In the middle of this election year much is made of the alliances between special interest and racial groups with voting power as blocks for “minorities.” From a press standpoint the LGBT community is held up as an example of discrimination but close behind is the black community and the heritage of slavery, oppression, police brutality and class discrimination. Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and various tribes from South America are grouped together with black community even though the Hispanics as a group are much larger than the blacks which currently represent 14% of the United States population. Hispanics in various individual groups represent 17% of our population. More importantly the Hispanics as a combination of groups are the fastest group of people in this country. While the black community growth rate is declining in numbers as is the white population.
There seems to be an assumption that the Hispanic population even with all of its iterations will march in step and vote alongside of the blacks for programs that the black community seem necessary for the success of the black population. In exchange the Hispanics believe by some politicans that the black community will vote on immigration issues that some of the Hispanics feel is a priority to their heritage and role in the future of U.S. politics.
Let me just touch on the population growth before we go further into the politics of minority special interests. Our census process is notoriously inefficient and I think that when the political aspects of the immigration issue are settled we will see several millions of Hispanic heritage come forward to be counted in actual and political ways. This grow will give the Hispanics an even faster path to political importance.
The question I have is how much comradery really exist between the black community and the various iterations of the Hispanic community. I know from personal contact that frequently some Hispanics express no common ground with the black community further they belief that they do not share common political interests. In some cases, Hispanics reject comparisons with the blacks and seek separation from the minority causes unless they specifically help the iterations of the Hispanic communities.
I’ve mentioned the many iterations of Hispanics because they all have special needs and in many cases different interests.
Cubans although the smallest in number of the family of U.S. Hispanics is very sophisticated and clustered in their “own” community, while Porto Ricans have large communities in the eastern seaboard and middle west of the country. Mexican are in large numbers in the southwest and the far west. The south American Hispanics are less centered in geographic areas but more toward areas of work. I realize these facts are familiar to almost everyone but what significance it has politically may not be readily aware. Each of these groups is fiercely loyal to their individual heritage. There is also an entrepreneurship in the Hispanic community that results in small businesses, frequently very successful and passed on to the children. This is an important factor in how the Hispanic community will vote on economic issues. It is possible that this large segment of the Hispanic population will vote for what they feel is their best financial interest secure in the knowledge that their political power in the U.S. will grow rapidly as their population and ambition grows.
My conclusion is that the Hispanic population of the U.S. is not inclined to become a political ally of the black community, not because they oppose the black political program but because they have their own powerful political motivations and long term goals.
I wonder if the democrats and the republicans see the potential with the Hispanics and if the black community realizes that they will have even less influence as the Hispanic population in the U.S. grows at breakneck speed with all the voting rights implications that population brings to the political arena.