Brown vs. Black—vs. America

California lawyer Nicolas C. Vaca
got his start as an ethnic activist by listening to
Malcolm X lecture at Berkeley in 1963.

But by the end of the 1960s, Vaca
had discovered that, in the civil rights struggle, all
minorities are equal, but one minority is more equal
than others:

arriving in Washington I expected to encounter other
Mexican Americans at the
[U.S. Commission on Civil
Rights], but I discovered that I, a summer intern,
was the highest ranking Mexican American there."

Eventually, more Latinos elbowed
their way into the lucrative business of being
professional minorities. But they found that the
dominant blacks weren`t willing to allow them places at
the table in proportion to their burgeoning numbers.

Vaca became fascinated by how the
black-Latino political conflicts that he saw all around
him were swept under the rug in the media:

years I discussed these issues with close friends and
fellow attorneys—Anglo, Latino, and Black—as I waited
for a book to appear that would address the conflict or
at least go beyond pat analyses like `Interethnic
conflict can exist, but it is believed that there is
more of a basis for cooperation than there is for
conflict`—and then drop the subject."

He eventually realized he would
have to write the book himself. So he has:

The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between
Latinos and Blacks and What It Means for America.

Vaca recounts some fairly
well-known tales: for example, how in Los Angeles in

South Central blacks
teamed up with San Fernando
Valley white conservatives to defeat Antonio
Villaraigosa`s bid to become the

first Mexican mayor
since LA was a dusty pueblo. He
also gives the once-over to the

convoluted story
of how Fernando Ferrer`s attempt to
win the 2001 Democratic mayoral primary in New York City
with a Latino-black coalition foundered upon his
protracted and

courtship of Al Sharpton.

More interesting are the fresher
stories—about how baldly Hispanics in Miami disdain
blacks; and how dismissively the black ruling class in
Compton, just outside of L.A.,

that suburb`s Chicano majority.

As the refuge for Batista Cuba`s
upper and middle class,

has the best-organized, wealthiest (and

) Latino community in the U.S. In contrast,
it may have the most degraded African-Americans. In both
1982 and 1989, Latin American immigrant policemen shot
African-American citizens under suspicious
circumstances, triggering major black


Florida blacks with anything on the
ball quickly wise up and head for

, where the white business class is a lot
easier to shake down. (Vaca, however, points out that
even in

there are expected to be more

than blacks by 2010.)

As white as Miami`s Cuban
powerbrokers are, they feel no

white guilt
whatsoever. After all, they
hadn`t oppressed American blacks (which is certainly
true—before 1959 they had been busy back home

oppressing Cuban blacks

Compton, the

spiritual home
of West Coast

gangsta rap,
is notorious for its

and dysfunctional black-run government.
Still, a lot of people south of the Border have been

down so long
that even Compton looks like up to

By 2001, 59% of Compton`s
residents, but only 15% of its

, were Latino. Chicano activists

routinely demand
that Compton`s black elected
officials share power with its voteless illegal aliens.
But the African-American leadership responds with
ringing endorsements of the sanctity of citizenship that
would warm the hearts of readers.

Of course, in the long run, the
American-born children of Compton`s illegal immigrants
will vote their own Latino hacks into the city job
sinecures (as recently happened in nearby Lynwood). In
the meantime, however, Compton`s

black political class
is getting while the getting`s
still good.

Few of Vaca`s stories are edifying.
In some, it`s as hard to figure out who morally deserves
support as it was during the
Iran-Iraq war

Not surprisingly, most black and
brown activists wish Vaca had never written the book.
(One longtime ally in the Chicano movement stomped out
of the bar when Vaca described the subject of his work,
and hasn`t talked to him since.) And in fact it wasn`t
very discreet of Vaca to document for us "gringos"
that the modern civil rights movement is just another

pork-snorting contest
over who can shove the most
snouts into the taxpayer-subsidized trough.

Occasionally, though, Vaca`s
narrative rises above war stories about the tawdry
ethnic jostling for taxpayer-supported jobs and
discusses legitimate issues. Unlike the economic
illiterates at the Wall Street Journal Editorial
Page, who

that immigrants do the


don`t want,
lawyer Vaca simply takes it as one of
his seven axioms that "Immigrants Will Compete for
Unskilled Jobs with African Americans."

In this dispute, Vaca`s allegiance
lies with his fellow co-ethnics. My loyalties, however,
have to rest with my fellow American citizens.

Personally, I am a citizenist.
That is not a word you see often (here
are all twelve uses of the word known to Google) which
is not surprising because few pundits seem to think like

My starting point in analyzing
policies is: "What is in the best overall interests
of the current citizens of the United States?"

In contrast, so many others think
in terms of: "What is in the best interest of my:
identity group / race / ethnicity / religion / bank
account / class / ideology / clique / gender / sexual
orientation / party / and/or personal feelings of moral

Precisely because basing loyalties
upon a legal category defined by our elected
representatives is so unnatural, it`s the least
destructive and most uplifting

form of allegiance
humanly possible on an effective

The interesting question that Vaca
doesn`t answer (but I will in a future column) is not:
why are blacks and Hispanics competitors for

government goodies?
(The answer of course: because,
like Mt. Everest, they are there). Instead, the
interesting question is: why does the

African-American political elite
disregard the

black rank and file`s
hostility toward immigration?

Nobody ever asked

if they wanted their nation`s
ethnic balance rearranged to pry them out of their
hard-earned spot as the biggest minority.

So why have their leaders
acquiesced in this disastrous social engineering

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
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