Friday, April 07, 2006

Radicalizing The Hispanic Community for Fun and Power

This current cycle of mass protests in the Hispanic community brings up an interesting question of the extent to which the Hispanic Community has been radicalized.

There's been a large number of professors and activists who've worked to radicalize the Hispanic community. My experience, to date, had been that the Hispanic community is extremely diverse. Many of the people from Latin America admire the freedoms offered by the United States. Other sympathize more with the Socialistic Style of Hugo Chavez.

My experience to date has been that political sentiment in the Hispanic community runs the gamut. Yes, the community tends to be united in a distaste for exploitation of workers. Beyond that, the opinions of this diverse community seem to run the gamut. (They are pretty much like everyone else in the world). Some in the Hispanic community would love to see the US move toward socialism. Others escaped socialism and like the free market.

In the past when I've tried polling Latinos on political issues, I've found that there's been very wide disagreement. This is good. This is the way that open discourse works.

The big question today is if the massive protests scheduled on April 10 will just be a release of steam or if it is the beginning of an entrenched radical element. I hope the former will be the case. The Mexican economy seems to be limping along at 4.1% GDP growth. Mexico's labor laws seem to push Mexico's most productive workers northward. Too many Mexicans are contributing to the US economy and not the Mexican economy.

The other great fear is the extent to which the current mass movement will lead to xenophobia. It seems that so far America's political community has done a good job keeping xenophobia in check. The Democrats have kept a muzzle on the Unions. The kooks in the Republican party have done a good job concentrating their angst on law enforcement issues. The anger is aimed at flaunting the law and not on immigrants themselves.

I simply feel sad that our government proved itself incapable of creating a workable immigration system after the 1986 amnesty.

The only thing I know for certain here is that any laws we pass must be forward looking. We can't undo the past. I simply hope that the wanks of the world don't through us into the cycle of radical action and reactionary reaction.

American immigration has generally been about bringing people into a diverse community. Radicalization is about driving wedges between people in a community.

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