Sunday, May 20, 2007

Plight of the Intruder: Social Disconnect of Minorities and Whites in LA

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White Latinos are quite common, as the “Castillano” bloodline is alive and well in Mexico and other Latin American nations. It is important to understand the foundation of white racism that grows from Mexico City to feed the same forms in LA. It is important to note that most upper class Mexicans consider themselves to be “Spanish” before Mexican, separating themselves from the masses.

Black Latinos are common as well; "Mulattos" are rather low on the social scale though, in fact below the "Mestizo" or indigenous populations of Latin America.

The oligarchy of Mexico is extreme and has left its people with great temptation to leave. One can hardly blame the immigrants themselves, whether legal or not. “Coyotes” , those who assist illegal immigrants in their border crossing, are mercenaries who will take poor people’s money, and stuff them into various spaces as cargo to be smuggled, many of whom die in passage, much like black slaves in ships in early US History.

As for conspiracies, that implies a plan. It would require affirmative activity. In this case, there is a deadly apathy on the part of the larger part of whites in LA as to the plight of Black and Brown. We typically find a highly insulated white community tucked away behind gates, driving past the neighborhoods on superhighways which allow them to simply ignore poor people.

There is no political will among whites to solve the problems as those who can afford it, put their kids in private schools or rich sub-municipalities like Beverly Hills, further insulating them from concern, i.e. "Valley Girls" and the like.

The only exposure they have to the inner cities is through the movies, just like the rest of America, which is replete with racial stereotypes at best and ignorance at least.

Many books have been written on these subjects and an article hardly does justice, but to stimulate further research.

It should be noted that this form of racism in the form of apathy, is pervasive in LA, San Francisco, Houston and Atlanta; basically anywhere one finds high black and Latino populations. Sadly, what happens in LA is an indicator of what will and has already happened in the other cities. As LA has, for many years now, seen movements to secede from the city, so have cities like Atlanta experienced powerful, well funded movements to leave the inner cities without funding from their suburban counterparts.

In LA, the San Fernando Valley has attempted such secession and in Atlanta, the wealthy northern suburbs of N. Fulton Co. have recently attempted to leave, to form their own county. It is yet to be seen if the state of Georgia, long led by rural racists, will allow this abandonment. In LA, it seems to be under control at the moment, but LA has already suffered disenfranchisement in the form of enclaves like the cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Malibu.

Meanwhile, the violent intrusion of Latino gangs into traditionally black neighborhoods in South Central LA, Compton and surrounding areas, has led to horrific and much ignored suffering and death.

One is left with the question, if blacks have to flee Compton for fear of their lives, where can they live?

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As soon as I read the title to this article I was already on the defensive mode. However, the editor gave a discription that is on target or at least close to it. Overall I am pleased that he inculcated the major reason behind the disconnections -- DEADLY apathy on the part of the social upper classes.

I was born in San Antonio, Texas and lived there most of my life. I highly recommend that you go visit S.A. now before it changes into a racially charged war zone predicted by this author.

FYI: Every year, San Antonio has a week long party at the Texas Cultural Institute. There are many cultural events for everyone to enjoy and learn about other cultures. The foods, costumes, dances of one heratage after another.

My heritage comes from the Native Americans and Spaniards (via Mexico). The Native Americans in this area are well known for their hospitality. My feeling is that San Antonio, Tx has a hospitable atmosphere because the indigenous people treated the Spaniards well. And in return these two groups treated the Anglos and all of the other newcomers with this same family welcome.

I know that in every city it will be necassary for every adult to direct every child towards the sociably acceptable moreas of that towns unique personality. What the city allows is what the children (and childish adults) will do.

-- Mario A. Gonzales

cyoung4576 said...

Mario,
I too was born and raised in San Antonio. I am Afro-Latina/mulatta of Mexican origin. I graduated from a college that is and was a historically a hispanic institution. I worked at the Institute of Texas Cultures for a couple of years. I believe San Antonio for the most part is hospitable in nature (not always). There is alot of history in San Antonio that goes un-recognized. San Antonio mainly focuses its celebrations on the mexican/mestizo/Spaniard/ at times Native American heritage of the city. The only place I knew in San Antonio that celebrated texas' cultural diversity was the institute of texas cultures. In there you saw exhibits about chicanos, mexican americans, jews, greeks, african americans, afro-latinos(mexican origin), asians, anglos, italians,germans, irish and the list goes on. I am now living in the South (North Carolina) home to many racial prejudices against people of color including latinos (Spanish/Mestizo). When I come back to San Antonio to visit I notice the racial tension forming and I do not understand why. I have even heard there were race riots going on in the schools. That blew me away, honestly. I never experienced the same type of racial prejudice in S.A as I did in the South. Do not get me wrong I have experienced racism in san antonio (being a person of african origin) but not to the degree I experienced it in the south. It is a shame that it is polluting S.A

Stephanie
MAEd

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