March 1, 2008

Is Brown the New Black?

Here's an excerpt from my new article in The American Conservative on relations between blacks and Hispanics:

The slugfest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in which only the most painstaking analyst can discern any disagreement over policy, highlights the ancient yet growing importance of ethnic identity in politics.

The race didn't start out that way. The 2007 polls showed that blacks favored Senator Clinton, the wife of "America's first black President," over Senator Obama, the preppie from paradise. Yet, when the crunch came, four-fifths of black Democratic primary voters rallied to the yuppie technocrat's banner.

Shaken by the defection of an ethnicity Hillary had assumed was hereditarily hers, the Clinton campaign then pointed to the Latino vote as their "firewall." And in the important California primary, Hispanics did vote 67 percent to 32 percent for the former First Lady. Elsewhere, however, the vaunted Hispanic bloc once again didn't quite live up to the hype. Indeed, Hillary responded to her post-Super Tuesday woes by firing her Hispanic campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, and replacing her with Maggie Williams, who is black. As I write, Mrs. Clinton is left hoping that Latinos will bail her out in the upcoming Texas primary.

The multiracialization of American politics has barely begun. When it comes to identity politics, numbers count. And a new population projection from the Pew Research Center estimates that Hispanics will grow from 42 million in 2005 to a jaw-dropping 128 million in 2050. Meanwhile, African-Americans will increase from 38 million to 57 million (while Caucasians will barely creep over the 200 million mark, presumably on the strength of Middle Eastern immigration).

The relationship between blacks and Latinos will become increasingly central to American life. It's a murky phenomenon, poorly understood by the white-dominated press. …

Americans just don't pay much attention to Latinos, period. In American public discourse, Hispanics, especially Mexican-Americans (who now number about 30 million), remain what interstellar "dark matter" is to astrophysicists -- a quantitatively significant, yet mysteriously featureless aspect of the universe.

This is not for a lack of motivation on the part of America's corporate and political elites. Consultants have been trumpeting the growing numbers of Hispanics for a generation. Marketers have been lusting for the emergence of more Mexican-American celebrities to plug their products at least since Nancy Lopez's record-setting 1978 LPGA rookie season made her the most popular lady golfer ever among advertisers.

Although the media constantly try to drum up interest in Hispanics by extolling them as "swing voters" living in "vibrant neighborhoods" and so forth and so on, the tedious reality is that the single word that best sums up Latino America is inertia. Things just sort of keep on keeping on in the general direction that they were already moving.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

28 comments:

dave david said...

It's a murky phenomenon, poorly understood by the white-dominated press. …

Steve, you pride yourself on the being the politically incorrect outsider ...and then you come out with a howler like "white-dominated press"?

Here's a puzzle for you, Steve: Two college grads enter the Washington press corp. The first grad swears allegiance to the United States of America and declares their ambivalence toward every other country. The second grad swears allegiance to Israel and declares their ambivalence toward every other country. Which grad rises higher in the field?

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you seen the latest Hollywood video for Obama!theMessiah!?

Check it out here .

It would seem he is making a play for Latinos by using various Latino "celebs" ... some gal speaking Spanish, Luiz Guzman, John Leguizamo, and George Lopez.

I guess I'm down on my celebs, the only other ones I recognized were Jessica Alba and will.i.am.

Anonymous said...

Neither David David. The Press if anything despises Israel. And per Mike Wallace (on Fred Friendly's famous symposium) considers themselves "citizens of the world." Post-American.

It is moreover not a "white dominated press" as if race were the most important thing but rather CLASS. The Press is made up of mostly second, third, or even fourth generation media people, upper class, and with extreme liberal views (anti-Israel and near anti-Semitism being one of them).

Anderson Cooper being a good example. Son of Gloria Vanderbilt. Expecting such sheltered, upper class people to understand complex racial dynamics is futile. The old guys who knew it, like Royko or Breslin or Herb Caen, are all dead.

The Press used to be a low-status, unheroic, mostly blue to low white collar job. Around the mid 1970's it became (with the influx of wealthy Boomers) transformed into a high-status glamor occupation filled with "important" people. Where social status and connections and who you are related to matters more than being able to perform boring drudgery.

rightsaidfred said...

Concerning the Obama video linked above, I did a quick count on the ethnicity of each person who appeared.

I got 17 white, 23 black, and 7 hispanic.

I tried not to count someone twice, but I might have. Some were judgment calls, such as Jessica Alba.

D. Charles said...

It seems to me that apathy in general is a consistent theme among Latinos. This isn't to say that they can't achieve; there are always statistical outliers in any group, but they're much fewer and farther between than say blacks, whites, or asians. I think it's somewhat of a cultural phenomenon, having been historically subject to governance that emphasizes class boundaries, that theory that one has a lot in life, and that's where one stays in the socioeconomic spectrum. A quick perusal of Mexico's voter turnout statistics suggests that while more of their population registers to vote, fewer numbers of registered voters actually participate. Compared to the US, they have about 12% less voter involvement, and that's just for parliamentary elections. The spread's worse when you just look at the presidential elections, with the US ballparking in the upper 70% range for registered voter turnout and Mexico running in the low to mid 60s.

It would be interesting to see the percentage of Hispanic citizens in the US that bother to register in the first place and compare voting percentages with other groups.

Anonymous said...

Aside from living next to Black crime, Hispanics have to live under tribal black city leaders, councilmen, and school administrators. Seeing all those people jumping up and down to endorse obama is definitely causing them to turn away.

Proofreader said...

The real question is, given that the press is dominated by a particular white ethnic group called Jews, why do they feign ignorance at identity politics?

They've been prety good at that too. So have Irishmen, BTW, as Mr sailer is all tooo eager to point out when he remembers his Chicago days.

IMHO, identity politics are so ugly and damaging to the republic that nobody, politicians, scholars and journalists alike) dares to mention the sordid facts of the electoral affair. Either because they're fully engaged in them and would like to hide their tactics, or because of PCness and plain shame.

KingM said...

Those 150 million Hispanics won't be a recognizable block of any such size by 2050. About 1/3 are white and will be absorbed into the general white culture. A good chunk (10%?) are black from the Carribbean and will probably identify with black culture. The rest might be mestizos or nearly pure indigenous stock.

Given that Latin America is highly racially stratified, it's doubtful that this will disappear into some pan-Latin culture just because they've immigrated to the United States. Certainly not in the third and fourth generation when few Latinos will speak Spanish.

fwood1 said...

Is the third post: "Neither David David..." the return of Evil NeoCon?

Born Again Democrat said...

The link to The American Conservative doesn't take one to the issue with the rest of the article excerpted, put to the previous. So I re-read the one you wrote about family-formation and political party affiliation. That has got to be one of the best essays on politics in a long, long time. You are the best journalist in America.

Anonymous said...

As a white male living one mile from the border fence in San Diego, California, I can tell you without a moment's hesitation that Mexican-Americans, Hispanics, Latinos (call them what you will, according to the politically correct flavor of the month), are far more racist than the most entrenched of black political hucksters a al Sharpton or Jackson.

Quite simply, if you've got an ounce of dark pigmentation to your skin, you're sub-human. The furor over the "Memin Pinguin" stamp is a perfect example; Not only did a huge portion of Mexicans not understand that a blackface stamp issued by a nation-state in this century is a questionable idea, but those Mexicans who actually understood the negative niceties were adamantly opposed to accepting that there was absolutely anything to get worked up over...

For all that blacks in the US think is institutionally or generationally racist, just step into Tijuana for three seconds and watch lighter-skinned Hispanics casually stepping over darker mestizos (and puro indians) in the street. It's fascinating, and truly an extant example of what we used to call racist. If you're black (or near black) down here, forget it... you're nothing to be concerned about.

Unfortunately, that's just the culture. And since we've thrown assimilation out the door, that's the attitude that will be passed on to the second and third generation, untempered by anything approaching understanding and acceptance.

So why the lack of Hispanic votes, despite their population increase? Well, to be honest, so many Mexicans are utterly devoted to their fatherland, they couldn't be less concerned with what happens on this side of the fence, pure and simple. They recognized a long time ago that we've given up any rational interest in preserving this nation... so they're in no hurry. Demography is destiny indeed.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: the ancient yet growing importance of ethnic identity in politics

There was an editorial piece at the Yale Daily News this week which might interest you:

White Europeans: An endangered species?
yaledailynews.com

What's really fascinating is the comments section:

Read Comments - White Europeans: An endangered species?
yaledailynews.com

There is, of course, the usual hairshirt vitriol from the Culture of Death [and some of the kids are so hamstrung by political correctness that they can barely even string together a coherent sentence], but, at the same time, I was rather surprised by both the level of [Caucasian] tribalist anger in many of the replies, and by the fact that someone at Yale allowed those replies to be printed.

Maybe people really are waking up [finally!] to the fact that the world is dying.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: Jessica Alba

A little off-topic, but, speaking of celebrities, did anyone catch Angelina Jolie's editorial in favor of the surge this week?

Staying to Help in Iraq
washingtonpost.com

I know her Dad, Jon Voight, has been a very outspoken supporter of the war against terror - he's about the only celebrity I ever hear on talk radio anymore [although Stallone did Michael Savage's show a few weeks ago].

You know, there's been talk that AJ might produce and/or star in a filming of Atlas Shrugged.

I wonder if we might see a Jolie-Voight endorsement of McCain this fall?

Anonymous said...

First thing:Breslin, unlike Royko, is not dead, although he did stop thinking some time ago.

Mr. Sailer's hopes that Caucasian numbers will be sustained by Middle Eastern immigration is a pipe dream. When immigrants from the Middle East reach the critical mass necessary for nationwide political power, they will be re-defined in statutory/regulatory set-aside programs as a minority, eligible for preferential treatment. Blacks and others will resist this, of course,but will lose, particularly in light of the very real stigmatized status muslim Middle Easterners have in this country today.

Anonymous said...

Yep,Hillary fired the pretty mexican girl,and brought on the hard ass black broad. She went all hard-core!!! Hillary will lose,I believe,as she is fated to follow the Woman-Leading-Your-Prez-Campaign-You-Lose-BigTime Theory. (Hill may pull it out tho,as her camapign is most likely dominated by the Jewish Howie Wolfson,--whose name sounds like a Jewish character from a Sex and The City type show--and a band of jewish guys;but the nominative head MUST be a woman,it wouldnt look right otherwise...) Anyway,recall these winners from yore: Mike Dukakis,so proud of his female leader,Susan Estrogen, or Al Gore,that big Black woman,Brasille??,or John Kerry,he had Beth Cahill--he really asked for it,having not only a woman,but an Irish-American woman!!(Think Anna Quindlen,Mo Dowd!) I think Mondale had womaned up,too;but he also had picked Ferrarro for VP,assuring his doom! Obama is run by Jews,I bet theres not a black in sight! Cept of course for Michelle,and I bet those guys get awful quiet when she shows up,especially if she is ill tempered,which is prob most of the time. "Uhmm,is she gone? Sigh..." -Josh?

RKU said...

Yes, indeed!!

Everyone who reads the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post knows that the American press is *fanatically* anti-Israel and (maybe) anti-Semitic!

Same for TNR, Weekly Standard, National Review, Atlantic, and all the other opinion magazines.

In fact, nearly every op-ed I read in every major American newspaper makes exactly that claim, so it must be true!

Mark Seecof said...

William Greider's book "Who Will Tell The People?" (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1992) contains a remarkable, partly autobiographical Chapter 13 "Angle of Vision" which explains the transformation of the American press in the latter half of the 20th Century, tells how "journalists" replaced reporters, and how the American political and writing classes merged.

For example, Greider writes (1992, remember) "Andrea Mitchell, who covers Congress for NBC, is often seen in the presidential box at the Kennedy Center because she is-- in the news gossip's euphemism-- the 'constant companion' of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. That is, she lives with him." Based on such examples and offering a obviously well-informed analysis, Greider explains "the media's sense of shared purpose with the political elites..." now that their personnel are drawn from the same sources and connected by bonds of every kind.

I don't agree with everything in Greider's book. I don't agree with all the political views he expressed at the time. And, of course, the world has changed a bit since 1992, especially in the media marketplace where all newspapers are now senescent creatures. However, even after a decade and a half you may learn a lot from Greider's book-- I recommend it to you all.

Anonymous said...

rku there is no question that the Press, including AP, Reuters, NYT, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. are very unsympathetic to Israel.

Three examples: A. "Jenin Massacre" which was not a massacre, nearly as many IDF soldiers died as Fatah terrorists, but was reported in all the press as a "massacre." B. Mohammed al-Dura (faked by PLO and France4 TV "shooting" of a pre-teen Palestinian boy by "Israeli soldiers). Reported as fact instead of the libelous fiction that it is (currently making it's way through the French court system -- IDF soldiers sued). C. Current reporting of Gaza/Hamas rocketing Israel. Or rather lack of reporting thereof. All reporting focuses on "Israeli over-reaction" rather than the constant rocket barrages from Gaza and the escalation to hitting bigger towns (with more Israeli voters). Remarkably, there has been ZILCH reporting of Israeli casualties which have been "emotional" including infants, young mothers and elementary school students, a young college student.

The anti-Israeli views come IMHO from class. Reporters hobnob with Davos elites and share their attitudes and post-Nationalism mores. For them, the Palestinians are "cool underdogs" who are also "brown" and therefore morally pure, while Israelis are "evil Western White Imperialists." Pseudo-Marxism or "Volk Marxism" of the upper class elite. Just another nobility/kingship class.

Meanwhile, fascinatingly, Huckabee's Evangelical supporters, mostly blue collar types, strongly support Israel and despise the Palestinians. While some of this may be theological end-times related, I suspect much of it is class related. In other words blue collar types are the natural harbor of Nationalism, and as Nationalists despise Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians in natural reaction to 30+ years of anti-US/anti-Western Muslim/Arab/Palestinian terrorism.

This class division provides a useful lens for examining the Press. NPR, NYT, TNR, the Atlantic are very unsympathetic to Israel. WSJ, National Review, etc. are more Nationalist (though upper class) and therefore more sympathetic to Israel who are fighting America's National Enemies (Muslims).

The same holds true for Churches. Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist Churches in the US are fighting to "disinvest" in Israel comparing it to Apartheid South Africa, while Southern Baptists routinely pass resolutions supporting Israel.

People talk about Class even less than race in America, yet it's very important.

Anonymous said...

Indian people tend to be fairly quiet and unobtrusive folk. They have a knack for kind of fading into the landscape somehow, and that seems to be how they like it. That includes Indian people named Jose or Maria.

Emphasis on the personal ego and public displays of self-hood are more of a white and a black thing.

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch that if Hispanics help Hillary pull out a victory against THE BLACK CANDIDATE that blacks (including their politicians) may be a bit more amenable to the close the border line of thinking those of us on the right have been favoring.

Half of me wants Obama to win the nomination because if he wins, then loses in Novemeber, we'll be finished with both the Clintons and Obama as presidential contenders for the rest of our lives. If Clinton wins Obama might come back.

On the other hand, if Obama wins in November and becomes a lousy president (all but guaranteed), then maybe all the celebrities will shut up for good (NOT LIKELY). And 2010 would become a very good year for conservative Republicans, assuming we don't have 15 million new Hispanic voters on the rolls by then.

The celebrities will never shut up, but a Clinton nomination would shatter the Democratic Party, and that may be the best thing to happen to the GOP in a very long time

Martin said...

Is it wise for Hillary Clinton to choose Maggie Williams as her campaign manager? Many black politicians have deserted her for Obama. Any chance that Williams will sort of accidentally on purpose screw up Clinton's campaign in the hopes of securing some plum job in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Er, I mean in the Obama administration.

Reg C├Žsar said...

...the tedious reality is that the single word that best sums up Latino America is inertia.

Kinky Friedman told this joke at a concert in the mid-'90s:

Q: What did Jesus say to the Mexicans?
A: Don't do anything till I get back...

Of course, his Jewish jokes were much worse. But I'm surprised this one didn't come out in his recent campaign. After all, it's not the false statements that get people worked up, but the accurate ones.

William said...

Kinky Friedman told this joke at a concert in the mid-'90s: Q: What did Jesus say to the Mexicans? A: Don't do anything till I get back...

As a former Mormon I can appreciate that joke even more. Mormons believe that Jesus actually did visit the Mexicans (or some Indians somewhere in North or South America - they've never been too forthright on the supposed geography of the Book of Mormon).

Lucius Vorenus said...

Speaking of AJ:

Angelina Jolie adopts classic Old Hollywood look in stunning new ad campaign
dailymail.co.uk

Boy, it's fun to fantasize that that chick is a conservative.

Anonymous said...

“I have a hunch that if Hispanics help Hillary pull out a victory against THE BLACK CANDIDATE that blacks (including their politicians) may be a bit more amenable to the close the border line of thinking those of us on the right have been favoring.”

Blacks, as in your average black American who is not a politician, are already amenable to closing the border or limiting legal immigration. Black politicians, activists, and academics are, by and large, supportive of illegal immigration.

It may come as a shock to many that black leaders often take positions that are at odds with the wishes of many people in the black community.

David Davenport said...

"Andrea Mitchell, who covers Congress for NBC, is often seen in the presidential box at the Kennedy Center because she is-- in the news gossip's euphemism-- the 'constant companion' of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. That is, she lives with him."

A mental picture of the two of them having sex ...

William said...

Blacks, as in your average black American who is not a politician, are already amenable to closing the border or limiting legal immigration. Black politicians, activists, and academics are, by and large, supportive of illegal immigration.

Perhaps blacks already do oppose it, but they're not very vocal about it.

Barack Obama is the first black politician in American history to have a serious shot at the White House. Thanks to the Latinization of America, he may also be the last.

What I'm saying is that the tensions which already exist between the black and Hispanic communities would only be heightened if Hispanics in Texas stopped Obama cold. It wouldn't take much to spark a feud.

And if black politicians see Obama stopped by Hispanics it may very well increase their concerns about losing influence to the growing Hispanic population.

Just a theory, if even a naively optimistic one.

Truth said...

"Any chance that Williams will sort of accidentally on purpose screw up Clinton's campaign in the hopes of securing some plum job in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Er, I mean in the Obama administration?"

No, not really