Hello, Stranger - Where Are You From?
Buenos días. ¿Hablas español? Si no, debes aprender rápidamente.
Did you get that? I said, "Good Morning. Do you speak Spanish? If not, you had better learn fast". At least, that's what my translation software says I said.
In an article in the Orange County Register today by writer Brian Joseph, he tells us that Hispanics will become Orange County's ethnic majority in 2034 - seven years earlier than predicted. It also predicts that Hispanics will account for 50% of the population in the state by 2042.
Joseph goes on to tell us that, by 2050, California will be 52% Hispanic, 27% white and 13% Asian, and the total population will be 59.5 million. Yikes! My initial reaction was not so much about the changing demographics, but wondering where all those people are going to sit - or stand, for that matter. The phrase "Up close and personal" takes on a whole new meaning! You think we have a water problem now? Just wait until nearly 60 million people flush their toilets every day!
So, your friendly correspondent - who, for the past thirty years, has been telling friends that their children should learn Spanish if they expect to communicate with the people around them - turns out to be a prophet. It kind of reminds me of the lyrics to that old song..."Oh lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way!"
Actually, it didn't take a prophet to see what's been happening in our state and region over the past several decades. Continued prosperity in this state, shifting geopolitical realities and a virtual open door on our southern border combined to create this situation, with no "relief" in sight. Soon, not only in Costa Mesa, but thoughout our area, if you don't "habla Espanol" you won't be able to "habla" with most folks around you. Trying to communicate with your neighbors in a couple decades is going to make our current perception of Babel seem like a Sesame Street episode by comparison.
...DUST TO DUST
This won't make much difference to me personally. By the dates quoted in this article I'll be long gone - only the brass urn full of ashes, jammed into a nice, decorative piece of granite at a local cemetery, will be all that's left of this old carcass. But, what about you? What's your plan for living in a society where the majority of your neighbors don't speak English? How will you handle being in the minority? What is your plan for living in a state where the population will double in your lifetime?
I know some of my Latino friends are smiling as they read this entry. I don't blame you. Some might say, "What goes around, comes around." By the way, did you notice that the O.C. Register refers to those of Latin extraction as "Hispanics", while the Los Angeles Times (and the Daily Pilot) uses the term, "Latinos"? I fought that battle with the Daily Pilot editors several years ago, as they changed every submission I sent them. Finally, I just gave up since it was their ball game in which we play by their rules.
There are those who rant and rave about "sending them all back" where they came from - an asinine, impractical and impossible solution, bred by fear. There are those, like me, who feel our borders should be made secure as the first step in national security. That may never happen if the lack of resolve we see on the part of our national elected leaders is any indication.
So, what's your solution? Seriously, I want to know. If you don't want to post your ideas on the blog, just send me an email. I'm curious and I know some of you who read this blog can come up with some good, rational solutions to problems. I want to hear them on this subject.