Friday, March 10, 2006

Oregon: Come for the natural beauty, stay for the majority Caucasian population

"Frustrated" makes an interesting point in the comment to this post. I started to reply in the comments as well, but it was getting so long, I thought I would just make a new post. You can also read the comment on the blog, "Where's the Diced Turkey?" that was apparently started in response to the "Blame it on Mexico" post (although "Frustrated" calls it the "Blame the Mexicans" blog).

Anyway. I apparently struck an nerve, and Frustrated has struck one back, obviously.

"Frustrated" and family are of European ancestry. I guess we are now starting to understand how natives on this continent must have felt when those damn Europeans just kept coming and coming. Those invaders of centuries past were speaking different languages in which they published newspapers and put up signs on buildings. Paying to weird gods and all that crazy stuff, believing their creator was telling them to displace the natives from their homes and abuse the lands, waters and animals there too. Well, perhaps today we are seeing the Latino version of 21st century manifest destiny.

But "Frustrated," if you want to find your utopia in Oregon, you better hurry, as what California has seen is happening here too, and in Nebraska and Kansas and Minnesota.


According to the Web site for the Oregon Commission of Hispanic Affairs: "Data from the 2000 Census showed 275,000 Hispanics living in Oregon. That's 8 percent of Oregonians, and they live in every county in the state. The census results also show rapid growth of the Hispanic population between 1990 and 2000. The projected growth rate between 1990 and 2000 was estimated to be 73 percent."

Here in Salem, the state capital, the Hispanic population was almost twice the state average in 2000, at 14.6 percent.

According to a population projection by the U.S. Census bureau: "The Hispanic origin population is projected to increase rapidly over the 1995 to 2025 projection period, accounting for 44 percent of the growth in the Nation's population (32 million Hispanics out of a total of 72 million persons added to the Nation's population). The Hispanic origin population is the second fastest-growing population, after Asians, in every region over the 30 year period.

"In 1995, the Hispanic origin population is the third most populous race/ethnic group in all regions except the West where it ranks second. The Hispanic population is expected to comprise a substantially larger share of the total population in 2025 than in 1995 -- up from 21 to 32 percent in the West, from 9 to 15 percent in the South and Northeast, and from 3 to 6 percent in the Midwest."


The cultural landscape of America is changing. We can certainly fight it or run from it, or we can be partners in determining the future.

And for the record, California was once part of Mexico. The majority of the residents at the time of the gold rush or statehood were either "Mexican" or "Indian." Spanish, and various native dialects, was once, and is now again becoming, the predominant language of this former Spanish and Mexican territory.

The United States has been all about European peoples (specifically the English) or their descendants forcing others to assimilate to an Anglo culture, even forcing other European cultures (German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, etc.) to assimilate to the ruling, or "majority," culture. Shouldn't the new majority get to rule now? Isn't that what democracy is all about?

Well, fortunately, we are not a true democracy but a constitutional-based federal republic. And fortunately for all of us Anglos, our system of government is designed to protect minority views and cultures, which we European descendants are rapidly becoming in America again. Isn't it reassuring to know that this is not a true democracy, where mob rule would be A-OK?

We will have the same protections and freedoms other minorities -- like blacks and Latinos -- have enjoyed over the centuries as practices by our benevolent civil and cultural superiority.

¡El dios bendice América! (That's God bless America to you and me. At least I think so. Yo no comprendo mucho español.)

And if you to enjoy the pasty whitest of white Oregon, I'd recommend living far from any urban area, or any agrarian area, where Latino populations are growing rapidly. But you won't have to worry about trying to translate the writing on the boxes at the Home Depot store into English, because they won't have a Home Depot there, or cell phone coverage or high speed internet or drive-thru windows.

You could live in a city, I suppose, like Portland's where the Latino population was only 6.8 percent in 2000 (below the state average) to enjoy some of those other luxuries you value for your children, like hospitals. And you could send your kids to
private school, but beware you make not escape completely. My Latina daughter went to a private school for three years.

Well, whatever you do, please don't move your kids in next to my daughter. I'm sure she's already heard all the beaner jokes.

Oh, and don't forget to bring an umbrella. It rains a fuck of a lot here, like water off a duck's wet back.


5 comments:

greenInk said...

Excellent response. We have enough ex-California bigots here in Oregon. (Plenty of home-grown ones too.) As far as I'm concerned, this bunch can stay where they are. Maybe their kids can grow into open-minded adults if they spend a few years living among people who aren't just like their parents.

Frankly, some of us white folks find the "american culture" to be pretty oppressive and foreign, too.

The G-man said...

Oh, I may have neglected to mentions that Oregonians aren't too fond of Californians, particularly those that move in.

Oh, what a vicious little circle of immigrant bashing we weave around here, no matter where the "invaders" come from.

GRT said...

Hmmm. "Frustrated" is in a pickle.

While I feel her pain (try understanding telephone help for your computer), the solution to her problems is easy: Learn to say, "English, please" in Spanish.

How many of these problems, do you think, can be traced to the unlikely coalition of Tricky Dick and warmed-over liberals (usually my heroes--not TD, liberals!) when they came up with hyphenated Americans in order to study social programs in the U.S.?

After 30 years of reflection it almost seems the idea was an unholy alliance to keep us balkanized (Cap B?)and not watchful of what they're doing in the Capitol--at least it sure seems to have worked out that way.

We're all unhyphenated Americans. It's time to do away with those race/ethnic choices on census forms and job applications. Perhaps, then, Frustrated's kids won't be saddled with the same biases we have now.

California Dreamin' said...

Hey-Hey... "Frustrated" here.

Wow! I hardly know where to begin. Ummm, first, thanks for all your thoughts, even if they weren't meant for me.

G-Man, I so appreciate all the statistics and links. I wish I had more time. And, I totally hear your point on the natives of California. It really sucks that people can treat others so horrifically. We have come a long way though and I think we will continue to move in the right direction.

Just to clarify, I don't have a problem with latinos. My step-mom, who happens to be my best friend, is a pure-blooded spaniard, a Soto, from a long line of Californians that were here before the Anglos went gold digging. My issue is with the illegal alien population, most specifically, those boarder jumping beans. (yea, I know, they're just trying to provide for their family- all friggin' 80 of them)

I realize the Mexican American War was terrible,,, a hostile takeover, lots and lots of bloodshed. Mexico got some money out of the deal and that's history. That was back in the 1840's. I don't want to pay for my "father's" sins and I don't want my son's to pay for mine. I'm all about by gones. I'm all about treating others the way I would expect to be treated. If Mexico were to buy back California I wouldn't have a problem with the whole Espanol deal. I mean Spanish is Mexico's language and English is the US's language. Immigrants from all over the world come here and learn the language, if they haven't already. But the Mexicans that come here, ILLEGALLY, are coming in such mass quantity and multiplying in such great numbers that businesses and agency are catering to them. I know, who can blame them. The almighty dollar and all. I find this appauling. Hypocrasy! Anti-American sell outs! Uh-oh,, bloods starting to boil. onto the next....

Ok-ok Green,,, Oregonians don't like California transplants. I know this. That's why when I sell my house here, pay off all my debts, and buy a house out right in Oregon I will live near my kind,,, the transplants,,, in a California enclave,,, I'll learn the way of the Oregonian and figure out how to drive in the rain. My children will have Oregon accents within weeks. Before long no one will even suspect we were from the land down under. I think we'll be ok. Who knows, you might end up being my best new friend. :)

GRT, thanks for the empathy, but as for the habla engles por favor... FUCK THAT, answer the friggin' phone in English 911. uh-oh, I'm riled again.

This is so fun! ...So much more to say but must roll for now. ---taa taa

p.s. please forgive mispellings/typos... no time for spell checker.

The G-man said...

"Frustrated" California Dreamer, I hope you find a home of your dreams, wherever that may be.

We all make choices based on the best information we have and what we think we want or need. But our individual utopias remain elusive. The best we can do is weather the downs and enjoy the ups as best we can. And ideally we have family and friends to share it all with.

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