I’m reading a book entitled Translation Nation – Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States by Héctor Tobar.
Tobar es un guatemalteco, a Guatemalan, and the book opens with him recounting his childhood growing up in Los Angeles. Tobar was born in 1963. Back then Illegal Alien – “a double insult” – was not yet part of our national vernacular. Tobar notes when he was growing up, “nearly anyone patient enough could paperwork his way into American residency and citizenship.”
Tobar talks about the changes in attitudes among the residents of Los Angeles as each year brought tens of thousands more Hispanics into The Golden State. Tobar writes about the arc of Latin acceptance in CA; the emotional stages Angelenos went through as the Hispanic population grew… and grew… and grew.
Angelenos learned long ago that the Latin city in their midst is inescapable, and have come to terms with its permanence. Other cities and towns across the continent have undergone the same pattern of response to the creeping advance of Latinization: denial, anger, acceptance. In between those stages, or maybe after, comes curiosity.
Denial…. Anger…. Acceptance…. Curiosity.
Where are you on this Latinization Continuum?
How comfortable are you with the Latinization of this country?
Have you thought much about it?
The Latinization of the US is inescapable. It’s happening whether you are on board or not. The census data from 2000-2010 is going to look eerily familiar to the census data that arrives in 2021. We’re in the early innings of this ballgame….
Whether you are in Denial, Anger, or Acceptance – I’d love to hear your thoughts as to why you are… where you are. Are you curious?
Einstein had his own issues to deal with regarding ethnic acceptance (Think Berlin, mid-1930’s….) and he has a great quote on Curiosity: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Let me know how you score on the LCI: Latinization Comfortability Index.
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