Saturday, December 20, 2008


[AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a repost of piece from 2007. The interest in reposting in it arose when the Author read the racist and nativist rants of some fellow Hoosiers on "The Fence Post" regarding immigration.]

In the 2004 film “The Motorcycle Diaries”, a young Ernesto “Che” Guevara makes a generally accurate observation about Latin America. The youthful pre-Communist Revolutionary says that [paraphrase] from Tierra Del Fuego to the Mexican border with Texas, Latin America is one large Mestizo continent. Mestizo is a Latin American term for mixed European and Native Latin American people.

In many Latin American counties, the majorities of the populations of the countries are of mixed European and Native American ancestry.[i] Hispanics in the United States also reflect a high percentage of Mestizo ancestry, although a few profess solely European ancestry.

Another way of addressing the mestizo populations in Latin America is to state the obvious. Spanish and Portuguese invaders of Central and South America commingled with Native peoples to produce offspring with genetic traits from both populations. European invaders and Native North Americans did not commingle in a similarly large extent. North American European conquerors preferred genocide and Apartheid (“reservations”) as opposed to a more paternalistic “patron” system.


America, a nation of immigrants that have no memory of their former immigrant status, is manufacturing another “immigrant crisis”. Nativist, anti-immigration sentiments run deep in both political parties. But it is rhetoric versus reality. Millions of Latin Americans, and other nationalities, have deep roots in the Melange that is Nuevo America.

Many Spanish familes have been in America a long time. Longer than Irish Americans, longer than Italian Americans. A lot of them were living in New Mexico, Arizona and California when America took those lands by military force from Mexico in the War of 1848. And don't forget the Anglo Invaders that incited a successful revolution in Texas against the Mexican government.


As most of the readers know, the Author lives in New Mexico, Nuevo Mexico. To the east of New Mexico is Texas and to the west lies Arizona. Each state has a large Hispanic population and each has its own political and sociological idiosyncrasies. In Texas, 35% of the population is Hispanic and 49% is Anglo-European. Arizona, one of the fastest growing states in the country, is 26% Hispanic and 63% Anglo-European. New Mexico is 42% Hispanic and 45% Anglo-European. Almost 10% of New Mexican residents are First Nations Americans.

But of course most American cities and states now have large and growing Hispanic populations. Indiana, the Author’s home state, has a 3.5% Hispanic population percentage. Minnesota, the Author’s former resident state, has a 3% Hispanic population. Georgia’s population is about 5% Hispanic. And Hispanics are the largest growing population group in the country.


Just like the Author cannot predict future stock market directions, he cannot predict when the United States will be a plurality or a majority Hispanic nation. It is likely it will be, but not in the Author’s lifetime. The process is already underway. Along with other processes. Loss of industrial capacity. Income divergence. Sprawl. Expansion of low-wage service work. Nativism versus economic and cultural inclusion.

And along with becoming an Hispanic nation, the blood of Native Americans, murdered and herded into concentration camps that are called "reservations", will reflow across their once-stolen lands.

Un Nuevo Día en Aumento en el Desierto de la Real!