial discrimination.

A notable finding in this new study is the sluggish growth in representation despite a fast-growing Latino population — and in particular of a fast-growing population of enthusiastic media consumers. Latinos, for example, buy 25 percent of all movie tickets in the United States and watch more hours of video online than the average American, according to Nielsen, the ratings company.

… Still, even as Latino consumer power grows, media presence seems to shrink. If diverse programming seems to give networks an advantage, why the disparity? The researchers for the study argue that in many media companies and networks, a significant majority of decisions are made by upper-class, middle-aged white men. The people responsible for hiring writers and actors look for people who are similar to themselves, hurting Latino representation, the study said. “In my interviews, I found that many people, consciously or not, are trying to preserve their privilege,” Ms. Negrón-Muntaner said. “People would say, ‘Oh, if we open up to tell new stories, then we’re displacing ones that are tried and true.’  ”

Back in 1996, Marlon Brando went on the Larry King show to protest the mistreatment of two Mexican immigrants by the police and to encourage Hollywood executives to give more and better roles to Latinos, just as they had worked to boost the image of blacks during the Sidney Poitier Era. (Here’s the transcript.) You may remember the upshot of Brando’s attempt at raising Hispanic diversity sensitivity awareness among entertainment industry executives:

Weeping Brando apologises to Jews

Saturday 13 April 1996

Los Angeles (Reuter) – The actor Marlon Brando, who sparked a storm of criticism for saying Hollywood was run by Jews, broke down and wept yesterday when he met Jewish leaders to apologise for his comments.

“It took 30 to 45 seconds before he was able to compose himself,” Rabbi Marvin Hier said of the Oscar-winning star of the Godfather, whom he met for three hours.

“Mr Brando broke down and cried … to show his affection for Lew Wasserman and other people who are his idols,” Rabbi Hier said, referring to the chairman emeritus of MCA, the parent company of Universal Pictures. Mr Wasserman had deplored Brando’s comments last week, but defended the actor as a friend of the Jews.

In an appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live last Friday, Brando said he was angry with some Jewish film-makers for not showing more sensitivity in portraying minority groups in a negative fashion while not portraying Jews in the same way.

“Hollywood is run by Jews. It’s owned by Jews and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering,” he said on the programme.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Hollywood 
🔊 Listen RSS
Jennifer Rubin, who scribes the pro-immigration “Right Turn” column in the Washington Post, denounces Jason Richwine for the high crime of Noticing Things:

Heritage stumbles, again and again

Posted by Jennifer Rubin on May 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

It’s been a tough go of it for Heritage ever since it released its study asserting immigration reform would cost trillions. It was roundly criticized by both liberal and conservative analysts. Then today the dam really broke.

The Post reports that the dissertation of the study’s co-author, Jason Richwine, asserted, “The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market.” No wonder he came up with such a study; his dissertation adviser was George Borjas, a Harvard professor infamous for his crusade against immigration (legal or not).

Jennifer Korn, executive director of the pro-immigration-reform conservative Hispanic Leadership Network, responds: “If you start with the off-base premise that Hispanic immigrants have a lower IQ, it’s no surprise how they came up with such a flawed study.” She continued: “Richwine’s comments are bigoted and ignorant. America is a nation of immigrants; to impugn the intelligence of immigrants is to offend each and every American and the foundation of our country. The American Hispanic community is entrepreneurial, and we strive to better our lives through hard work and determination. This is not a community hampered by low intelligence but a community consistently moving forward to better themselves and our country.”

Heritage scrambled to distance itself from the author’s IQ views, with a spokesperson insisting that they did not relate to the viability of its study. But for the reasons Korn gives it most certainly does. No wonder the study postulates that legalized immigrants will be poor and become a drain on society.

Moreover, that Heritage engaged such a person to author its immigration study suggests that the “fix” was in from the get-go. It also raises the question of whether Heritage is now hiring fringe characters to generate its partisan studies of questionable scholarship. I expect that will be about all we hear from Heritage on the study for a while.

It certainly undermines the cause of all immigration opponents to have their prized work authored by such a character. It’s an unpleasant reminder that sincere opponents of reform should distance themselves from the collection of extremists and bigots who populate certain anti-immigrant groups. One can certainly be anti-immigration-reform and not be anti-Hispanic, but it doesn’t help to be rallying around a report by someone convinced that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.”

The facts won’t calm Ms. Rubin down, because, obviously, the facts are hatestats, but here’s a meta-analysis of the enormous amount of data available on the subject:
Roth, P. L., Bevier, C. A., Bobko, P., Switzer III, F. S. & Tyler, P. (2001) “Ethnic group differences in cognitive ability in employment and educational settings: a meta-analysis.Personnel Psychology 54, 297–330.
As I wrote in 2005:
This 2001 meta-analysis of 39 studies covering a total 5,696,519 individuals in America (aged 14 and above) came up with an overall difference of 0.72 standard deviations in g (the “general factor” in cognitive ability) between “Anglo” whites and Hispanics. The 95% confidence range of the studies ran from .60 to .88 standard deviations, so there’s not a huge amount of disagreement among the studies.
One standard deviation equals 15 IQ points, so that’s a gap of 10.8 IQ points, or an IQ of 89 on the Lynn-Vanhanen scale where white Americans equal 100. That would imply the average Hispanic would fall at the 24th percentile of the white IQ distribution. This inequality gets worse at higher IQs Assuming a normal distribution, 4.8% of whites would fall above 125 IQ versus only 0.9% of Hispanics, which explains why Hispanics are given ethnic preferences in prestige college admissions.
In contrast, 105 studies of 6,246,729 individuals found an overall white-black gap of 1.10 standard deviations, or 16.5 points. (I typically round this down to 1.0 standard deviation and 15 points). So, the white-Hispanic gap appears to be about 65% as large as the notoriously depressing white-black gap. (Warning: this 65% number does not come from a perfect apples to apples comparison because more studies are used in calculating the white-black difference than the white-Hispanic difference.)For screen shots of data tables from Roth et al, click here.

This fits well with lots of other data. For example, Hispanics generally do almost as badly on the National Assessment of Educational Progress school achievement tests as blacks, but that average is dragged down by immigrant kids who have problems adjusting to English. The last time the NAEP asked about where the child was born was 1992, and Dr. Stefan Thernstrom of Harvard kindly provided me with the data from that examination. For foreign-born Hispanics, the typical gap versus non-Hispanic whites was 1.14 times as large as the black-white gap. But for American-born Hispanics, the gap between non-Hispanic whites and American-born Hispanics was 0.67 times as large as the gap between non-Hispanic whites and blacks, very similar to the 0.65 difference seen in the meta-analysis of IQs.For more on Mexican-American educational attainment, see the landmark “Generations of Exclusion” study by Telles & Ortiz.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
🔊 Listen RSS
The feds’ National Assessment of Educational Progress has a table of 4th and 8th grade vocabulary and reading comprehension scores by state. Sample size issues are of concern for smaller states which tend to bounce around, but we can state with a high degree of statistical confidence that the future of the state of California, the traditional State of the Future, looks dumb. Out of the 50 states, the Golden State ranks 48th, 47th, 48th, and 49th on various measures. Here’s the bottom six of 52 in the four different tests:

In contrast, Massachusetts is 1st, 1st, 1st, and 1st, while the District of Columbia was 52nd, 52nd, 52nd, and 52nd (in case you are wondering why D.C. is the 52nd state, Department of Defense schools rank 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 6th). Obviously, the problem is all those Republicans in California and D.C. If only D.C. would develop enlightened political opinions like Massachusetts, its test scores would soar.

Perhaps more relevantly, Texas is 37th, 36th, 37th, and 36th. Texas always beats California on the NAEP. Has anybody studied this to make sure this is not just a test artifact (e.g., Texas cares about the NAEP and California doesn’t)? If it isn’t, why the consistent difference? Texas is pretty bad, but it’s not as bad as California, and beggars can’t be choosers, so somebody ought to be investigating why Texas beats California.

One obvious objection is that the future isn’t as bad as it looks because Hispanics, as new immigrants, are just being held back by the inevitable biases of testing skills in English.

Indeed, this effect does exist, but how big is it? Here’s national 8th grade vocabulary. The first number is score at the 10th percentile, then 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th.

Let’s first compare whites and Asians. At the 10th percentile, Asians lag whites by 8 points. Presumably, a fair number of these Asian 8th graders just got off the plane from China, so their English vocabulary is limited. At the 25th percentile, the White-Asian gap is down to 5 points. At the median, it’s 3, at the 75th percentile it’s 0, and at the 90th percentile, Asians are out in the lead by a point.
Now, compare Hispanics to blacks, most of whom grow up speaking English, but as we all know from hundreds of articles, African-Americans grow up in conditions that would drive a Trappist Monk crazy for lack of speech. In black homes, nobody every talks, watches TV, or listens to rap music. So, black scores on language are bad, with unfortunate long-term consequences.
At the 10th percentile, where many of the Hispanics are newcomers, blacks lead by 2 points. At the 25th percentile, however, Hispanics are out in front by 1 point, by 2 at the median, 3 at the 75 percentile, and 4 at the 90th.
So, clearly, Hispanics who have all the advantages are, on average, a little smarter than blacks who have all the advantages. In other words, if immigration were shut off for a generation or two, Mexicans would appear, on average, perceptibly more on the ball academically than blacks. Indeed, that was my perception back in the 1970s in L.A., where the Chicanos had mostly been a stable population since WWII.
But, nationally, Hispanics only pick up 6 points on blacks going from the 10th to the 90th percentiles, while Asians pick up 9 points on whites, who are, to be frank, a lot more competition.
Being a little smarter than blacks is, well, good. Or, you could say with equal justice, less bad. On the other hand, Hispanics at the 90th percentile among Hispanics, typically those with all the advantages, are simply not playing in the same league as Asians and whites with all the advantages. They’re down there beating out blacks for third place, not being nationally competitive. There’s not a lot of high end in the Hispanic population.
However you look at it, it’s still not very encouraging considering that our leadership kind of bet the country on Hispanics.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
🔊 Listen RSS
For the first time since 2008, La Griffe du Lion has posted a new essay. It’s called Crime and the Hispanic Effect. He builds a regression model for predicting crime rates in cities and finds its largely driven by the percent black. Percent Hispanic doesn’t much matter, one way or another.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Crime, Hispanics 
🔊 Listen RSS
Here’s the kind of statistic that nobody else counts: on NBC’s list of 208 American Olympic medal winners, I find five Spanish surnames, or 2.4%. That’s compared to approaching 20% of the relevant age cohort is Spanish-surnamed.

1. Leo Manzano won the silver in the men’s 1500m run, which is traditionally a glamor event

2. Women’s water polo veteran Brenda Villa won a gold  – As a loyal California, I’ve tried hard to like water polo, but it’s not much of a TV sport, to say the least.

3. Marlen Esparza won a bronze in women’s boxing – no comment

4. Danell Leyva, a Cuban, won a medal in men’s gymnastics all-around, which is cool. Men’s gymnastics is awesome (here’s Epke Zonderland’s triple release routine), although it lacks the car-crash fascination of women’s gymnastics.

5. Amy Rodriguez, who is a Cameron Diaz-style half Cuban, won a gold with women’s soccer.

A bunch of other medal-winners with non-Hispanic surnames are part Hispanic, such as swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose mother is Cuban, and basketball player Carmelo Anthony whose mother is Puerto Rican. But, if you sum up all the fractions, it comes out to about the same thing as just counting surnames.

This is a particularly low percentage because Californians are traditionally so over-represented on the U.S. Olympic team.

Anyway, this points out a theme that I’ve been bringing up for a decade or more, which is the remarkable lack of high achievers among the Hispanic Tidal Wave. 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Olympics, Sports 
🔊 Listen RSS
Why don’t relatively smart, sophisticated network TV shows like multiple Emmy-winning Modern Family do well with the Hispanic audience? The answer, according to a variety of Latino activist and media types in the electronic rolodexes of New York Times reporters, is that Modern Family isn’t smart and sophisticated enough to lure Latino audiences away from Spanish-language shows.

To find out, the New York Times interviewed various self-appointed spokespersons for the Hispanic Tidal Wave, such as 

- “the co-owner and chief operating officer of the advertising agency Zubi Advertising,” 

- the “founder of the Web site Latino Rebels,” 

- a “31-year-old Mexican-American documentary filmmaker,” 

- and “a senior vice president for development and production at Encanto Enterprises.” 

You can’t get a much more statistically representative sample of the typical Hispanic than that (at least, among people who will instantly return Times‘ reporters calls and not tell them anything that might make them the slightest bit uncomfortable.)

Thus, they all told the NYT that the reason is because these shows like Modern Family are full of insensitive stereotypes about Hispanics and thus turn off the millions of culturally cutting edge Latino viewers who are annoyed by retrograde stereotyping of Hispanics (which by the way, I must add, could be solved just like that by hiring the people being quoted). 

Thus, due to white racists who fail to perceive how sophisticated the burgeoning Latino audience is, Hispanics viewers just stick with watching Sabado Gigante, where they are sure to see  a fat mestizo guy with a droopy Pancho Villa mustache and a giant sombrero leer at some dyed blonde spicy senorita and fall down. No stereotyping of Mexicans on Spanish language TV! (Or at least that’s the logical implication of this article — neither the reporters nor the sources for the article give any indication of ever having watched Spanish language programming.)

Stuck on Stereotypes

Networks Struggle to Appeal to Hispanics 


Sofia Vergara is probably the most recognizable Hispanic actress working in English-language television. She is one of the stars of “Modern Family,” the highest-rated scripted show on network television, and she has parlayed her celebrity into commercials for brands like Pepsi and Cover Girl. 

Despite her popularity, “Modern Family” is not a hit with Hispanic viewers. Out of its overall viewership of 12.9 million, “Modern Family” drew an average of only about 798,000 Hispanic viewers in the season. That audience accounts for only about 6 percent of the show’s viewers — less than half of what you might expect given the 48 million Hispanic television viewers that Nielsen measures. …

The numbers encapsulate the problem facing English-language television executives and advertisers: they desperately want to appeal to the more than 50 million Latinos in the United States (about three-quarters speak Spanish), especially those who are young, bilingual and bicultural, but those viewers seem to want very little to do with American English-language television. 

They do, however, continue to watch Spanish-language networks in huge numbers. 

In May, on the final night of the most recent season of “Modern Family,” far more Hispanic viewers were watching the top Spanish language show that week, the telenovela “La Que No Podía Amar,” on Univision, which attracted 5.2 million viewers. 

… The list of top English-language shows watched by Hispanics is headed by the same competition shows as among the total audience, with “Dancing With the Stars,” and “American Idol” faring best this spring, while “Sunday Night Football” was the leader in the fall. 

But the discrepancy between English and Spanish language shows is most acute among shows that are scripted in English. The issue, many viewers and critics argue, is that there still hasn’t been the Hispanic equivalent of “The Cosby Show,” meaning a show that deals with Latino culture in a way that doesn’t offend viewers with crude stereotypes. 

This winter, CBS hoped to have a cross-cultural hit with the show “Rob” featuring the comedian Rob Schneider. The show, based loosely on Mr. Schneider’s own life, showed his experiences of marrying into a Mexican family and the culture clashes that ensued. But the chief conflict ended up being between the show and its intended viewers. 

“Big family,” said Mr. Schneider’s character, when he meets his wife’s family for the first time. “Now I know what’s going on during all those siestas.” In another scene, the character Hector, played by Eugenio Derbez, tells Rob that he is visiting from Mexico. Then he gets closer to Rob and whispers, “I’m not leaving,” and after pausing for effect adds, “Ever.” 

For Joe Zubizarreta, the co-owner and chief operating officer of the advertising agency Zubi Advertising, with headquarters in Miami, the comedic devices used in “Rob” were too much. “They’ve used just about every stereotype they could in the pilot,” Mr. Zubizarreta said. “I understand that the general market taste will find humor in the idiosyncrasies of Hispanics. But as Hispanics, when we watch general market television, we’d like to see some semblance of reality to our lives.” 

For Julio Ricardo Varela, the founder of the Web site Latino Rebels, both the content of “Rob” and how it was marketed relied too much on stereotypes.
“ ‘Rob’ was a big running joke among our community,” Mr. Varela said. “It just felt lazy, stale and I think that mainstream television is missing the boat.” Mr. Varela noted a contest on the show’s Facebook page where viewers were invited to hit a virtual piñata to “whack and win” a trip to the show’s set. Also on the page were promotional images of Mr. Schneider and the rest of the cast in a conga line. “I thought the marketing was beyond ridiculous,” Mr. Varela said. 

Nina Tassler, the president for entertainment for CBS, declined to comment on “Rob” specifically, but said that reaching out to the Hispanic community was important for the network. (The network declined to pick up “Rob” for a second season.) 

“Everybody’s culture is wholly unique, so finding the storytelling language that can reach out and communicate with the biggest cross section of the Latin population is obviously what we are trying for,” said Ms. Tassler, who is the highest-ranking network television executive with a Hispanic heritage.

Here’s Nina Tassler’s background from Wikipedia.

Mr. Schneider declined to comment for this article.

Schneider is part Filipino. I’ve always found him funnier than his friend Adam Sandler, although perhaps that’s not saying much.

Among the series that were in development for next season by English-language networks, one, an ABC show called “Devious Maids,” gained attention for its focus on a Latino stereotype — maids working in Beverly Hills. The show was being produced by Marc Cherry of “Desperate Housewives,” and had been based on a Spanish-language telenovela. 

When Liz Colunga, a 31-year-old Mexican-American documentary filmmaker heard about “Devious Maids” she wasn’t surprised at the show’s theme. “I’m used to watching stereotypical roles for Latinas and Latinos,” Ms. Colunga said. 

No character stirs more mixed emotions for Hispanic audiences that the one played by Ms. Vergara on “Modern Family.” She plays Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a sexy Latina trophy wife whose persona has gotten mixed reviews from Latinos. 

“It’s working for her, but at what expense?” said Ms. Colunga, the filmmaker. “She’s playing the clueless Latina.” 

In a show where all of the characters are a bit extreme, the least stereotypical of all is Gloria’s smart-talking son Manny. Lynnette Ramirez, the senior vice president for development and production at Encanto Enterprises, a production company owned by George and Ann Lopez, said Gloria’s character works because she is tempered by her son. 

“Sofia’s character is a first generation Latina,” Ms. Ramirez said. “Manny’s going to grow up to be like Sara Ramirez’s character in ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ” she added, a reference to the actress Sara Ramirez’s role as a doctor on the show. 

Judging by who likes summer blockbuster movies the most, perhaps Modern Family could broaden their demographic appeal by adding a couple of fireball explosions to each episode.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Television 
🔊 Listen RSS
The decision by pundit Matthew Yglesias to list himself officially on the 2010 Census as “Hispanic” has raised interesting questions about our new Hispanic elites.

For example, one striking name that has popped up in the news relentlessly during the Obama Administration is Xochitl Hinojosa, spokesperson for the Department of Justice on civil rights-related matters. Here’s just the first page of Google News hits for Xochitl Hinojosa:

Motel pools rush to become compliant with updated ADA?
“It’s under review,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice. A delay would be good news for businesses … 

Alabama Women’s Prison Inmates Sexually Abused By Guards …?
Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in an email that the agency is reviewing the allegations. A 2011 Huffington Post … 

Voting Law’s ‘Preclearance’ Provision Upheld on Appeal?
Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement that the agency is pleased with the decision. The Voting Rights Act is “a … 

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas Death: 16 Members Of Congress Call …?
When contacted for comment, DOJ spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told The Huffington Post that the “department’s investigation remains … 

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas Death Sparks Nationwide Call For …?
Department of Justice Spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told The Huffington Post that the “department’s investigation remains ongoing,” adding, …  

Appeals court upholds key voting rights provision?
… department will continue to vigorously defend it against constitutional challenges,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. 

Pool-lift rule confuses hotels?
“An existing pool must do what is readily achievable” defined as affordable and easy, Department of Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa … 

Wells Fargo Says DOJ May Seek Penalties in Fair-Lending Inquiry?
Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment. Last year’s lending inquiry, conducted by the Justice Department’s …  

Texas Gets Last Shot for July 9 Trial on Voter Photo Law?
Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, didn’t … 

Trayvon Martin: FBI Actively Pursuing Hate Crime Charge For …?
As previously reported by Newsone, U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the department is conducting its own, …

Let’s find out what’s on the web about the Obama Administration’s face of civil rights enforcement:

“Xochitl and Scarlett were roommates in college. Scarlett was Xochitl’s big sister in Alpha Sigma Alpha. They have shared so many good memories of Spring Break, boys, sorority life, and drinking wine in Napa Valley, and look forward to the many more memories to come!”
I don’t know what Xochitl majored in at The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, but her sorority big sister Scarlett has a degree in fashion merchandizing.

And here’s a photo feature in The Washingtonian entitled The 23 Most Stylish People at Fashion: District:

Xochitl Hinojosa and Annalies Husmann

Xochitl is the daughter of a former Texas judge:
Joining Judge Hinojosa on the Senate floor were his daughters Gina Hinojosa-Donisi, her son Mateo, and Xochitl Hinojosa.

Xochitl’s father, attorney Gilberto Hinojosa, is currently a candidate for chair of the Democratic Party of Texas. He even has his own Doonesbury cartoon about him in which Judge Hinojosa denounces Republican efforts to crack down on voter fraud. From Wikipedia’s bio of Xochitl’s dad:

While living in Washington, DC, Hinojosa worked as a Staff Attorney for the Migrant Legal Action Program, Inc.[citation needed] He later became the Director of the Migrant Division of Colorado Rural Legal Services, Inc., in Denver, Colorado.[citation needed] Upon his return to his native Texas, Hinojosa continued practicing law as the Managing Attorney for the Texas Rural Legal Aid, Inc., located in Brownsville, Texas. …

Hinojosa was elected Cameron County Judge on November 8, 1994. During his administration, international bridges to Mexico were built … 

On August 11, 2003, Hinojosa appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in support of Senate Bill 1329, which would provide assistance in the relocation of railroads to improve access for commercial traffic passing through Cameron County to and from the international border with Mexico. … After the bill passed, the Cameron County West Rail Relocation Project was initiated which provided for the construction of a railroad across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, with approximately $21 million in federal funds provided.[3]   … 

Hinojosa was elected Chairman of the Cameron County Democratic Party on November 12, 2007.[4] One day after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Hinojosa attended the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting held in Washington, DC. On January 23, 2008, he nominated Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to head the Democratic National Committee.[1] Thereafter, a unanimous vote made Governor Kaine the new leader of the Democratic Party. 

From Judge Hinojosa’s announcement of his candidacy for chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, we have a clear statement of the Hinojosa Strategy:

President Barack Obama borrowed a phrase made famous by a small, humble and unassuming union leader from California by the name of Cesar Chavez: “Yes we can!” Or as Cesar Chavez called to action the once powerless farm workers of California: “Si Se Puede!” YES WE CAN be the Party that elects leaders who will build a stronger, better educated, more innovative and more caring Texas for ALL Texans. … 

These strategies must primarily focus on achieving a majority by ensuring that, before anything else, the full potential of the Democratic Base is achieved. We will not give away any part of the electorate to the Republicans, but we must recognize that we will only become the majority party in this State when we have done everything possible to turnout the Democratic base at election time. 

Obviously, a key part of that base that is far from achieving its full potential are Latinos. When Latinos, who make up 40 percent of the people in this State and who vote for Democrats over Republicans by two to one margins, are turning out to vote at rates far below other demographic groups, it is difficult for our Party to a achieve a majority in this State. The only way that I believe we can ensure that Latinos are voting at or near normal rates is through a concentrated effort to register, engage, and turnout Latino voters utilizing innovative “boots on the ground” tactics which wisely and effectively use our limited resources. … 

And we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. States, like Colorado, Nevada and California, with far smaller Latino populations, have been able to achieve a Democratic majority with strong Latino mobilization efforts. Yes We Can! And Yes WE Will!

And here is a picture of Gilberto M. Hinojosa, professor of history at Xochitl’s alma mater, University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio:

I don’t know what the relationship (if any) is between Professor Gilberto M. Hinojosa and the younger Judge Gilberto Hinojosa. (By the way, the President of Mexico’s name is Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, but I don’t know of any evidence that Xochitl Hinojosa is related to the Mexican President’s maternal family.)

A reader comments: “In general, it takes a couple generations of success before Hispanics go all liberal”

Indeed, elderly Professor Hinojosa appears to be a bourgeois Catholic antiquarian (perhaps related to the conservative Cristero movement of Guadalajara out of which emerged Mexican President Calderon Hinojosa’s parents, or, perhaps more likely, a Tejano of old family), whose CV is largely lacking in po-mo titles.

Judge Hinojosa is a Hillary Democrat.

Xochitl Hinojosa is one of the leading names of the Obamaite Diversitocracy.

Yes, I know, it sounds like I just made up the Hinojosa family to illustrate what I’ve been saying for years about the Hispanic activist elites who get quoted so often in the newspapers. But, I’m not making the Hinojosa family up!

I want to come back to an epistemological question raised in Jim Manzi’s book Uncontrolled. As a key example in his attack on observational (i.e., non-experimental) social science, Manzi devotes about a half dozen pages to the failure of Steve Levitt’s popular Freaknomics theory that abortion-cut-crime.

But I draw a different example from that controversy. Sure, experimenting, when feasible (and, of course, experimenting is not feasible regarding abortions), is good, but, as Yogi Berra said, you can observe a lot just by watching. In particular, the deeper you dig into a subject, the more vivid become the examples, as with the Hinojosas.

With abortion-cut-crime, for instance, Levitt’s theory was based on his observation that crime was lower in 1997 than in 1985, so, he reasoned, Roe v. Wade probably had something to do with it.

But then, when Levitt’s theory got a big write-up in the Chicago Tribune in the summer of 1999, Greg Cochran downloaded the total number of homicides in America by year, which showed that murder had spiked up between 1985 and 1997. Oh, yeah, the Crack Years! Then I started looking at homicide offending by age group to see the impact of abortion legalization on the not-yet-born and it turned out that the homicide offending rate for the cohort of 14-17 year olds born in the half decade after legalization was almost triple that of the cohort born in the half decade before legalization. And then when I looked at black teens, because blacks had the highest abortion rates in the 1970s, the post-legalization homicide rate for black teens quintupled! And if you looked at the big states that legalized abortion before 1973′s Roe v. Wade, California (late 1969) and New York (1970), well, that’s where the Crack Wars started: remember West Coast rap v. East Coast rap?

In other words, the more you drill down into Levitt’s theory, the more implausible it becomes. It seems more like the dominant effect on crime rates was that the more liberal a state with a lot of blacks had been in the late 1960s and 1970s, the more likely it would have a lot of abortions early and the more likely it would be that its blacks would get into crack dealing and murdering each other on a vast scale earlier in the 1980s-1990s.

In contrast, with the theories that I harp upon — like my idea that Hispanic ethnic activists are largely self-interested white people trying to set their children up to live expensive lifestyles of drinking wine in Napa Valley and at Washington fashion events by expanding through immigration the number of brown Hispanics whom they can claim to  represent — the more you drill down into the evidence, the more stereotypical — and thus funnier — the details become.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics 
🔊 Listen RSS

About a decade ago, I started wondering why you never heard about Jaime Escalante anymore. He was the famous calculus teacher whose success in a barrio school notoriously excited the jealously of administrators and the teacher’s union, and who was portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver. Escalante seems like the ideal Latino immigrant. In the 1990s, he even spoke out against bilingual education. You’d expect to hear of him giving a keynote address or otherwise cashing in on his deserved renown.

Well, it turned out that when Escalante reached his early 70s, he’d retired and gone home to his native Bolivia.

Why? Because Bolivia was home. He’d come to America, made a contribution to this country, earned some money, and now he could finally do what his heart wanted: go home.

Homesickness sounds like the least important topic imaginable. In modern America, a longing for the familiar places and people we are separated from is routinely castigated as an immature character flaw barely tolerable in children at summer camp, much less in adults.

Yet, when studied sympathetically as in Susan J. Matt’s insightful and touching new book, Homesickness: An American History , the subject turns out to offer deep insights into human nature. And it has direct implications for immigration policy and for demographic change.

Matt, a historian at Weber State University in remote Ogden, Utah, works in the subfield of “history of emotions.”

Human emotions probably don’t change much over time, but the words we use to describe them certainly cycle, whipped by fads and social forces. For example, Matt cites a pair of contemporary psychiatrists who note that many of their unhappy patients come to them having already self-diagnosed themselves as “depressed”—a respectable 21st Century malady for which pharmaceutical firms invent and market expensive pills—”but were in fact lonely.”

Matt demonstrates that homesickness—whether for distant family, friends, houses, towns, landscapes, or climates—is close to a human universal. What differs is the particular. We each imprint upon different things.

(A friend has long argued that the political divide of the future won’t be today’s outmoded categories of left v. right, but instead universalist v. localist. Of course, the globalists possess a huge competitive advantage in imposing their simple-minded Davos Man cosmopolitanism because the particularists by definition differ and need to agree to disagree.)

While Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Jackson Turner emphasized the restless spirit that drove Americans to settle an entire continent, Matt quotes from the poignant letters and diaries of pioneers demonstrating the emotional pain they bore. In her retelling of familiar passages in American history, our forefathers seem more heroic because of the sacrifices they made in terms of loneliness and unease. In one incident from Gold Rush California, a minister’s daughter recounts how after Thanksgiving dinner in Stockton in 1851, she began playing on that essential fixture of Victorian domesticity, the piano:

“[Father] … looked out, and to his surprise the sidewalks and porch were filled with old and young men. Along the side of the house stood scores of men in the street as far as the eye could see and some were sobbing. On entering the room he said, ‘We have an immense congregation outside. Get out your familiar tunes—Home, Sweet Home, Etc. … Give these homesick sons and fathers a few songs more.’” [Sixty Years of California Song, by Margaret Blake-Alverson, p. 32 ]

Just as grief eventually accompanies love, homesickness is the flip side of attachment. Human beings have a mechanism that propels us toward contentment: we tend to grow attached to the familiar. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. But, then, grow vulnerable to missing it when it’s gone.

Matt observes:

“In the nineteenth century, many in the nation believed that it was acceptable to talk openly about these costs … Homesickness was not yet shameful, for love and loyalty toward home were the marks of a virtuous character.”

In the warmer-hearted Victorian era, homesickness was treated sympathetically even by such huge and hardheaded institutions as the U.S. Army. Matt writes:

“The phenomenon of homesickness … received systematic attention during the Civil War … The term nostalgia was used to describe the acutely homesick … In fact, during the war, Union doctors diagnosed more than five thousand soldiers as suffering from nostalgia, seventy-four of whom succumbed to the condition.”

Over time, however, as America’s big institutions—military, corporate, governmental, educational, and sporting—became even bigger, they became increasingly hostile toward Americans expressing their feelings of homesickness:

“Consequently, by the end of the twentieth century, few native-born adults overly discussed the emotion, although they displayed it in other ways.”

Homesickness was castigated as shamefully immature or lower class. Why? Because a longing for a particular setting makes “individuals less interchangeable, less fungible.”

Treating people as fungible makes giant institutions more efficient. After WWII, managers of IBM joked that the corporate acronym stood for “I’ve Been Moved.” The Cold War military relocated officers constantly, with notorious effects on the happiness of their Army Brat children, who grew up without ever having a hometown.

Over the last generation, middle managers and their families have, with some success, quietly rebelled against corporate cultures demanding incessant relocation.

On the other hand, some industries, such as academia, have become more nomadic as temporary hiring becomes the dominant employment mode. Dr. Matt, who now has tenure at Weber St., notes in an aside that she and her husband have lived in six states since they met at Cornell in 1990. Because she dedicates Homesickness to her parents and sister, I would guess that she found the frequent moves demanded by modern academic life to be wrenching.

She offers a brilliant analysis of the contrasting careers of homesickness and nostalgia in modern America. By the 1970s, the era of American Graffiti and Happy Days, nostalgia,

“the longtime companion and sometime synonym of homesickness, has become a less troublesome emotion, signifying a diffuse, unthreatening, and painless longing for the past. … As an emotion, nostalgia has come to be widely celebrated, perhaps because it is now seen as harmless. Whereas the homesick may believe they can return home, the nostalgic know that moving backwards in time is impossible.”

While you can’t buy a time machine, you can buy nostalgia-assuaging retro-junk. In a review of Homesickness in Slate, Libby Copeland observes:

“These days, while it’s not as permissible as it once was for an adult to muse about, say, missing her parents, it is more than permissible to indulge in casual nostalgia for one’s childhood. Specifically, we miss the brands of our childhoods. … This type of nostalgia lets us signal cultural hipness instead of the rootlessness and neediness we feel deep down.”

Do you miss the neighborhood where you grew up in the 1980s, which has since “tipped” demographically? Well, not much can be done about that. But feel free to relive the good old days back home by buying on DVD all three Transformers movies based on the 1980s toy robots that turn into cars (don’t ask).

Homesickness is seen as low class and culturally unsophisticated. Our society deplores people emotionally attached to their old neighborhoods. If they are black or Latino, they are laughingly put down as “homeboys.” If they are white, they are angrily denounced as “racists” or “nativists.” If you are a refugee from demographic change on the West Side of Chicago or in Southern California, well, you better keep your mouth shut.

Yet, you may have noticed that the biggest winners in American society often indulge their attachments to their native soil. Consider the three Americans who over the last 25 years vied for the title of world’s richest man. Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, famously kept his main home in tiny Bentonville, Arkansas in the Ozarks. Warren Buffett lives in his native Omaha. And Bill Gates lives in his hometown of Seattle.

Further, homesickness is hardly confined to the unlettered. The supreme English language novelist of the third quarter of the 20th Century, Vladimir Nabokov, made a career out of his carefully nurtured homesickness for pre-Revolutionary Russia. The exiled Nabokov explained, “homesickness has been with me a sensuous and particular matter.” During his years teaching at American universities, Nabokov refused to acquire a home, fearing that putting down roots would interfere with his superb memories of his stolen Russian home. Thus, he (and his saintly wife Vera) only house-sat for other professors on one-year sabbaticals.

Matt’s book makes clearer some of the emotional dynamics of immigration. We often hear: “All we have to do is get immigrants to assimilate!” But assimilation is emotionally painful. It’s more natural to form enclaves with people like yourself. For example, the federal government initially tried to disperse anti-Castro Cuban refugees across the country, but most of them eventually wound up in Miami (which they then took over).

Moreover, it’s common for immigrants to alleviate their homesickness by assuming they will someday go home, like Jaime Escalante.

This sojourner mentality can make immigrants formidable economic competitors. American workers are always nagged over why they won’t work as cheaply as Mexicans. One answer is because the Americans need to be able to afford a permanent home in America. The Mexicans have homes in Mexico, so they can live in America under conditions (e.g., six men in a garage) that nobody would put up with in their native land. (Similarly, the current housing bust has American workers trapped in underwater real estate, and unable to relocate, whereas new immigrants can come in to wherever the jobs are.)

Of course, many supposed sojourners never go home. Matt points out that a traditional way in which lonely immigrant women become reconciled to life in America is by having children, lots of children:

“It was by establishing a new family in America that immigrants frequently overcame their homesickness, abandoned their plans for return, and began to feel at home in their new land.”

Unquestionably, this helps explain the very high fertility among women newly arrived from Mexico—higher, in fact, than among those remaining in Mexico.

The policy lesson that I draw from Homesickness: scattering Americans via demographic change, while it makes a lot of money for various special interests, doesn’t make us happier on the whole.

If you want to move because some other place in America has gotten better, that’s great. But if you need to move because your hometown has gotten worse (for example, the public schools have been overwhelmed by the children of immigrants), that’s bad.

We’re often assured that no harm can come from immigration because America has lots of places left to flee to Yet having to move to Portland or Grand Junction or some other whitopia hurts not just for the obvious objective reasons, but because you and your loved ones will likely suffer some kind of homesickness for years as you all fall out of intimacy with the people and places you care about.

But Matt’s most valuable contribution might be this point: that modern institutions try to bully Americans into becoming as fungible as individual humans can be.

This can explain a number of conundrums of contemporary ideology.

We are constantly propagandized about the importance of equality and diversity. Everybody knows that anybody who isn’t completely on board with equality and diversity is a Bad Person. We are lectured on the virtues of equality and diversity by the President (whether Obama, Bush, or Clinton), Bill Gates, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Oprah,Angelo Mozilo, the editors of the New York Times, James Cameron, the CEO of Fannie Mae, the President of Harvard, and other powerful and wealthy people.

Yet, aren’t equality and diversity antonyms? And why are the lucky few who have clawed their way to the top so insistent that the rest of us worship diversity?

What’s really going on here?

Perhaps the people who run the giant organizations don’t actually value equality and diversity. Perhaps that’s just the cover story and what they want from us is fungibility. They want their employees, customers, and voters to be as atomized as possible, so that they can be as fungible as pork bellies.

Look how much money was made in 2004-2007 by imagining mortgages to be fungible. That’s the classic modern case: Scatter the population to distant exurbs by declaring that all mortgage-holders are equal.

What could possibly go wrong?

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Hispanics, VDare Archives 
🔊 Listen RSS
We constantly read articles in which Hispanic leaders, such as the head of the National Council of La Raza, threaten that any politician who takes a stand against illegal immigration will be buried at the polls. But do these media-acclaimed Hispanic prophets have all that many disciples?
From my new VDARE column:

In a Pew Hispanic Center survey in late summer 2010, 1,375 Hispanics were asked an unprompted question: “In your opinion, who is the most important Hispanic / Latino leader in the country today?” 

The landslide winner: “Don’t know,” with 64 percent. 

The runner-up: “No one,” with ten percent 

In third place: recently-appointed Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, with seven percent. Then came the Congressional spokesman for amnesty, Luis Gutierrez, down at five percent; Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at three percent; and Univision news anchorman Jorge Ramos at two.

Read the whole thing there.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
🔊 Listen RSS

From the Washington Post:

Latino and Asian voters mostly sat out 2010 election, report says
By Shankar Vedantam, Tuesday, April 26, 6:07 PM 

A record 14.7 million Latino voters sat out the 2010 midterm elections, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center that shows the nation’s fastest-growing minorities are largely failing to exercise their right to vote. 

Along with Asian voters, who appear similarly disengaged, the absence of so many Latino voters at the polls means the political influence of these minority groups will fall short of their demographic strength by years, if not decades. 

About 31 percent of eligible Latino and Asian voters cast ballots in the 2010 congressional elections, compared with 49 percent of eligible white voters and 44 percent of eligible blacks, according to the Pew report. … 

So, way back in 1986, 39% of Hispanics eligible to vote bothered to show up and vote. By 2010, voting was down to 31%, and only 25% looking at the marginal change from 2006 to 2010: a crazy four million more additional eligible voters (thanks George W. Bush!), but only one million more actual voters.

The snapshot of minority voting comes on the heels of a poll showing that support for President Obama among Latinos is down by more than 25 percentage points compared with the start of his administration — cause for serious concern among Democrats. 

Obama needs Latinos to show up in force for him in 2012, as they did in 2008, political analysts say. But the administration has disappointed many Latinos by failing to win immigration reforms while increasing deportations among the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Because that’s the only thing Latino voters care about: immigration. That’s why the Arizona immigration law led to that widely predicted landslide of angry Hispanic voters in 2010 punishing the GOP for SB1070. I read dozens of interviews in 2010 with Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Earmuffs) saying that was going to happen, so it must have happened right?

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) … blamed Obama’s immigration stance for lackluster turnout among Latinos. …

Several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) were reelected last year with strong Latino support, but on the whole, GOP candidates fared better than expected among Latino voters. That was especially true of Latino GOP candidates. 

“During the November 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party had historic levels of Hispanic support,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “In fact, exit polls showed that 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates. This is more than in 2008 and 2006. .?.?. All five Hispanics elected to Congress in 2010 were Republicans.” 

Smith said that calls for strong border protection and enforcement had played well in Florida, Mexico and Nevada, including with Latino voters.“This is a good trend for the GOP,” he said.

So, Mexico is the 52nd state!

Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration and national campaigns at the National Council of La Raza, a pro-immigration group, said political candidates were not investing enough effort in reaching out to and mobilizing Latino voters.

I’ve got a great idea: they should reach out and invest more by hiring Clarissa Martinez! She probably has some relatives who would like jobs as ethnic consultants, too. Neither party should cease investing until all the Martinezes have nice Hispanic activist jobs. And Rep. Gutierrez probably has some nephews and nieces who are someday going to need jobs as well.

We must import more immigrants so all these Martinezes and Gutierrezes can be employed as their nominal leaders.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Politics 
🔊 Listen RSS
From the New York Times:

National Latino Museum Plan Faces Fight

A move to create a new Smithsonian museum is running into a crowded National Mall and lack of will to pay for it. 

Seven years after opening its National Museum of the American Indian, and four years before the scheduled unveiling of its museum of African-American history, the Smithsonian Institution is being urged to create another ethnic museum on the National Mall, this one to recognize the history and contributions of Latino Americans. 

A federal commission has spent two years asking Latinos what they would want in such a museum, and next month the commission will report its findings to Congress, which would have to approve a new museum. 

Though the creation of such an institution has support from members of Congress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and celebrities like Eva Longoria

What about Evan Longoria? They should get him involved, too.

Looking up the museum’s official website, I see that the other celebrity on-board is Emilio Estefan, who is not Charlie Sheen’s brother Emilio Estevez, who was in Repo Man. Instead, he’s singer Gloria Estefan’s husband. And he’s Lebanese.

And the third-ranking celebrity involved, after Longoria and Estefan, is Henry Munoz III, who doesn’t appear to have his own Wikipedia page.

As I pointed out last week in my Fernandomania column for Taki’s Magazine, here we are in 2011 and the most famous of the 35,000,000 Mexican-Americans appears to be Eva Longoria. That’s really weird when you stop to think about it. Is Desperate Housewives even on the air anymore? That’s like if the guy who played Joey on Friends was the most famous Italian-American.

building it faces significant obstacles, including budget pressures, and a feeling among some in Washington that the Smithsonian should stop spinning off new specialty museums and concentrate on improving the ones it already has. 

“I don’t want a situation,” said Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, “where whites go to the original museum, African-Americans go to the African-American museum, Indians go to the Indian museum, Hispanics go to the Latino American museum. That’s not America.”

Would Hispanics go to the Latino American museum? They go to a lot of movies, but they don’t go to see Latino movies much. How many Latinos are starring in Fast Five? To juice up the box office for the latest Fast and Furious movie, they didn’t add a Mexican hero, they added a Samoan/black guy, The Rock. Are Hispanics really going to flood to a museum? Is anybody else?

In Washington, where politics infects all matters, there is wide acknowledgment that the 50 million Latinos who live in this country have become an increasingly important constituency. But even supporters of the museum acknowledge it faces a battle.

I suspect “boredom” is what it’s really facing. The media constantly tries to prod Latinos into racial anger by telling them somebody wants to have a “fight” and a “battle” with them, but, on the whole, apathy reigns on all sides, except among Hispanic ethnic lobbyists:

“The atmosphere is not friendly at all,” said Estuardo V. Rodriguez Jr., a lobbyist with the Raben Group who has worked pro bono on the museum proposal, citing the economic pressures and what he described as anti-immigrant sentiment. 

The idea for a Smithsonian Latino museum was born in the mid-1990s when a task force said the Smithsonian had largely ignored Latinos in its exhibitions and should create at least one museum to correct that imbalance. 

The panel’s report, entitled “Willful Neglect,” found, for example, that only 2 of the 470 people featured in the “notable Americans” section of the National Portrait Gallery were Latino.

As opposed to 2011, when we can all instantly name countless Latino “notable Americans,” like Emilio Estefan and Henry Munoz III.

There are dozens of other museums across the country that focus on the heritage or culture of Latinos, whose population in the United States grew by 43 percent over the last decade, according to 2010 Census figures. But supporters of the national museum say it is imperative that there be a similar presence in the nation’s capital. 

While the commission is not expected to make specific proposals about content, the museum would probably try to cover a wide swath of history, from the role of the Spanish conquistadors to the work of Latinos in the labor and civil-rights movements. It would include culture, from popular music to visual arts, and would try to feature people and traditions from all Hispanic countries. 

My heart’s racing already. Where can I buy tickets?

Lisa Navarrete, a spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy organization, said it was unfortunate that Latino children who now travel to the Mall cannot see “their community and history and legacy reflected.” 

Think of the children!

She said that a museum that accomplishes that is particularly crucial now because discussions of immigration issues have created a “toxic” environment for Latinos. “It’s even more important to show other Americans that our roots go back centuries on this continent,” she said. 

Though legislation to authorize a Latino museum commission, known formally as the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, was first introduced in 2003 by Representative Xavier Becerra, a Democrat of California, it did not pass until 2008, as part of an omnibus budget bill. 

A fitting year.

The economy and the balance of power in Congress have changed much since that vote, with Republicans now holding a 49-vote majority in the House of Representatives.
Federal money for the museum would not appear to be an option, members of Congress say, as it was for the African-American and Indian museums. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a $500 million price tag, half of which is being paid by the federal government. The government paid for two-thirds of the Indian museum.

I’m sure that Mexican-Americans would be happy to reach into their pockets and pay for it on their own, just like all the other charitable institutions Mexican-Americans have built, such as, uh, well, let me get back to you on this one. As Gregory Rodriguez, a columnist for the L.A. Times, explained:

In Los Angeles, home to more Mexicans than any other city in the U.S., there is not one ethnic Mexican hospital, college, cemetery, or broad-based charity.

When it comes to self-organizing for pro-social purposes, Mexicans are in a class by themselves.

Opposition to the Latino museum at this point is muted, and with the commission not yet having presented its report, few in Congress beyond the group of ardent supporters have focused on the issue. 

Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican of Georgia, said in an interview that he supported a Latino museum as long as it was not financed with federal money, and as long as he was assured that the museum would not become “an interest group’s platform to advance political agendas.”

I guess tha
t means he’s against it, because it will cost the taxpayers a lot of money and it will promote a leftist agenda. Those are givens.

Actually, this Latino museum just need some creative financing ingenuity. The tremendous trio of Henry Gonzales, Angelo Mozilo, and George W. Bush should be appointed to devise a mortgage for the Latino Museum. With zero down and no documents required, the museum’s own mortgage, along with the subsequent default notices, could then serve as educational exhibits helping explain the Latino role in the Recent Unpleasantness in the mortgage market.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Real Estate 
🔊 Listen RSS
From my Taki Magazine column:

With the Census Bureau announcing this spring that the number of Hispanics in America has surpassed 50 million—a large majority of them of Mexican background—it’s worth remembering the “Fernandomania” that swept the country 30 years ago. 

America held only 15 million Hispanics when Fernando Valenzuela, a 20-year-old rookie Los Angeles Dodgers baseball pitcher from Mexico, started the 1981 season with eight straight wins, five of them shutouts. (In contrast, the 2010 Dodgers chalked up only four shutouts over 162 games.) Whenever Fernando pitched, attendance would soar as Latinos and others rushed to the ballpark to cheer on the uniquely charismatic phenom. … 

I recount this ancient history because it illuminates the curious question of why there are so few Mexican superstars today in any branch of American popular culture other than boxing. Sure, there are stars—actress Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives, third baseman Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and others of similar wattage—but why so few superstars, especially in contrast to African-Americans?

Read the whole thing there.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Sports 
🔊 Listen RSS

The 2010 Census numbers have been streaming out, and last week saw comprehensive race / ethnicity data released. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights.

The big news was that the Hispanic population grew 43 percent during George W. Bush’s decade of 2000-2010, to more than 50,000,000.

Fifty million is a colossal number. That surpasses the population of the country of Spain and is about equal to England.

But the Main Stream Media couldn’t find much of interest to say about this phenomenon, other than to approvingly pass on the usual rote quotes of ethno-triumphalism from self-designated Latino Leaders.

The MSM’s problem is that they’ve told us so many times before about the vibrant—if vague—future ahead of us in a Hispanicized America that few outlets seemed able to even try to whip up much enthusiasm for this latest milestone.

Nevertheless, there remains much to be said. For example: what is the impact on global carbon emissions of this vast transfer of population from low per capita emission Latin America to high emission USA?

Of course, you aren’t supposed to talk about stuff like that.

But, then, what else is there left to talk about after all these years?

The realization has slowly been sinking in that the long-heralded Latino cultural renaissance is turning out to be most evident in things like, oh, that Vin Diesel still has a career in Hollywood. Hispanic youths can’t get enough of his Fast and Furious movies. Fast Five, which, in case you were wondering, is the fifth in the series about furious guys driving fast, debuts in theatres near you on April 29th.

Granted, Diesel isn’t, as far as anybody knows, Hispanic—he looks like a cross between Jerry Seinfeld and former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty (with maybe a fire hydrant thrown in there somewhere). And neither are his co-stars Paul Walker (white) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (black and Samoan).

Nevertheless, if even Latino young people aren’t all that interested in Latinos, how can you expect the MSM to stay focused?

Instead, they mostly wanted to talk about Census data on blacks. Granted, from a numerical standpoint, African-Americans are yesterday’s news, but they are still vastly more fascinating per capita to opinion-moulders than are Latinos.

For example, one piece of remarkable news is that the population of the Motor City dropped by 25 percent over the last ten years–the fastest collapse in American history of any major city not decimated by a natural disaster. In Detroit, which has had black mayors since 1974, the black population declined by 185,393 over the last ten years alone.

In response, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Thomas J. Sugrue[Email him] on blaming the 2000-2010 catastrophe on, get this, white housing discrimination in the 1960s:

“The private sector played its part, too: loans and mortgage s to minorities or for houses in racially mixed or black neighborhoods were deemed ‘actuarially unsound,’ too risky an investment for lenders and builders. Even after the antidiscrimination laws of the late 1960s, real estate brokers surreptitiously maintained the color line in housing through ‘steering’ …”

(A Dream Still Deferred, March 26, 2011)

Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s have the federal government prod mortgage companies to lend more money to blacks in the Motor City. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, a March 24 NY Times article, Many U.S. Blacks Moving to South, Reversing Trend by Sabrina Tavernise And Robert Gebeloff, reports on the main overall trend in black migration: heading South, back whence their forebears came.

“The five counties with the largest black populations in 2000 — Cook in Illinois, Los Angeles, Wayne in Michigan, Kings in New York and Philadelphia — all lost black population in the last decade. Among the 25 counties with the biggest increase in black population, three-quarters are in the South. … “

A few points are left vague in this article, naturally.

  • The first is that the size of this black backwash isn’t that really gigantic in an overall black population of 38.1 million:

“There are now more than one million black residents of the South who were born in the Northeast, a tenfold increase since 1970.”

Yet you wouldn’t expect black migration numbers to be immense because African-Americans don’t move all that often. They tend to be homeboys, most comfortable on familiar turf. African cultures are frequently matrilocal, which works to keep people in one place.

But the direction of the black migration is quite interesting.

  • The second point left vague: black dominance of an urban area tends to eventually drive out not just whites, but blacks, too.

Which, of course, is what’s happening in Detroit. East St. Louis, Illinois is another, now almost-forgotten example. The population was 70,029 in the 1970 Census. By 1971, blacks had become numerous enough to elect a black mayor. The population is now 27,006.

  • The third aspect glossed over in the article: blacks are leaving Blue State America for Red State America—at least in part because they prefer living in the kind of states dominated by Republicans.

The NYT article does note:

“Blacks who moved to the South were disproportionately young — 40 percent were adults ages 21 to 40, compared with 29 percent of the nonmigrant black population. One in four newcomers had a four-year college degree, compared to one in six of the black adults who had already lived in the South.”

In other words, this black exodus from the Blue States is driven less by black retirees seeking warm weather and more by strivers looking for jobs.

As I pointed out in my March 6, 2011 VDARE article Population Paradoxes, the fundamental contradiction of contemporary Republican pro-business policies—low tax, low wage, low regulation—is that in places where they work well, they tend to draw in people who will vote against Republicans for racial reasons. This happens faster with Hispanics. But, as we can see here, it also happens with blacks, too.

In contrast, the fundamental contradiction of Democratic policies is that they are too expensive to be affordable by populations that become highly black and/or Hispanic.

For example, the fast-growing Atlanta region competes with the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex for the title of Capital of Red State America. Both have giant hub airports that are magnets for the kind of frequent flier homebuyers who are the backbone of Republican voters.

In turn, both are highly attractive to minorities. The white population of Dallas County dropped 20 percent over the last ten years, while the black population grew 16 percent and the Hispanic population 37 percent.

Nor is it a coincidence that portions of the suburban Atlanta area are also well on their way to becoming the Capital of Black America.

For example, Gwinnett County, northwest of Atlanta, was famous a generation ago as the white exurb that sent Newt Gingrich to Congress. Yet, over the last decade, the white population has dropped by 10 percent while the black population has grown by 140 percent. Whites are now moving to ex-exurbs beyond Gwinnett.

In terms of commute times, white flight is more convenient in an inland Red State metropolis than in a coastal Blue State one. Being inland, Greater Atlanta, like so many Red State cities, can expand in a 360-degree radius. Detroit, like so many Blue State cities, can only expand away from the water (and, in Detroit’s case, the Canadian border).

Still, how much of your life do you want to spend in your car?

Maynard Jackson became the first black mayor of Atlanta the same week in 1974 that Coleman Young became the first black mayor of Detroit. But the fate of Atlanta has been happier, so far. The city of Atlanta’s population is down to 420,003, off from its 1970 peak of 496,973, but the metropolitan area has grown over the last 40 years from 1,763,626 to 5,729,304. [U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Georgia's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting, March 17, 2011]

The city of Atlanta accounts for only 7 percent of its region’s population. With such a modest power base, Atlanta’s black mayors have tended to be suave fellows who didn’t scare off Corporate America (as in Tom Wolfe’s AA Man in Full). In contrast, Detroit’s long-reigning Young (as depicted in Zev Chafets’ Devil’s Night) ruled as a tribal avenger.

The most notorious such black mayor: Washington D.C.’s Marion Barry. He got so out of control that the feds set him up and arrested him in 1990 in what was tantamount to a municipal coup.

Washington D.C., long a contender for the title of Capital of Black America, was also in the news last week—because it had lost its famous black majority. The black population of D.C. fell 11 percent, while the white population soared 32 percent.

A Washington Post reporter knocked on the door of the house in the eastern Capitol Hill neighborhood where Barry had lived when he was first elected mayor in 1978 and found a white yuppie family. He also got a quote that’s almost too good to be true:

“Three years ago, when she moved to the neighborhood from Arlington County, Kristen Thor, 33, said her friends said, ‘Oh my God, you’re moving to the ‘hood!’”

“’The area has really changed,’ said Thor, a postural therapist who is white.”[Marion Barry's old block: a D.C. neighborhood's racial evolution, by J. Freedom du Lac and Paul Schwartzman, March 26, 2011]

A Valley Girl named “Kristen Thor” in Marion Barry’s old stomping ground!

The District of Columbia is also the Imperial Capital of the World. That’s where it gets decided who is going to get cruise-missiled and who isn’t. So it increasingly attracts from all over the world the kind of people who want influence over where the cruise missiles are aimed.

Marion Barry, and the homies who think voting for Marion Barry is a good idea, don’t have much of a future in the Imperial Capital of the World.

This is a reminder of how much of the electoral power of the Marion Barrys of the late 20th Century was based on street crime. Thugs don’t vote much, but they keep the Kristen Thors of America out of hugely valuable urban property for decades, which allowed the Marion Barrys to get re-elected. But now, a much larger fraction of the thugs are in prison than in the 1970s-1980s. Hence, the Barry voters are being scattered by gentrification.

Washington D.C. might be the only major city where the white population grew faster (32 percent) than the Hispanic population (up only 22 percent, compared to 43 percent nationally).

If you are wondering why Washington D.C. elites can’t understand your concerns about the impact of illegal immigration, well, that’s not the reality they see on the streets of D.C. What they see is their city being overrun by swarming hordes of young white people with postgraduate degrees and trust funds.

So what are you worrying about anyway? Open your eyes, man!

Finally, what about whites?

Looking at the spectacularly detailed maps of race and ethnicity provided by the NYT, it’s clear that there are two trends going on among white people.

  • First, a relatively small number of whites are recolonizing a small number of inner cities.

For example, Oregon’s Census Tract #5 near downtown Portland, saw its white population grow by 223 percent.

The problem: white people haven’t yet figured out how to foster jobs in an urban core and demographically dominate the public schools i n order to be able to afford to have children.

Strict environmental laws on suburban development have helped make Portland wildly popular among young whites looking to hang out with other young whites. (Not explicitly, of course.) Yet there are so few jobs that Portland is now called the place where hipsters go to retire. And if Portland’s economy were deregulated, would the public schools rapidly turn Hispanic as low-wage workers poured in?

I don’t believe this is an insoluble problem. There are a lot of smart white hipsters who would like to be able to send their future kids to the urban public schools that they pay taxes for. Unfortunately, it’s hard to devise and implement effective policy if you can’t admit in public (or even to yourself) what your goal is: to effectively resegregate urban public schools.

It’s a big country and there are a lot of hinterlands out there. But how practical will this strategy turn out to be when gasoline hits, say, $10 per gallon?

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Hispanics, VDare Archives 
🔊 Listen RSS
From the column I wrote before the press whipped itself into a frenzy nine days ago:
Veteran centrist reporter Ronald Brownstein’s “White Flight” article in National Journal, a trade magazine for political professionals, had begun to get a lot of attention, until the political class went berserk over that psycho shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. …

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Brownstein’s article was left more implied than explicit:

“The Hispanic vote for Democrats in House races slipped to 60 percent, compared with about two-thirds for Obama in 2008 … Meanwhile, Republicans, with their 60 percent showing, notched the party’s best congressional result among white voters in the history of modern polling.”

Let me spell this out more clearly than Brownstein does. In 2010, whites voted slightly more as a bloc for Republican House candidates (60-37) than Hispanics did for Democrats (60-38).
…Still, it’s fascinating that after endless pronouncements in the MSM about how Republicans were dooming themselves in November by supporting the Arizona immigration law, it turns out that the GOP did fair to middling among Hispanic voters.

The unspoken reality: immigration is not that important an issue to Hispanic voters—certainly not anything like as important as it is to would-be Hispanic leaders.

Read the whole thing there.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Politics 
🔊 Listen RSS
Here’s the top story at the New York Times:
Disillusioned Hispanics May Skip Midterms, Poll Suggests

PHOENIX — Arizona’s controversial immigration law has prompted denunciations, demonstrations, boycotts and a federal lawsuit. But it may not bring the protest vote many Democrats had hoped would stem a Republican onslaught in races across the country.

That’s because although many voters are disillusioned with the political process, Latino voters are particularly dejected, and many may sit these elections out, according to voters, Latino organizations, and political consultants and candidates. A poll released Tuesday found that though Latinos strongly back Democrats over Republicans, 65 percent to 22 percent, in the Congressional elections just four weeks away, only 51 percent of Latino registered voters say they will absolutely go to the polls, compared to 70 percent of all registered voters.

The other side in the immigration debate is suffering no such lack of enthusiasm. One measure of its high spirits is the dance card of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. He conducts raids in Latino neighborhoods that have led critics to label him a racist and the Justice Department to start a racial profiling investigation. But he is a pariah who is also in demand.

As conservatives across the country seek to burnish their tough-on-immigration credentials, Mr. Arpaio’s endorsement is much sought after.
The Arizona law seems to be rewriting not just the rules on immigration, but the rules on how it is talked about on the campaign trail, too.

Even in New Mexico, a state with a large Hispanic population and traditional tolerance for illegal immigration, the issue is seen as a vote-getter for Republicans. 

Illegal immigration hasn’t traditionally been a big political issue in New Mexico because there aren’t all that many illegal immigrants in New Mexico because there have been Hispanics in New Mexico for 400 years, so, New Mexico (state motto: Thank God for Mississippi) is a poor state, so illegal immigrants avoid it.

… The results of the poll released Tuesday, by the Pew Hispanic Center, suggest that the raging debate over Arizona’s law and the lack of Congressional action on immigration reform may have turned off many Latinos.

Just 32 percent of all Latino registered voters say they have given this year’s election “quite a lot” of thought, compared with 50 percent of all registered voters in the country, the poll found. The poll is based on a survey of 1,375 Latinos conducted from Aug. 17 to Sept. 19.

(The Pew poll also found that for Latinos, education, jobs and health care trump immigration as major issues, which could be bad news for Democrats hoping to capitalize from anger over the Arizona law.)

That’s what practically every poll of Hispanic voters has more or less found in the decade I’ve been following this issue. Hispanic voters have sensibly ambivalent feelings about illegal immigration. The press routinely ignores this because they talk to professional Hispanic activists who are all in favor of increasing the population of Hispanics in the U.S. to boost their personal careers by giving them more putative followers to claim to be the leaders of.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics, Politics 
🔊 Listen RSS
From the Associated Press, we witness a triumph of assimilation: Hispanics have learned to tell pollsters what they are supposed to say as good Americans about the all-important value of a 4-year college diploma. They don’t, actually, do all that much toward earning 4-year degrees, but they talk a good assimilated game, and that’s what’s really important, now isn’t it?
More than 10 years have passed since she gave up her pursuit of a degree in computer science, but Yajahira Deaza still has regrets.

“I feel incomplete,” says the 33-year-old, a customer service representative for a major New York bank. Her experience reflects the findings of an Associated Press-Univision poll that examined the attitudes of Latino adults toward higher education.
Despite strong belief in the value of a college diploma, Hispanics more often than not fall short of that goal.
The poll’s findings have broad implications not only for educators and parents, but also for the U.S. economy.
In the next decade, U.S. companies will have to fill millions of jobs to replace well-trained baby boomers going into retirement. As the nation’s largest minority group, Latinos account for a growing share of the pool of workers, yet their skills may not be up to par. …
“Aspirations for higher education are very strong among Hispanics, but there is a yawning discrepancy between aspirations and actual attainment,” said Richard Fry, an education researcher at the Pew Hispanic Center.
Indeed, the poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, found that Hispanics value higher education more than do Americans as a whole. Eighty-seven percent said a college education is extremely or very important, compared with 78% of the overall U.S. population.
Ninety-four percent of Latinos say they expect their own children to go to college, a desire that’s slightly stronger for girls. Seventy-four percent said the most important goal for a girl right after high school is to attend a four-year college, compared with 71% for boys.
Enthusiasm about higher education hasn’t been matched by results.
Census figures show that only 13% of Hispanics have a college degree or higher, compared with 30% among Americans overall.
The poll revealed some of the roadblocks: Latinos do not have enough money, yet many are reluctant to borrow.

Buying an expensive California house with a zero-down subprime mortgage isn’t really “borrowing.” It’s investing in the American Dream!

In the poll, just 29% cited poor grades in high school as an extremely or very important reason for not going to college.

Dropping out of high school can be an extremely important reason for not going to college, and a larger percentage than that of U.S.-raised Hispanics drop out of high school. Also, having a child out of wedlock can put a damper on your college plans, and 51% of Hispanic babies are born out of wedlock.

… Deaza, the New York bank employee, said that is why she had to leave her computer studies back in the late 1990s. A single mom-to-be, she was expecting her first child, a daughter who’s now 11.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Education, Hispanics 
🔊 Listen RSS

Last week’s New York Times Magazine article by former Israeli Likud Party spokesman Zev Chafets, The Post-Hispanic Hispanic Politician(web posted May 3), breathlessly anoints the 35-year-old mayor of San Antonio, the ambitious and suavely blank Stanford and Harvard graduate Julián Castro, as a potential U.S. President—the Hispanic Barack Obama:

“Mark McKinnon is prepared to be more explicit about the long-term stakes. An early member of George W. Bush‘s inner circle in Austin, he knows Texas political talent when he sees it. “Julián Castro has a very good chance of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States,” he says flatly.”

Just as Obama (Harvard Law ’91) enthralled Chicago lakefront fundraisers, consultants, and journalists by finally fulfilling their Sidney Poitier fantasies dating back to old Stanley Kramer movies, Castro (Harvard Law ’00) strikes America’s elites as their kind of Hispanic.

The wonderful thing about Chafets’ article, however, is that the veteran reporter, who was born in Michigan but then served in the Israeli military and worked for the late Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, appears to get his own joke about just how funny this Castro-for-Governor in 2014 / Castro-for-President in 2016 boomlet really is—even as he’s helping concoct it.

A half-decade in the Begin government appears to have permanently cured Chafets of the clueless and humorless naiveté about ethnicity that pervades most American political discourse. (Chafets’s 2007 article on the prosperous, fertile, and sociopathically clannish Syrian Jews of Brooklyn is particularly memorable. [The Sy Empire, October 14, 2007]) But, lacking Chafets’ worldliness, most NYT subscriberswill fail to notice his subtly irreverent attitude.

Yet, the way he checks off a long list of my own personal obsessions—SAT scores, identical twins (Julian’s brother Joaquin—the one with the more lopsided head—is a Democratic state legislator), and the Bush dynasty’s hopes for young George P. Bush to beat Castro to the White House as the first Hispanic President—suggests that Chafets knows the score. Maybe he reads my articles!

Julian and Joaquin Castro are the twin sons of Rosie Castro, a prominent San Antonio 1960s Chicana college militant. (They were born out of wedlock—their seldom-mentioned father is a community organizer turned teacher named Jesse Guzman.)

051010_ss001[1]Rosie was a radical activist in the La Raza Unida Party co-founded by José Angel Gutiérrez, the son of a Texas doctor and author of A Chicano Manual on How to Handle Gringos. Allan Wall wrote about Gutiérrez in in 2004 in Who is Jose Angel Gutierrez—And What Does He Want?

Gutiérrez co-authored the 2007 book, Chicanas in Charge: Texas Women in the Public Arena, which devotes Chapter Nine to Rosie Castro.

Gutiérrez also proclaimed in a speech in San Antonio in 1969—around when Castro was first getting involved in his organization—“We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.” (He later claimed he was speaking about killing gringos in self-defense, although his firebreathing reconquista rhetoric inclines toward a rather aggressive view of self-defense.)

A quarter of a century later at UC Riverside in 1995, Gutierrez had switched from rhetoric of death to birth:

“We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It’s a matter of time. The explosion is in our population.”

In 2003, Gutiérrez said: “The best advice I could give a 20-year-old: Get a job, get an education and go paint the White House brown as soon as you can.”

Interestingly, despite being marinated in this climate of radical Chicano organizing while growing up, Mayor Julian Castro doesn’t speak Spanish! Chafets helpfully points out:

“Although he pronounces his name ‘HOO-lee-un,’ he doesn’t really speak Spanish—a fact he isn’t eager to advertise. … A Mexican-American with statewide political aspirations needs to be able to do more than pronounce his name correctly.”


“Early in his administration, Castro assigned his chief of staff,Robbie Greenblum—a Jewish lawyer from the border town of Laredo whose own Spanish is impeccable—to discreetly find him a tutor. Rosie Castro’s son is now being taught Spanish by a woman named Marta Bronstein. Greenblum met her in shul.”

(Which reminds me of a scene in Sam Lipsyte’s new comic novel, The Ask. The narrator watches an Ivy League debate on the Middle East involving an American Likudnik intellectual: “One of the experts said the Palestinians were irrational and needed a real leader, like maybe a smart Jewish guy.”)

Chafets, a veteran of Holy Land ethnic struggles over land and legitimacy, amuses himself by pushing the Castro family’s buttons over San Antonio’s Alamo:

“To Rosie, the Alamo is a symbol of bad times. ‘They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,’ she told me. ‘They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the “heroes” of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message—we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”

In contrast, Rosie’s son Julian is almost as polished and even more opaque than Obama:

“’The Alamo?” he said. ‘It’s the largest tourist attraction in Texas. And tourism is one of San Antonio’s major economic engines.’ …

“’The curator called it a shrine.’

Castro considered that briefly, then nodded. ‘There are people for whom the Alamo is a sacred place.’ he said without any discernible emotion.”

Chafets raises the Affirmative Action/ quota question with the mayor:

“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action,” Julián says. “I scored 1,210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life.”

Chafets calls Castro “brilliant” but, strikingly, Castro’s 1210 SAT is the same as George W. Bush’s 1206 (they didn’t round to the nearest ten back in W.’s day), so I guess that makes Bush “brilliant,”too. Granted, that’s likely smart enough to be a good President, but, out of 300 million people, can’t we do a little better?

By the way, Castro did “fine” at Stanford while majoring in political science and communications. In contrast, Stanford’s 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart majored in management science and engineering while playing Division I football and baseball.

Let’s look at a couple of more subversive facts that most NYTreaders will fail to pick up on in Chafets’s article.

Does San Antonio represent the future?

Chafets quotes Karl Eschbach, former official demographer of the state of Texas: “San Antonio is the city of the future, the avatar.”

Yet Eschbach undermines his own contention by then pointing out how different San Antonio is from the many cities where illegal immigrants flock: “The Mexican-American population is about 60 percent of the city, but it is now several generations old. There is comparatively little immigration these days.” A fair amount of San Antonio’s Hispanic population is descended from middle class Mexican refugees from the Mexican Revolution of a century ago.

Why hasn’t San Antonio, which is only 150 miles from the Mexican border, attracted many immigrants since then? Because, despite immense taxpayer expenditures at San Antonio’s four large military bases, the heavily Mexican-American populace doesn’t generate enough jobs to attract Mexicans. San Antonio is a pleasant enough place, but it must be be noted that (as in New Mexico) a large, settled Mexican-American population doesn’t correlate with economic dynamism.

Moreover, despite all the national hype about Mayor Castro, he holds a largely meaningless job with few duties. “The daily business of San Antonio is conducted by a professional city manager,” Chafets notes. Indeed, San Antonio’s city manager is paid $275,000 annually, while the mayor earns about $3,000. Not surprisingly, only 9.83 percent of San Antonio’s registered voters bothered to vote in the Mayoral contest last year.

The reason Castro can afford to use this impressive-sounding but nugatory office as a launching pad for runs at the governor’s mansion and / or the White House is because powerbroker Mikal Watts, a rich personal injury attorney and major Democratic donor, gave the Castro twins a large sum, ostensibly for referring a car crash case to him. (See Whispers about Castro’s referral of case grow louder,by Karisa King in the San Antonio Express-News, March 22, 2009.)

So, why is the NYT getting so excited over a smooth young man with virtually no record of accomplishment? (Hey—does that remind you of anybody?)

There simply isn’t much competition for the title of Great Hispanic Hope. And it’s not just a shortage of talent. Chafets points out one problem traditionally holding back the long-heralded tidal wave of triumphant Hispanic politicians that will engulf Real Soon Now: corruption.

“It had been about a dozen years since another brilliant young man from San Antonio, Henry Cisneros, regarded by many as the emerging national leader of the Hispanic wing of the Democratic Party, lost his political future in a sex-and-money scandal. Cisneros’s implosion left an opening.”

Cisneros, who played a disastrous role in the Mortgage Meltdown as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Housing and as a director of Angelo Mozilo’s Countrywide Mortgage, has known Rosie Castro since kindergarten and taken an avuncular interest in the success of her sons.

“For a while, Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, and Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, were Great Hispanic Hopes, but scandals eventually knocked them out of contention too. … ‘People look at him and say, “Finally, we have somebody who won’t screw up.”’”

Chafets clearly gets the joke. But do many of the poor dumb American readers of the New York Times, their minds dulled by years of practicing crimestop on their own thoughts, even notice how funny his article is?

Funny…except for the fact that that other race-transcending blank slate got hyped all the way to the White House.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Hispanics, VDare Archives 
🔊 Listen RSS
Here are excerpts from my new column. It’s a long one.
The Texas Board of Education has voted to include in the state’s history textbooks facts more favorable to conservatives. Needless to say, this has provoked condemnations from the national Main Stream Media. That’s because any challenge to the Left’s post-1960s dominion over the past is going to arouse real passion.

OK, I know it’s not clear how many students actually read their history textbooks. But the Texans are showing more enterprise than is common among conservatives. These have fecklessly permitted their ideological enemies to define what gets called history.

Theoretically, history is about learning how the world works so you don’t repeat old mistakes. What most people want to know, however, is: Who does society laud? Who is respectable and who is not? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? …

Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.

And yet, young people do have a finer side—their hunger for heroes—that history books once tried to fulfill rather than exploit. For example, I was galvanized in 1975 when I read Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s tribute in his Oxford History of the American People to Orville and Wilbur Wright:

“Few things in our history are more admirable than the skill, the pluck, the quiet self-confidence, the alertness to reject fixed ideas and to work out new ones, and the absence of pose and publicity, with which these Wright brothers made the dream of ages—man’s conquest of the air—come true.”

But the Wright brothers aren’t the kind of heroes we like anymore. In our Age of Oprah, rather than Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering. …

This Heroes of Suffering fetish is exacerbated in modern history textbooks by the “diversity” imperative.

Take, for example, one US history textbook widely used in high school Advanced Placement courses and in college courses: Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic (McGraw-Hill, Fourth Edition). … 

The need to include a huge amount of material celebrating each politically organized diversity group has bloated the textbook to 1277 oversized pages. It costs $108.78 on Amazon, and weighs in at a vertebrae-compressing 5.4 pounds. …
Celebrating diversity just takes a lot of space, so there isn’t room in all 1277 pages to mention…the Wright brothers. … 
This kind of feminized, multiculturalized social history is boring to young people—especially to boys.

… Of course, leaving out so many annoying white male Heroes of Accomplishment from the textbook doesn’t mean that the historians have managed to dig up comparable diverse Heroes of Accomplishment.

Instead, the space mostly gets filled with Heroes of Suffering.

And who made them suffer?

You get one guess.

At one point, I went looking in this textbook’s index for the Civil War hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, colonel of the XXth Maine Volunteers. By repelling repeated assaults on the crucial Little Round Top hill on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain may have saved the Union. (He’s played by Jeff Daniels in Ron Maxwell’s movies Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.)

I suspect teenage boys might find him, you know, interesting. Maybe?

Well, needless to say, “Chamberlain, Joshua” isn’t in the Nation of Nations’ index. When looking for him, I did find, however:

Chanax, Juan, 1096—1098, 1103, 1124, 1125

Who, exactly, is Chanax and why does he appear on six pages when Chamberlain can’t be squeezed in anywhere?

It turns out Chanax is an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who works in a supermarket in Houston. This hero’s accomplishment is that he brought in 1,000 other illegal aliens from his home village.

The thinking, apparently: featuring an illegal alien so disproportionately will boost the self-esteem of the illegal alien students reading the book—which will then raise their test scores!

But how many are going to read all the way to p. 1096? And how many won’t find it patronizing and depressing that the biggest hero these industrious historians could dig up for their edification and emulation was Chanax?

But the truth is that the Left pays no real attention to illegal immigrants.  Their value is primarily in their colossal numbers—e.g., the 1000 neighbors recruited by Chanax—making them the notional Reserve Army of the Left, justifying whatever changes in America life more elite members of the Left want.

Want a sinecure as a diversity consultant for a textbook company? Nominate yourself as the ethnic representative of Juan Chanax and friends.

They won’t notice.

Maybe you just don’t much like American history: all those Wrights and Chamberlains accomplishing great things get on your nerves. Then rewrite it, in the name of Juan Chanax and company!

It’s not like Juan and his pals down at the supermarket are paying close attention or have a strong, informed opinion on what should go into American history textbooks. You can get away with anything by claiming to be on their side, the side of goodness and the future—the winning side.

 Read the whole thing here.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: Hispanics 
🔊 Listen RSS

This Slate article “So When Will a Muslim Be President: A guide to which minority group has the best chance to win the White House” by Mark Oppenheimer is a classic example of how a certain minority group that numbers almost 50,000,000 residents of America barely features in the mental universe of the NYC-DC punditry. It begins:

At long last, my people have an answer to the question “When will we have a Jewish president?” The answer, it turns out, is “Not before we have a black president.” I imagine that all ethnic groups play this game of “when will one of ours get there?” (The question is especially common among Jews, since we’re sort of white and used to success at other jobs—law, medicine, swimming.) But now that a half-African man with Muslim ancestors has defeated, for the presidency, an Episcopalian with a Roman numeral after his name, the bookmakers have to move the odds for all of us.

Which historically oppressed group will see one of its own take the oath of the presidency on a Bible/Quran/Analects/etc. next? We must admit that some groups are too small to have much of a chance—met any Zoroastrians lately?—and others seem too exotic. But plenty of others are in the running. Here, then, is a guide to which minority group will next see one of its own in the White House, in descending order of probability, and with possible candidates included:

The Slate article goes on to consider the chances of the following groups from which Presidents have never been elected:

Latter-day Saints
Gays and lesbians

Do you notice a rather large minority group who is missing?

Last week, we heard everywhere that the Hispanic tidal wave of votes means that the GOP has to publicly expel every single immigration skeptic if it ever wants to win again. (But, of course, Hispanics couldn’t possible have anything to do with the mortgage meltdown because there are so few of them.) This week, Hispanics have dropped off the mental radar screen so far that nobody at Slate bothered to ask the writer to drop in a paragraph about them.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Hispanics 
No Items Found
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation