Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blame it on Mexico

Last night I was working on a few chores, trying to get some things done so I could get to bed. The TV was on, but I really wasn't paying much attention to it. I'm not really sure what was on, something on Cinemax is all I know and certainly all you need to know.

Something new came on the TV. I still wasn't paying any attention. But as I was finishing my task, putting away some music CDs, something on the show caught my attention. It wasn't the plan, but I started watching it.

It was some sort of movie in a documentary style. Nothing I recognized. It had an odd premise, which was that Latinos throughout California were disappearing. In a short period of time, all the Latinos in California were gone and the state was cut off from the rest of the nation by an odd, thick fog right at the state's borders with Mexico, Nevada, and ostensibly Arizona and Oregon too.

In spite of my plan to go to bed, I watched. Throughout the movie there were facts sprinkled on the screen about the human and economic impact Latinos have on California. Percentage of teachers in schools, how much they spend on goods and services, number of workers in various professions.

The plot of the movie may have been a little fantastic and unbelievable, but the premise that the loss of all the Latinos at once would cripple California is easy to believe and understand. Half of California's population is Latino -- Mexican, Central American, South American, Caribbean Islanders.

As much as some Anglos and others may wish "those Mexicans would go back where they came from" the Latino population is the frame, engine, fuel and transmission moving the California economy.

The movie, a comedy "mockumentary" called "A Day Without a Mexican," had a very serious message, one I care about intimately. My daughter is a "half-Mexican" Latina and she faces the same bigotry and stereotypes that the movie was shining a spotlight on.

Unfortunately, the people who most need to see the message probably never will. I am convinced that most of the clamoring about border security and illegal aliens bleeding social services is more about bigotry, ignorance and elitism than it is about terrorist threats or fiscal responsibility. And all that crap about people saying farmers and service industry folks should just pay people better to get "Americans" to do labor-intensive, grimy jobs doesn't fly. If people are worried about a small fraction of their tax payments going to social services for illegal immigrants, and it's a matter of money not bigotry, do you think they would want to pay $3 for an orange or $12 for their Big Mac value meal?

Frankly, California is much further along in not only accepting is Latino population but embracing is Mexican and Latino heritage. And if the Latino community ever embraces the ballot box it will control the state not only economically but politically as well.

States like Oregon and Washington, still have much to learn from California in embracing their Latino residents not just as a necessary evil but as friends and neighbors and peers.


GRT said...

Good one, m'boy. I'm proud!

(and grateful)

Immigration is a very complex issue, and so far there has been precious little civil back-and-forth.

Postings like this one, while probably preaching to the choir, are important in that they focus the attention. Only good can come from that.

California Dreamin' said...


I hope I don't come off as an ignorant bigot, but the #1 reason I'm even wading through this website is due to the fact that my state, California, has had such a HUGE increase in the Mexican population over the last 20 years.

My husband and I are seriously considering packing up our two boys and moving to Oregon because our children are a minority in our middle-class Los Angeles suburb. We are an all American, flag raised high, family of European decent... yes, caucasian. Perhaps it's racist to want to be in the majority of a population, but the fact remains, we wish to live, work, and send our children to schools that have a predominantly caucasian population. We want our school lunch menus to resemble those that we ate from when we were in school, not, burritos, chimichangas, and nachos, every other day. What happened to diced turkey, mashed potatoes, and a bun?

We had to call 911 on a little emergency about 6 months ago... guess what language the operator answered the phone? Espanol!

When we checked into Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for a pre-op appointment, guess what language the forms were given to us? ESPANOL!

When you flip through the channels on our TV line-up guess what language the programs are in on every other channel? ESPANOL!

We were remodeling our home and doing quite a bit of Home Depot shopping. Sometimes it was difficult to know if we were choosing the proper fixture or part. Guess what language the boxes were in? Espanol!

It's all well and good to respect the lives of every race and culture, but when your USA town has been over-run by another culture, and you find yourself basically forced into assimilating with that alien force, you might start wondering if you are not a racist bigot. Not to mention, of course, that your children's curriculum must be geared around those children that must learn the English language first!

With All Due Respect, Frustrated in California

The G-man said...

Holy crap! Frustrated started a blog just because of this post!

Check it out!

I'm honored.

I think.

Do you think I struck a nerve?

The G-man said...

OK, that didn't work. I tried to put a link in the comment post and messed it up. But you can check out the new blog mentioned at

California Dreamin' said...

LOL,,, If it made you feel good that I blogged your blog, then I'm happy to have made you feel good, if only for a moment.

Not to burst your bubble or anything like that, but I'm not even sure I know what a blog is. I really didn't want a whole new website just for my comment(s). I only meant to make a comment, but out of my blog ignorance took a wrong turn on the links and voila, I have my very own blog.?.

Anyhoo, yes, your blog definately struck one of my nerves, and because your post seem to me to be written with intelligence, I thought it was worth my time to poke my nose in and possibly start some kind of communication regarding this topic of Latinos in California. Taataa for now, >>off to read the definition of blog>>>

The G-man said...

California Dreamin', I hope you have fun exploring what blogs are all about. There are a lot of interesting ones out there, and some that aren't, but all that is a matter of personal perspective I suppose. So enjoy reading, and I hope you at least give some thought to continuing to write as well.

And I'm glad you have a sense of humor. I'm very glad you stopped by to comment.

California Dreamin' said...

Thanks G!

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