October 20, 2016
Here’s a more instructive example. The L.A. Unified School District is a whopping 73% Hispanic, yet the school board is non-Hispanic by more than two to one. The school board president is a Jew, and the school superintendent is black. And where are the protests? Only in the fevered dreams of ideological extremists like Frank del Olmo. Del Olmo was an associate editor and columnist at the L.A. Times. In 1997, the L.A. school board appointed the first-ever espaÃ±ol-fluent superintendent, Ruben Zacarias, a man so breathtakingly incompetent that by 1999, the board voted to remove him. Frank del Olmo decided that this was the worst, most racist affront to decency since Kristallnacht. Zacarias might indeed be a boob (del Olmo conceded that point), but how dare the board fire a Latino! In a fiery Times op-ed, he pretty much called for racial holy war. He claimed that L.A.’s Latinos were “sharpening their long knives” (Mexicans and knives? How racist) to begin a long-awaited “ethnic political war.” “Vengeance is inevitable,” scowled del Olmo, and now the most important thing was to “focus on getting innocent bystanders out of the way before the political bloodletting escalates.”
¡Ay RaHoWa! Latinos will avenge Zacarias” firing! Get ready for the war!
Yet here’s the thing…it never came. There was no bloodletting, no vengeance, and of the five superintendents since Zacarias, four have been either black or white non-Hispanic. But del Olmo truly understood the meaning of the term “commitment to a bit.” Three years later, as many of the same people who organized the removal of Zacarias were planning to oust Gov. Gray Davis in a historic recall, del Olmo admitted that following the school board incident, “Latino activists retreated. But they did not forget.” This time, he swore on his stack of biblias, the “payback” would actually occur. Latinos had simply been “biding their time” since the Zacarias firing, and now the racial venganza would manifest itself in a rejection of the recall.
Wrong again. The recall was successful, and Californians overwhelmingly elected an (ostensibly) anti-illegal-immigration Republican from Austria.
Sadly, Frank del Olmo didn”t live to be wrong a dozen more times; he was felled by a heart attack (obviously caused by white racism) in 2004 at the age of 55. But his mirror images on the right, those who, as he did, completely misread the Latino immigrant community when it comes to voting, continue to follow in his clown-shoe footsteps.
No, Hispanic immigrants are not entering in droves to influence our politics via the voting booth. Will that community become more politically active, or at least more politically interested, in a generation or two? Probably. But frankly, if GOPs can”t pull it together by then, they especially shouldn”t blame the Mexis.
Regardless of how things shake out on Nov. 8, I will continue to hold to my belief that the hysteria about “low-IQ Mexicans” destroying the U.S. via immigration has no more validity than the hysteria about “low-IQ Slavs” doing the same one hundred years ago. I”m not directly comparing Mexicans to Slavs, I”m merely pointing out that the “race realists” of the early 1900s swore that Slavic immigration was going to be the end of us. Halting Slavic immigration was a huge priority to the nativists and “ethnologists” of that era. They didn”t get their way, and their predictions proved very wrong.
Our modern version of those Chicken Littles will be proved wrong in time too. That’s my opinion, and it”ll be many decades before we”ll know if I”m right. Now, as to whether or not the lure of a border wall and mass deportations is enough to put a Republican in the White House, we need only wait three more weeks for the answer to that one.