Caucasophobia — the Accepted Racism April 6, 2007Posted by C.A.R.D in Accepted Racism, African Americans, African Studies, African-American, Allen G. King, Anti-White, anti-white racism, Asian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Black, Blacks, Caucasophobia, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, David Horowitz, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hispanic, Howard University Racism, Immigration, Islam, Kamau Kambon, Latino, Muslim, non-white racism, Racism, Racist, René Descartes, reverse racism, Shelby Steele, Wangari Maathai, White, Whites.
From globalpolitician.com :
I had written much of this essay more than a year before I finally decided to post it online. A couple of personal experiences brought me onto the subject of non-white racism. I hesitated to post it, mainly because I instinctively dislike writing about anything related to race. I was brought up that way. Partly, I also convinced myself that I was first and foremost against Islam, and that writing about skin color would only complicate this fight.
However, after thinking about it for some time, I find that none of these arguments hold true. I am tired of ideological censorship. Western nations can never mount a defense against Muslim immigration if this is always dismissed as “racism.” But above all, if you believe that non-white racism exists, it is actually immoral not to deal with the problem and its victims. I am convinced that not just non-white, but also anti-white racism, are real and underestimated phenomena.
In London, an elderly driver who had a heart attack careered into a bus. Here you had a dying man, people trying to save him and police trying to clear the scene. Meanwhile, black youths at the scene just wanted to fight the cops. They shouted, ‘Who cares — it’s just a white man’.”
NYPD Challenges Sharpton’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Racism Allegations February 9, 2007Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, African-American, Black, Blacks, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hispanic, Latin Americans, Latino, National Action Network, New York City, New York City Racism, NYPD, NYPD Racism, Police, Police racial profiling, PUSH, Racism, Racism Allegations, Racist, Stop and Frisk, stop-and-search.
Political activist Al Sharpton is contemplating a class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Department over alleged race-based stop and search practices, but the police say the data shows that stops were proportionate to the crimes they were investigating.
Comparisons in crime and stop-and-search statistics for two neighboring precincts, police say, call into question the accusations of racism.
Following the release of figures showing that more than half of the people stopped and frisked by police in the city in 2005 were black, Sharpton said the procedure disproportionately and unfairly targets blacks and Hispanic in New York City.
Records indicate that 55 percent of the more than 508,000 people stopped and searched that year were black, and nearly 30 percent were Hispanic.
The New York Civil Liberties Union also expressed outrage at the NYPD figures, saying blacks were five times more likely to be searched than whites.
“In 1998, stop-and-frisk data prompted the Attorney General to conclude that the NYPD was engaged in racial profiling under the Giuliani administration,” said the group’s executive director, Donna Lieberman.
“Now, once again, we’re seeing what appear to be massive racial disparities in the department’s stop-and-frisk practices. We need to analyze this data to determine whether the department is again engaging in racial profiling,” she added.
Sharpton, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, announced that his civil rights organization, the National Action Network, would begin collecting names of New Yorkers who believe they have been victims of NYPD racial profiling. He has yet to announce if and when he will file a lawsuit.
But data compiled by the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) shows a correlation between the number of felony crimes, locations, and the population breakdown in the relevant parts of the city.
Hispanics vs. Blacks: The Battle For “Preferred Minority” Status February 8, 2007Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, African-American, amnesty-for-illegal-aliens, Asian, Asians college admissions, Black, Blacks, Blacks college admissions, Card, Civil Rights, college admissions and racism, Discriminate, Discrimination, discrimination and college admissions, Hispanic, Hispanic-American, Hispanics college admissions, Hispanics vs. Blacks, Latino, minorities, minority, Minority Status, Negro, Preferred Minority, racial balance, Racism, Racist.
by La Shawn Barber
As someone who loathes government-mandated race preferences, I look forward to years of laugh-riot fun as preference-loving blacks and Hispanics duel it out, fighting each other over government goodies.
I recently learned about a case involving a black cop named Kenneth A. Boyd in Wilmington, Delaware who claims he was passed over for promotion because he’s black.
Boyd alleges that police chief Michael J. Szczerba promoted an undeserving Hispanic instead. Oh, why does this sound familiar? According to The News Journal, Szczerba “fostered a diverse police force,” which is code for skin-color preferences. Only in this case, the Negro wasn’t the “preferred minority.”
A preferred minority group is one that is ostensibly under-represented in certain jobs, schools, etc. Asians also are a minority group, but they are not “preferred,” particularly as far as college admissions are concerned, because they tend to be overrepresented. In fact, admissions for Asians may be suppressed in order to conform to liberals’ notions of a proper racial balance. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights member Peter Kirsanow writes:
Asian Americans, though only four percent of the nation’s population, account for nearly 20 percent of all medical students. Forty-five percent of Berkeley’s freshman class, but only 12 percent of California’s populace, consists of Asian-Americans. And at UT-Austin, 18 percent of the freshman class is Asian American, compared to three percent for the state… President Clinton worried that, without preferences, “there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian-Americans.”
Blacks have always been THE preferred minority group, but those days are coming to an end. Cases like Boyd’s are only the beginning of the battles between Hispanics and blacks for preferred minority status. Hispanic groups are already urging the federal government to hire more Hispanics. Incidentally, whites are becoming a minority group in states like Texas and California. Will they one day become a preferred minority?
With illegal aliens working on the cheap, look for more stories about blacks crying,”Hispanic racist!” If for no other reason than Hispanics are supplanting them as “preferred,” blacks should be speaking out against amnesty-for-illegal-aliens the loudest.
Racist President Hugo Chavez to U.S.: ‘Go to Hell, Gringos!’ January 21, 2007Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-White, Bush administration, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hate Speech, Hispanic, Latino, Racism, Racist.
President Hugo Chavez told U.S. officials to “Go to hell, gringos!” on his weekly radio and TV show Sunday for what he called unacceptable meddling after Washington raised concerns about a measure to grant Venezuela’s fiery leftist leader broad lawmaking powers. The National Assembly, which is controlled by the president’s political allies, is expected to give final approval this week to what it calls the “enabling law,” which would give Chavez the authority to pass a series of laws by decree during an 18-month period.
On Friday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Chavez’s plans under the law “have caused us some concern.”
Chavez rejected Casey’s statement in his broadcast, saying: “Go to hell, gringos! Go home!”
Chavez, who was re-elected by a wide margin last month, has said he will enact sweeping reforms to remake Venezuela into a socialist state. Among his plans are nationalizing the main telecommunications company and the electricity and natural gas sectors.
Roots of Latino/black anger January 17, 2007Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, anti-black, ethnic cleansing, Latino, Los Angeles, Mexico, nigger, prejudice, Racism, Racist.
Longtime prejudices, not economic rivalry, fuel tensions.
THE ACRIMONIOUS relationship between Latinos and African Americans in Los Angeles is growing hard to ignore. Although last weekend’s black-versus-Latino race riot at Chino state prison is unfortunately not an aberration, the Dec. 15 murder in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood of Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old African American, allegedly by members of a Latino gang, was shocking.
Yet there was nothing really new about it. Rather, the murder was a manifestation of an increasingly common trend: Latino ethnic cleansing of African Americans from multiracial neighborhoods. Just last August, federal prosecutors convicted four Latino gang members of engaging in a six-year conspiracy to assault and murder African Americans in Highland Park. During the trial, prosecutors demonstrated that African American residents (with no gang ties at all) were being terrorized in an effort to force them out of a neighborhood now perceived as Latino.
For example, one African American resident was murdered by Latino gang members as he looked for a parking space near his Highland Park home. In another case, a woman was knocked off her bicycle and her husband was threatened with a box cutter by one of the defendants, who said, “You niggers have been here long enough.”
At first blush, it may be mystifying why such animosity exists between two ethnic groups that share so many of the same socioeconomic deprivations. Over the years, the hostility has been explained as a natural reaction to competition for blue-collar jobs in a tight labor market, or as the result of turf battles and cultural disputes in changing neighborhoods. Others have suggested that perhaps Latinos have simply been adept at learning the U.S. lesson of anti-black racism, or that perhaps black Americans are resentful at having the benefits of the civil rights movement extended to Latinos.
Although there may be a degree of truth to some or all of these explanations, they are insufficient to explain the extremity of the ethnic violence.
Over the years, there’s also been a tendency on the part of observers to blame the conflict more on African Americans (who are often portrayed as the aggressors) than on Latinos. But although it’s certainly true that there’s plenty of blame to go around, it’s important not to ignore the effect of Latino culture and history in fueling the rift.
INROADS Racist Internships December 24, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Job, jobs, Latino, Race, Racism, Racist.
Being considered a minority organization is not enough for INROADS Leadership Training as they now feel that they can pick and choose only the racial categories that they want. In a move that would make any racist happy for the future, INROADS list that to apply you can only be from the following racial groups: African American, Latino, Native American. In spite of the number of impoverished minorities in the country that are excluded from this limited list, the INROADS organization will not be bothered with them. The job details posted from INROADS follows below:
Great Employers at Various Locations
STEGER, IL 60475
Great opportunity to Intern with Fortune 1000 companies nationally. Candidates must highly motivated, have a desire to start their career early and meet our eligibility requirements.
Must be African American, Latino, Native American, have an SAT Score at least 1000 combined, 3.0 GPA, U.S. Citizen or Perm Resident Freshman, Sophomore, Junior (with 2 summers available before graduation) attending a accredited University or College.
The intensive INROADS Leadership Training Process has helped more than 38,000 young men and women develop professional skills and competencies to be successful in careers in business and industry. With more than 50 affiliates throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada and South Africa, INROADS trains and places nearly 6,000 young men and women each year in salaried, corporate internships. On average, 83% of INROADS interns offered a full-time position with their INROADS corporate sponsor accept.
Since 1993, The Princeton Review has consistently named INROADS one of “America’s Top 10 Internships” along with The Supreme Court, The White House, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. We are currently ranked 4th by Princeton Review as one of the top internships in the country. INROADS remains the only minority organization ever to receive this honor.
Today, INROADS graduates have gone on to become leaders in industry, academia and government.
Tell the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission):
Tell Groovejob.com not to allow racist job postings:
Tell INROADS that their racism is not acceptable:
10 South Broadway, Suite 300
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Telephone: (314) 241-7488
Fax: (314) 241-9325
BU College Republicans mock race preferences November 22, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in affirmative action, African-American, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Diversity, Latino, reverse racism.
Drawing attention to what they call “the worst form of bigotry confronting America today” Boston University’s College Republicans are offering a “Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship” as a mocking assault on racial preferences.
Applicants must submit two essays: one describing their ancestry and another describing “what it means to you to be a Caucasian-American today.”
The $250 scholarship also requires applicants to be at least 25 percent Caucasian.
BUCR President Joe Mroszczyk, a senior from Danvers, said the last requirement and the essays are based on prerequisites for the National Hispanic Recognition Scholarship.
“We think it’s silly to quantify race like that, just as it’s silly to give any scholarship based on race,” said Mroszczyk, a political science and history major. “We don’t think racial preferences are good or have a place on a college campus.”
East P.A. vice mayor made racist, derogatory comments to city staff November 10, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-White, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Hispanic, Latino, Racism, Racist.
East Palo Alto Vice Mayor Peter Evans has made racist comments and has attacked the character of some city employees, according to a City Council-commissioned report released this week.
Evans, who is African American, has made derogatory comments about Caucasians and verbally criticizes employees, investigator Karen Kramer wrote after interviewing 11 staff members and the five council members.
The council, absent David Woods, voted 4-0 Wednesday to release the report to the public.
The council launched the $30,000 investigation June 27 after Assistant City Manager ML Gordon sent a letter to the city manager claiming Evans had created a hostile work environment. The council will discuss the report and possible responses at its Nov. 21 meeting.
Evans refuted the 21-page report’s findings in a telephone interview Thursday.
Evans said the report is a political witch hunt intended to keep him from becoming mayor next year. Council members take turns as mayor and Evans said he is next in line.
Anti-Latino discrimination claim might be viewed again November 1, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Gloria Molina, Latino, Race, Racism, Racist.
The U.S. Justice Department might reopen an inquiry into a claim that the 2001 redistricting plan for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors discriminates against Latinos, officials said Tuesday.
Latinos comprise 47 percent of the county’s population but are represented by only one of the five supervisors.
Joaquin G. Avila, special counsel to the 1,070-member Los Angeles County Chicano Employees Association, recently provided the Justice Department with what he says is new evidence that indicates supervisors packed Latino voters into a single district when two districts could have been drawn.
First District Supervisor Gloria Molina, whose district includes Pomona, represents most of the county’s Latino residents.
Avila’s filing seeks the creation of two supervisorial districts with Latino majorities that would give the Latino community an opportunity to elect a second candidate to the Board of Supervisors, said Alan Clayton, director of equal employment opportunity at the LACCEA.
Eastern Los Angeles County is split among three supervisorial districts and no member of the Board of Supervisors lives there.
[click more for source information]
Discrimination alleged at school October 28, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hispanic, Latino, School, Spanish.
TRENTON — Two Latino leaders are claiming the city’s Daylight/Twilight high school program has discriminated against more than 20 Hispanic students by turning them away from classes.
Councilman-at-large Manny Segura and city school board member Harry Luna contend the school did not follow policy when it eliminated classes for students who were mainly Hispanic immigrants.
Daylight/Twilight is an alternative program for high school dropouts who choose to return to school and obtain a diploma. The program serves more than 3,000 students annually.
Principal Bill Tracy, who oversees Daylight/Twilight’s seven campuses, said yesterday that the discrimination claims have no base.
“No classes were cut, no one was turned away; we simply had too many people enrolled,” he said.
Tracy said adult students were not able to take morning classes because the spots had been filled with students ranging from 16 to 19 years of age.
“We are primarily a high school, and we have to service those students first,” he said.
Tracy said students under 20 are given the priority for the morning classes. Adult students can take morning classes only if there is enough space for them, he said.
Is Racism the Main Reason for Underperformance? August 4, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Black, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discrimination, Hispanic, Latino, Main, Mexican, minority, racial privilege, Racism, Reason, succeed, Underperformance, White.
Forty-five percent of America’s 5-year- olds are Black or Hispanic. By most economic, educational and social indicators, these two communities are not performing to standards that will keep America prosperous and at peace with itself.
American students generally face educational challenges, but there is every reason to specifically examine minority underperformance. Blacks and Hispanics are not succeeding in numbers great enough to keep America competitive. I am increasingly convinced the key to prosperity for black and Hispanic America lies mostly in their own hands and by their own efforts. The search for racial justice must be broadened to look inward.
Yes, racism and discrimination still exist. But are they the only reasons for minority underperformance? We are overdue for an honest dialogue on race and ethnicity, and white America must participate. We are all in the same geographic boat sharing the same great country.
Hispanic Gang Members Guilty of Hate Crimes Against Blacks August 3, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African, African-American, Alejandro, american, anti-black, attacks, Bernstein, Black, Blacks, California, Card, Cazares, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Fernando, gang, Hate, Highland Park, Hispanic, Latino, Los Angeles, Martinez, Mexican, Porfirio, racial violence, Racism, Racist, Racist Hispanic, supremacist, violence, white supremacist.
Four members of a Hispanic gang were convicted of conspiring to use violence to push blacks out of their neighborhood, after federal prosecutors targeted the gang with laws normally used to prosecute white supremacist groups.All four were found to have caused the death of a black man shot while parking his car in 1999 and a man shot while standing at a bus stop in 2000 in the largely Hispanic city of Highland Park, east of Los Angeles, California.
For forty years, the United States has lived with a variety of government programs applying preferential treatment based on race or gender or both. These programs have generally been limited to education and public contracting.
Recently, in a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision which may provide a foundation for applying preferential treatment to freedom of speech. If allowed to stand, the decision could authorize local governments to set varying limits to free expression, depending on the race, religion, or sexual orientation of the listener.
Racist Hispanic Leaders Brag About Anti-White Hate July 20, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Alatorre, Anti-White, Augustin Cebada, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, extremists, Gloria Molina, Guerra, Hate, Hate Speech, Hispanic, illegal, immigrant, Jose Angel Gutierrez, La Reconquista, Latino, Leaders, Mexican, Mexican-American, Mexico, minorities, Osuna, Professor, Racism, Racist Hispanic, Reconquista, Torres, Wall Street Journal.
“Go back to Boston! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten rats. You old white people. It is your duty to die. Through love of having children, we are going to take over.” — Augustin Cebada, Brown Berets
“They’re afraid we’re going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They’re right. We will take them over. We are here to stay.” — Richard Alatorre, Los Angeles City Councilman
“We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population . . . I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it!” — Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas
“Remember 187–proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens–was the last gasp of white America in California.” — Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party
“We are politicizing every single one of these new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country . . . I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, ‘I’m going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back.'” — Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor
“California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.” — Mario Obledo, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton
“We are practicing ‘La Reconquista’ in California.” — Jose Pescador Osuna, Mexican Consul General
“We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos.” — Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University
Racist La Raza gets federal subsidies July 18, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Academia, Academia Semillas, Academia Semillas del pueblo, Amnesty, Aztec, Card, Charlie Norwood, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, federal, Hispanic, Hispanic-American, Illegal Immigrants, Karl Rove, La Raza, Latino, Los Angeles, Mexican, Nahuatl, Race, Racism, Racist, Reconquista, Semillas, Separatist, Spanish, subsidies, tax dollars, The Race, White.
Written by Michelle Malkin:
Top White House adviser Karl Rove traveled to Los Angeles this week to pay homage to the anti-immigration enforcement lobbying group for Latinos: the National Council of La Raza.
“La Raza” is Spanish for “The Race.”
It’s bad enough the White House lent its prestige to The Race’s annual conference. But did you know the Bush administration has forked over millions of federal tax dollars directly to The Race?
According to GOP Rep. Charlie Norwood of Georgia, The Race snapped up $15.2 million in federal grants last year alone and more than $30 million since 1996. Undisclosed amounts went to get-out-the-vote efforts supporting La Raza political positions. The U.S. Department of Education funneled nearly $8 million in taxpayer grants to the group for a nationwide charter schools initiative.
Among The Race’s most infamous government-funded charter schools is La Academia Semillas del Pueblo, the Los Angeles public school that teaches “Aztec math” (ancient dot math is the new math) and the Mexican indigenous language of “Nahuatl.” The ethnic separatist principal of the school, Marcos Aguilar, told a sympathetic UCLA interviewer:
“We don’t want to drink from a white water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don’t need a white water fountain. . . . We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately the white way, the American way, the neoliberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction.”
That’s the tip of the iceberg.
Gibson: “Make more babies” because in “Twenty-five years … the majority of the population is Hispanic” July 16, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Babies, Children, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Fox, Fox News, Hispanic, Hispanic-American, John Gibson, La Raza, Latino, MEChA, Mexican, Mexico, minorities, Racism, Racist, White.
Is this comment that was made by John Gibson of Fox News’ The Big Story racist? Or is he right that Hispanic-American advocacy groups are set on “retaking old Mexico territories … by pure birth rate.” (Link).
Summary: On The Big Story, John Gibson urged viewers to “[d]o your duty. Make more babies,” because he had found out, from a recently released report, that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: “You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic.” Gibson later repeated: “To put it bluntly, we need more babies.”
On the May 11 edition of Fox News’ The Big Story, host John Gibson advised viewers during the “My Word” segment of his program to “[d]o your duty. Make more babies.” He then cited a May 10 article, which reported that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: “By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic.” Gibson later claimed: “To put it bluntly, we need more babies.” Then, referring to Russia’s projected decline in population, Gibson claimed: “So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can’t carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way — a slogan for our times: ‘procreation not recreation’.”
As The Washington Post reported, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates that found that nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. children under five are racial or ethnic minorities, and that “the percentage is increasing mainly because the Hispanic population is growing so rapidly.” The U.S. Census notes that, “[e]stimates usually are for the present and the past, while projections are estimates of the population for future dates.” The U.S. Census last released its population projection in March 2004 and found that, by the year 2030, Hispanics will account for roughly 20 percent of the total population in the United States. The U.S. Census also projected that Hispanics will make up 24 percent of the nation’s population by 2050. The two-year old projection has not been updated to take into account the new data on the race and ethnicity of children under five.
Gibson also noted that Europe is “not having enough babies to sustain their population,” adding that “[c]onsequently, they are inviting in more and more immigrants every year to take care of things and those immigrants are having way more babies than the native population, hence ‘Eurabia’.”
Black Versus Brown: Black-Latino Tensions Rise July 15, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Black, Black Versus Brown, Black-Latino, Brown, Conflict, Discrimination, Hispanic, immigrant, Latino, Leticia Vasquez, Mexican, Race, Racism, Versus.
By Ellis Cose
July 3-10, 2006 issue – Leticia Vasquez calls hers a “typical immigrant story.” Her parents, poor strivers from Mexico, raised five splendidly thriving children—one of whom, Leticia, 34, is now mayor of Lynwood, Calif., the small town where she grew up. It is a heartwarming tale that readily brings to mind a host of clichés about the American dream. But the story does not end with wine, roses and applause. Instead it segues into the troubled terrain of race, corruption and polarization.
Of late, Vasquez has been pilloried by fellow Mexican-Americans for being—in her estimation, at least—too sympathetic to black constituents. Her foes, whose attempt to recall her failed last week when their petitions were found to be lacking, claim race has nothing to do with their discontent. Armando Rea, a former mayor and prominent critic, says the problem is that Vasquez, a “pathological liar,” is intent on levying taxes the community cannot afford. Fliers circulated by recall proponents also portray her as the puppet of a former mayor, Paul Richards, who is black and is currently in prison for siphoning off city funds. Vasquez, who says she barely knows Richards, sees the charges as nothing but a smoke screen for racism: “There is this mind-set that if you support someone outside of your ethnicity, you must not like who you are.”
Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of ethnic politics in the 21st century, when blacks and Latinos, once presumed to be natural allies, increasingly find themselves competing for power and where promotion of racial harmony is as likely to evoke anger as admiration. Lynwood is a case study in the power of prejudice, the pitfalls of ethnic conflict and, perhaps, ultimately, the potential for interethnic cooperation. It may also foreshadow America’s future—one that will increasingly see blacks and Latinos fighting, sometimes together and sometimes each other, to overcome a history of marginalization.
Lynwood’s ethnic tensions stem, in part, from the town’s rapid ethnic transformation. In the 1970s, blacks began to arrive in significant numbers in the small, largely white, bedroom community of Los Angeles. In 1983, Lynwood elected its first black council member, Robert Henning, who was joined two years later by Evelyn Wells—a black female, who promptly nominated Henning to be mayor. The council (which names the mayor) went along. Blacks quickly came to dominate the political power structure. Meanwhile, Latinos were growing in number. Rea, the first Latino council member, was elected in 1989. In 1997, Latinos (who now comprise 82 percent of the city’s 72,000 residents) gained control of the five-member council. Vasquez, who was not then active in politics, remembers “people knocking on the door saying we needed to get rid of black city-council members.”
With Rea installed as mayor, the city fired several blacks and dismissed some black contractors. “They got rid of 15 people at one time. Thirteen of those people were black,” claims the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, a Vasquez ally currently on the council. Three black contractors filed suit accusing Rea and his allies of rampant racial discrimination. Rea adamantly rejected the allegations. “There is no color in my council,” he declared at the time. No one currently in government seems to know exactly how much ultimately was paid out to settle discrimination complaints or how many people were affected, but Vasquez and Johnson insist that the amount was substantial and the experience traumatic. A former schoolteacher elected in 2003, Vasquez sees herself as a bridge between the two communities. Johnson sees Vasquez as a godsend: “The unique thing about her [is] … she has this huge affinity for black people.” Many longtime black residents are grateful. “We need somebody, regardless of what race they are, to speak for us, too,” said Dorothy Smith, a retired teacher and social worker. “A lot of them [Latinos] want to shut us out completely.”
As Latinos increasingly become the ethnic majority in once proudly black venues (including Compton, a hip-hop capital, and Watts, formerly L.A.’s black mecca), and as headlines tout them as America’s hot, and largest, minority group, many blacks share Smith’s fear of being “shut out.” Earl Ofari Hutchinson, an L.A.-based writer and activist, recalls the bitter reaction he got for writing a series of articles sympathetic to Latino immigrants: “I have never received so much hate mail from blacks. It touched a nerve among black folks, a raw nerve.”
Against the backdrop of Latino-black violence in Los Angeles County jails (which resulted in the deaths of two black inmates), and interethnic fighting in the schools, Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope, organized a so-called black-Latino summit earlier this month. There, Christine Chavez, the granddaughter of legendary farmworker leader Cesar Chavez, spoke movingly of her grandfather’s patterning his work on Martin Luther King’s movement. “In order for a movement for mostly Latino workers to be successful,” she said, “we had to reach out to other communities.”
After May’s massive and largely Latino demonstrations for immigration reform, some believe that era may have passed. “I turned on the TV and saw millions of people nationally and [felt] a sense of fear,” confided Ali. “We were now being marginalized.” Upon reflection, Ali concluded that the protest paved the way for blacks and Latinos together to “demand a bigger piece of the pie.” Many who came to his summit agreed. Blacks and Latinos, they argued, should focus on the powerful interests exploiting both groups instead of squabbling with each other. As California state Sen. Gloria Romero put it, “Nobody walks into a field and says, ‘Move over, bro, I’m working now.’ These jobs are offered, they are not taken.”
That message resonates in Tar Hill, N.C., where black and Latino workers at the colossal Smithfield pork-processing plant originally had little to say to each other. To help break down walls, the United Food and Commercial Workers union organized a monthly potluck dinner. “People started bringing all kinds of food … from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, and they shared their stories,” said union organizer Eduardo Piña. “People that usually don’t trust each other” are recognizing “how similar their situations are.”
Ted Shaw, head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, thinks it is in blacks’ self-interest to embrace Latinos struggling to survive. “I think black folks should think long and hard before we … alienate a growing and powerful community [with] many interests in common,” he says.
No one really disagrees with the idea of focusing on common problems instead of retreating into ethnic enclaves. Still, it is anyone’s guess how well the black-Latino unity message ultimately will play. Uncontroversial as the principle may be, it is rather difficult to practice; it is almost always easier to see the things that divide Americans than to see what binds—or should bind—us together. What the new demographics are making very clear is that not only whites can have vision problems, but so, too, can blacks and Latinos.