An article in the August 4 issue of The Economist titled “Where Black and Brown Collide” and an article in the August & issue of USA TODAY titled “Immigrants a Scapegoat for Blacks’ Unemployment”, point out some interesting facts about the rapid escalation of Latinos to the United States, many who are here illegally, has raised tensions between Latinos and blacks in some states and major cities. While black leader Barrack Obama has assured Hispanics that an alliance exists between blacks and Latinos and that they are brothers in the fight for equality, others are not so sure. An upcoming trial in Los Angeles involves the alleged killing of a fourteen year old black girl by two Hispanics. “We’re being overrun,” says Ted Hayes of Chose Black America which has led anti-immigration marches in south-central Los Angeles. “The companeros have taken all the housing. If you don’t speak Spanish, they turn you down for jobs. Our children are jumped on in schools. They are trying to drive us out.” Mr. Hayes says he has nothing against Hispanics in general and he is friendly with many of them.
Quoting The Economist, “Last year Pew, a pollster, found one third of blacks believe immigrants take jobs from Americans-more than any other group. Yet in some ways their views were benign. Blacks are less likely than whites or even Hispanics to believe that immigrants end up on welfare or commit crimes. Latinos on the other hand, appear to make no such concessions. One survey in Durham, NC, found that 59% of Latinos believed few or almost no blacks were hard-working, and in a similar proportion reckoned few or almost none could be trusted. Less than one in ten whites felt the same way.
One in eight residents is now Latino in Durham, up from 1 in 80 ten years ago. They live mainly in the poorest parts of Durham which happen to be black. By 2000, blacks in all ten of America’s biggest metropolitan areas were more mixed in with Hispanics than with whites.
In poor areas, closeness often means conflict. Los Angeles tallied more than 400 racial hate crimes last year---the most, as a proportion of all hate crimes, for at least a decade. Blacks fared worst: they comprise just 9% of the population of Los Angeles County but were the victims of 59% or all race-hate crimes. Seven out of ten, their persecutors were Latinos. Hispanics, who make up almost half the population, were victimized by black less than 1% of the time. These numbers greatly understate the violence; they do not, for example, include the victims of a dozen interracial prison riots last year, which left two dead.”
As to black claims of escalating unemployment, the USA TODAY says “despite a steady increase in foreign born immigrants from 1980 t0 2000, US black unemployment dropped sharply during those years.”
What does this have to do with Peoria? A lot. Dan Silverthorn, speaking before the Southwest Kiwanis Thursday, said that there is $3 billion worth of construction projects under construction or approved or near approval in the area. He says there are not enough skilled workers in the area to fill these jobs. Interpretation: Skilled workers may need to be imported into this area. We may see a greater influx of Latinos on a smaller scale than the influx that hit Durham “like a storm”. Dan made note of Peoria Public School District #150 for its failure to turn out more willing and semi-skilled workers to fill labor jobs paying $60,000.00 a year and more. . He specifically pointed out the fine Vo/Tech programs at Pekin High; programs that #150 board members were asked by various leaders and members of this community to study years ago.
The black leadership of this community is saying they are doing their best to get black youths the same education offered white, Asian and Indian kids. The problem is, they say, the lack of equality and racial discrimination. That “old saw” is getting older and more wrong every day. It is not hard to sell the uneducated and those who never learned to work that they are victims.
While School District #150 boards from 1993 forward are rightfully blamed for the lack of offering and ‘selling” alternate educations; mainly Vo/Tech, opportunity for equal education and employment has never been better in Peoria than it is today. New curricula being offered this year and some last year, may help the semi-skilled labor but only if kids can see a brighter future than some of our leadership has shown them to date.
I’ll cover more of why black leaders are claiming “victimization” and why most of the real black leadership think the Martin Luther King dreams are and have been turned into nightmares. Maybe the encroachment of Latinos as larger quantities of newer minorities may finally convince blacks, and white leaders too, to listen to leaders like Juan Williams and Bill Cosby.
I’ll comment on William’s book titled, “Enough”, on a blog soon and what he and other real black leaders believe; that too many “phony” black leaders are destroying the King dream.