Monday, October 27, 2008

Hispanics Among Us - Managing The Tsunami

Last week the Pew Hispanic Center, a Pew Research Center Project, produced a new report for our consideration in which they tell us that Hispanics account for half of the U.S. Population growth since 2000. Mull that fact over just a little, then click on the link, HERE, to go to the site.

Once at the site you will find a wealth of information and links to other segments of this report, including some fascinating interactive maps and interactive databases that provide demographic information about Latinos in each of our 50 states and 3141 counties.

For example
, in 1980 the 14.6 million Hispanics were heavily concentrated in the 47 (out of 3141 counties) that had Hispanic county populations of at least 50,000. In 2007 the 45.5 million Hispanics cover a much wider area and the data provided on some of their maps detail 57 counties that have large Hispanic populations or rapid growth in their Hispanic populations in the new century.


The interactive maps present a very interesting mountain of information. For example, Los Angeles County Ranked #1 in total Hispanic population, with 4.7 million or 47% of the total. It also ranked 1st in growth of the Hispanic population (850,971) from 1990-2000 - 27% and 1st (435,198) from 2000-2007 - 10%.

The same
information for Orange County shows it ranked at #6 in total Hispanic population with just over 998,000, or 33% of the total. It ranked #7 in growth of the Hispanic population (310,751) from 1990-2000 - 55% and 15th from 2000-2007 (122,453) - 14%.

It won't surprise many to learn that Harris County, Texas (Houston) is ranked #2 nationally and that Miami-Dade County in Florida is ranked #3. I was shocked to learn, though, that Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) is ranked #4, ahead of Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix) at #5.

In California Hispanics represent 36% of the population, have a median age of 26 years and represent 47% of all K-12 students. In the 12 month period prior to the survey there were 236,000 births to Hispanic women ages 15-44. 26% of Hispanics 17 and younger live in poverty while only 9% of Non-Hispanic Whites live in poverty. These are powerful numbers, and that's only the tip of the iceberg in the Pew Center Report, as you
will see when you visit the site.

As we think about casting our ballots in the pending election - many of us may have already mailed ours in - I think it's important to contemplate what these numbers really represent. We here in Costa Mesa share our city with a Hispanic population estimated to be in excess of 35% of the total. If history bears us out, most of those folks won't vote, but will certainly be impacted by the votes cast on November 4th.

The Hispanic
folks in our community are a growing proportion of the residents of this city. There are those in this city who have done their very best to make life miserable for our Hispanic neighbors, including some folks on, or running for, the City Council. As I have written many times before, this wave of Hispanics - mostly immigrants - is the "wave of the future" in our little part of the world - a de facto tsunami. If we don't figure out ways to manage this wave we are destined to be drowned by it.

There are
those who will react to this information with proclamations that those who wish to consider it are "soft on crime" and/or "lefties", intent on making our city another Santa Ana. Horse manure! The fact is that the Hispanic population of our country, and our region in particular, is growing. Those who wish to pull their heads back into their shells like some misguided turtle and hope it all goes away are delusional and just not facing reality. It's time, in my opinion, to elect leaders that understand the realities of life in southern California today and are prepared to deal with it like leaders, not vigilantes.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff, thanks for linking to this report, it is fascinating!

I am disappointed, however, that you continue to falsely ascribe racist motives to elected leaders and candidates for office here in Costa Mesa. As I have stated many times before, you do not have a clue as to what motivates any of these folks. You disagree with their actions, so you resort to the worst possible motive - racism.

When you state that "There are those in this city who have done their very best to make life miserable for our Hispanic neighbors, including some folks on, or running for, the City Council" you are deliberately stoking the flame of discord, because nothing done by the City Council has been aimed at making life miserable for any legal resident of Costa Mesa. NO city should encourage, enable or assist those who have broken the law to come here illegally.

The fact remains that the vast majority of Costa Mesa residents, of every demographic, DO NOT want criminal illegal aliens living here. While there certainly are those who have racist motives, the overwhelming majority of Americans simply want people to obey the law.

I welcome the millions of Hispanic/Latino people who come here legally every single year. In 2007 over 1,700,000 became legal residents. Despite what anyone says, we are a nation of immigrants, and it does make us a strong and vibrant nation. But you yourself have stated that you oppose illegal immigration.

The actions that Dr. Caspa described as racist, such as the job center closure, have far more reasonable ACTUAL root causes. The job center was designed and created to prevent undocumented workers from utilizing it, yet when it was closed because it had become a illegal employment supercenter, everyone screamed racism! Please, that is patently ridiculous.

Allan Mansoor did not create the ICE cross-training program which started all this racism BS, the United States government did. Costa Mesa was not the first local government to seek an MOU. Yet, somehow it became acceptable to casually brand Mansoor, Bever and Monahan "racists" "Nazis" etc. If you want to cite a low moment in Costa Mesa's history, that would be it. Not the ICE proposal, but the callous and outrageous reaction to it by opportunistic outsiders and community members.

The Pew report helps underline the point I have repeatedly tried to make here - we are a large, diverse community and we need to work together. Falsely ascribing racist motives to reasonable and appropriate municipal actions divides the community. This election will bring meaningful reform - lets build on that and stop with the unfounded allegations. We do not need any more discord.

10/28/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Rob, I do, in fact, have a clue about their motives. As the old axion goes, "Actions speak louder than words". I've been watching these folks much long than you have, so I feel comfortable with my views of their motivation.

I know that you're a smart fella, but you've become immersed in the party line spewed by the Mansoor majority and it's spokespersons. In fact, when Mansoor proposed cross-designating all Costa Mesa police officers as immigration screeners it caused GREAT discomfort throughout the Latino community in our city - not only those here illegally. Telling the truth of an issue may, in your words, "stoke the flame of discord". In my view, that's a fire worth stoking because what they were doing was wrong in many ways.

I'm not going to debate the Job Center - I know what happened there, and why. You and I disagree - so be it.

We will never have harmony in our community until certain elements stop blaming people with brown skins for every single ill in our city. It may be fine with you to live in a community where overt racism plays such an influential role in the politics of our city - it's not with me. If you persist in trying to tell me what I SHOULD believe you will wear out your welcome here very quickly. I believe what I believe based on my observations of the circumstances. I've documented these observations many, many times over the years. Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean I'm incorrect.

You're welcome to express your opinion here - just don't try to force your views on ain't happenin', my young friend.

10/28/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Overt racism? I'm not trying to tell you what to think, but point out where I believe you are wrong, and why.

I am open to being proven wrong, but you have to illustrate these "actions that speak louder than words" - just repeating the same anti-Mansoor party line doesn't hold water.

The best chronicle of what the anti-Mansoor camp was trying to sell was Dr. Caspa's book - Terror in the Latino Barrio. I read it, cover to cover, and took notes and did research. Assumptions and conclusions based on his own individual experiences and bias are NOT actions, they are opinions.

The problem here, and the reason that I comment on your blog about this subject - knowing full well how thoroughly we disagree on it - is that it is a prime example of how we got into this mess.

Despite what Mansoor, et al say, repeatedly, until they are blue in the face, others CHOOSE not to believe them and insist that they have nefarious motives.

So then, it becomes a disturbing and ridiculous game. The assertion that Mansoor, Bever, Monahan etc. want to do everything they can to drive "Brown" people out of Costa Mesa is repeated over and over again, absent a shred of proof, and those who point out the seemingly obvious ridiculousness of the assertion are denigrated and barely tolerated.

So, please tell me what actions were/are designed to drive 35,000 residents of Costa Mesa out. ICE in the jail? Job center closure? Seriously, I am willing to admit that I am wrong if you can show me these horrid actions.

Geoff, the sheer scale of the assertion begs for rebuttal and challenge! You yourself point out how many of US, Costa Mesa residents, are Hispanic/Latino. 35,000+ - a full third of this city's populace - these are the people you assert Mansoor, et al are doing everything they can to drive out. I just don't see it, and I am not blind.

I am serious about wanting everyone to get along and have a harmonious city where I can raise my kids and all of this racism talk is a distant and unpleasant memory. But that is not going to happen until these assertions are either completely dispelled and never uttered again, or they are brought to light and proven.

I'm not buying any party line, I am completely independent and thoroughly disturbed by the repeated assertion that MY hometown is some racist haven.

I comment on this subject here because I have a great deal of genuine respect for you, and because I continue to hope that we can find some common ground. If not, we'll just have to disagree.

10/28/2008 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you’re upset because the City Council and city majority don’t cater to the estimated 35% (Hispanic population) of the city over the rest of us? Whatever happened to equality?

10/29/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

tbd, where did that come from? Your question, "What ever happened to equality?" is a good one. The recent elected leadership of this city has done anything BUT cater to the the Latinos among us! Quite the contrary. I doubt seriously you care about facts on this issue - from the tone of your comment, you've already got your mind locked. However, one fact is that the Latino population is the fastest growing segment of our society. If you don't like that now, you're going to hate it in 5-10 years. I'd be interested in your view of solutions to managing this issue...

10/29/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My view on managing the Latino population increase? I don’t know how you’d do that. Tell people not to have kids? I don’t think that wouldn’t be very constitutional. Change is part of life man.

You say “The recent elected leadership of this city has done anything BUT cater to the the Latinos among us!” Are you talking about ICE and the deportation of illegal immigrants? It benefits all citizens and is disadvantages to all illegal immigrants regardless of ethnic affiliation. You don’t agree? You think Latino families want illegal immigrants committing crimes to stay in their neighborhoods? Maybe they do if it’s a relative.

How about the job center issue? Again you seem to equate the closing to targeting the Latino community. I don’t see it. You need to keep in mind many Latino’s hold much more prestiges jobs than day laborers. It may have targeted illegal immigrants trying to obtain work they couldn’t find without being a citizen or paying taxes. I pay taxes. I assume you pay taxes. Why shouldn’t everyone be held equally accountable?

You keep equating Illegal immigrants to Latinos. That’s not the case.

10/30/2008 12:13:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home