December 6, 2004


What's in a Racial Identity? American Latinos All Over the Map, Study Finds:
Identification as white varies by region, and is reflected in education, earning and voting. (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, December 6, 2004, LA Times)

Latinos who view themselves as white are more likely to be better-educated, earn more, register to vote and vote Republican, according to a national study to be released today on how Latinos identify racially.

The study by the Pew Hispanic Center also found some notable regional differences not yet fully understood. For example, in California, 42% of U.S.-born Mexican Americans identified themselves as white, compared with 63% of their ethnic counterparts in Texas.

The analysis of Census data and recent surveys is perhaps the most detailed in a relatively new field of research on how Latinos adapt to the rigid racial categories they encounter in the United States. It is the first to probe the differences between Latinos who consider themselves white and those who say they are of some other race.

Which makes it all the more likely that Latinos have already shifted to being part of the GOP base.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 6, 2004 3:46 PM

I've never heard an adequate explanation why a Puerto Rican living in Brooklyn, a Cuban refugee living in Miami, a migrant farm worker near Toledo, a Mexican-American in Dallas, and a Mexican-American in South Central L.A. are all lumped into the same census category in the first place. You want diversity? I got your diversity right here, pally, in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 6, 2004 4:54 PM

In 2000 I worked for the U.S. Census Bureau.

Question #5: Are any of the persons that I have listed Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or of another Hispanic or Latino group?

Question #6: Now choose one or more races for each person. Which race or races does each person consider himself/herself to be?

The point is that people were able to list themselves as 'hispanic' and still list themselves as 'white' since 'hispanic' was not considered a race.

The interesting thing was that new hispanic immigrants--particularly South Americans, particularly upper-middle class--looked at me as though I were from another plant and filled in 'white' for question #6. Mexican-Americans, however, filled in 'Other' for Question #6.

Posted by: Vince at December 6, 2004 5:40 PM

Most recent figures from the 2004 election seem to indicate Bush received a "slight" uptick from the usual 35% hispanic vote to 39%. He DID NOT receive a majortiy of the hispanic vote in Texas. He received 49%.

Doesn't seem to me, to be a GOP base. The above figures are from Sailor's site.

Posted by: h-man at December 6, 2004 7:01 PM

h-man, those numbers come from a guy who swims in the septic tank of Pat Buchanan and Peter Brimelow so they have to be true. (Sarcasm intended)

Mike, I think you have an excellent point there. I've met so many 'Hispanics' who behaviorally and stylistically are indistinguishable from 'Whites.' And of course, there is a Hispanic underclass that is becoming more 'Black.'

Posted by: Bart at December 6, 2004 7:09 PM

Wow, never thought I'd say this, but Bart's right--the numbers are being cooked by the Leftwing media and far Right nativists, who both have reasons to deny that the GOP is a Latino party.

Posted by: oj at December 6, 2004 7:24 PM

Bart, OJ

I never cared for Pat Buchanan, when he was with the liberal Nixon or since.

Brimelow, I'm familiar with but don't think of him one way or the other.

Sailor doesn't seem to be dishonest regarding use of statistics, and on this particular subject regarding the likelihood of Mexican Meztizos voting for Republican, he is obviously correct.

Posted by: h-man at December 6, 2004 7:31 PM

Sailer plays with numbers just like anyone with an ax to grind.

Why wouldn't a 'Mexican mestizo' who is a CPA or a chemical engineer or a small business owner, or merely a religiously conservative Catholic or Protestant vote his interests instead of what you might perceive as 'La Raza?' Latinos aren't the ones complaining about Columbus. (other than a few 'social scientists', but then non-Hispanic 'social scientists' are pretty loopy too)

Posted by: Bart at December 6, 2004 7:56 PM

By the way I'm not a "nativist", in the sense that I don't oppose immigration (legal hopefully). I do think the US would be best to allow more East Asian and South Asians who are anxious to come to this country.

They tend to place more emphasis on education, and would move to higher earning professions faster than other immigrant groups. Statistics indicate they have minimum impact on crime (practically zero for violent crime) and minimum impact on any type of public assistance.

So call me a racist (you will anyway), but I'm not a nativist. 10 million Indians, Koreans, Chinese would have a far more salutary effect on America than 10 million Mexicans or 10 million Haitians or Congolese, or 10 million Arabs.

Posted by: h-man at December 6, 2004 8:13 PM

"Mexican mestizo' who is a CPA or a chemical engineer or a small business owner, or merely a religiously conservative Catholic or Protestant vote his interest" (presumably conservative, pro- capitalist etc)

They will vote that way Bart, but past experience indicates there are not enough of them in the Mexican immigrant class to have a positive effect for conservatives (or more narrowly Republicans)

Posted by: h-man at December 6, 2004 8:25 PM


You last post is 100% correct. We should also be increasing our immigration from the former Soviet bloc. The Southern border certainly needs to be controlled. However, our economy does benefit from the cheap labor, as does Mexico's. The business needs to be closely regulated, probably along the lines of the old 'bracero' program and we should end automatic citizenship for anyone born here. The vast majority of babies born in El Paso are to women who come across the border just so their kid can be an American citizen.

Hispanics seem to be proceeding generally along the same path as other Catholic immigrants to America, particularly Southern Italians. Nobody coming to America from Mexico wants America to be like Mexico or wants to live like a Mexican. If they did, they'd have stayed in Mexico. They want to assimilate but it is the political culture, from welfare to bilingual education, which holds them back.

Posted by: Bart at December 6, 2004 8:29 PM


Unfortunately, that is not true. Far too many Mexicans come to America and establish their own little ghettos which resemble Tijuana and where everyone speaks Spanish.

Just scan your radio, and you will hear how many Spanish radio stations have popped up. In fact, a morning Spanish radio station in New York sometimes beats Howard Stern in the ratings, and another Spanish radio station in San Jose came in first in the ratings during the last period, even beating the mighty KGO. In a nation where Mexicans were interested in becoming more like Americans, there would be no interest in Spanish language radio stations.

Posted by: Vince at December 7, 2004 4:27 AM


I'm glad you mention Spanish radio and TV. You can't ride a NY subway without seeing a Spanish-language ad for English classes. If you watch the highest rated Spanish TV show in America, Sabado Gigante, you will see the host hawking 'Aprende Ingles' the Sabado Gigante way. The three Spanish-language TV stations in my area all run infomericals for tapes that teach English.

Saying that 'if Mexicans were interested in becoming more like Americans, there would be no interest in Spanish language radio stations' is malicious nonsense on so many levels I just don't know where to begin. First, it reminds me of when the Simpsons fly to Brazil and Bart learns Spanish. When his mother tells him they speak Portuguese in Brazil and not Spanish, Homer orders him to forget everything he'd learned. Second, I read French periodicals every day, subscribe to French magazines, does this make me un-American? My local Kwikie-Marts stock newspapers in Yiddish, Korean, Tagalog, Italian and Spanish. There is a Russian language radio station on the AM dial in my area. There are several Asian owned markets with signs in various Asian languages. Are all these people un-American? To me, they are the very soul of America. Third, I went to Hebrew school, after regular school was over. Other people I know went to Chinese school or Greek school or Armenian school. Are they un-American? Finally, I'd listen to Mega 98 over Howard Stern any day of the week.

Our government should be firm on certain things. There should be no publci bilingual education and the only time government should make a concession to foreign sensibiliites is when a non-English speaker is a criminal defendant or complainant. However, telling a Korean grocer that he can't put up a Korean language sign outside his establishment is just Nazism.

Posted by: Bart at December 7, 2004 6:59 AM