Immigration Will Keep Racial Politics Alive

If the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

the fantasies of the Open Borders
lobby about the jolliness of mass immigration, what`s
happening in Los Angeles politics discredits the
delusions about the harmonious multiracial future that
mass immigration was supposed to bring. In the

City of the Angels
, blacks are finding themselves
pushed out–politically and economically–by Hispanic
newcomers. And they don`t much like it.

"They are taking it over," a retired black city

the Washington Post last week. [“L.A.
Politics Being Turned Inside Out: Council Redistricting
Symbolizes Transfer Of Power to Latinos” Washington
Nov. 24, 2001] "In the overall picture,
Hispanics are taking over the whole of Los Angeles."
It`s hard to say he`s wrong. Hispanics are already the
largest "minority" group in the city, and a Hispanic
candidate lost this year`s mayoral race only because
Hispanic voters seemed to take his victory for granted
and failed to turn out enough. That won`t happen twice,
and as the Post reports Hispanics may soon seize the
balance of power from blacks on the City Council.

At present, the 15-member Council has four Hispanic
and three black members. The Hispanics may soon win a
fourth seat in a by-election to fill a vacancy, and only
one of the three black members still has a black
plurality in his district. The myth of color-blind
voting, which some in the Open Borders lobby probably
really believed, has long since

sputtered out.
Today everyone but

political illiterates
knows Hispanic voters will
elect Hispanic candidates.

The same pattern is emerging in other major cities.
In New York, Hispanics abandoned the Democrats en masse
when the Democratic mayoral candidate

the Hispanic Bronx borough president and
helped elect liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg, who

he won`t enforce immigration laws in the city.
In Houston this weekend, Hispanics

nearly denied re-election
to the Democratic black
mayor. The point is not that some Hispanics are going
Republican but that Hispanics and blacks both vote in
what they see as their racial-ethnic interests, and
those interests are increasingly seen as being in
conflict. Hispanics will go Republican, as candidates or
voters, in so far as they see their group interests
served by doing so.

The stakes for one racial group losing the power it
has enjoyed for decades are high. As the Post notes,
City Council members in Los Angeles shape "the flow of
city grants, social services and approvals of major
office and housing developments," as well as
appointments to government boards controlling
multimillion-dollar budgets. Which race controls the
power determines which race gets the spoils. As one
black councilwoman told the Post, "It`s not a Latino
versus black issue, it`s a power grab. It`s about
money." No doubt, but the Latinos grab the power and the
money away from the blacks, so at bottom it is a racial
conflict, a "Latino versus black issue."

So it is in jobs as well, as Hispanic immigrants

displace blacks
from the low-skill entry-level jobs
that mean the difference between work and welfare. In
the current issue of the New York Review of Books,
Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks

several recent studies of immigration and
its economic and social impact and calculates who are
the winners and losers. "Under America`s current
immigration policy," he finds, "the winners are
employers who get

cheaper labor,
skilled workers who pay less for
their burgers and nannies, and immigrants themselves.
The losers are unskilled American-born workers." That,
of course, means, blacks.

Neither Professor Jencks nor the Post story
dwell on it, but the moral of the immigration epic is
that as one race displaces another from political power
and even employment, the result is almost necessarily
going to be racial conflict. There has already been
racial conflict in Los Angeles in hate crimes by
Hispanics against blacks in public housing, but it`s
likely to get worse before it gets better.

And similar conflicts are likely to emerge in other
cities as well, if they haven`t already. Whites, as

William Frey
has been pointing out for years, have
long since left the major cities as the immigrants
started coming in. They moved to the suburbs and then to

other states

and cities entirely. Where exactly underclass blacks are
supposed to move no one seems to say.

The refusal of the federal government and those who
run it to reduce immigration, coupled with the
predictable (and indeed

) racial conflicts that mass, multiracial
immigration brings, means that the Open Border lobby has
mainly succeeded in building a gigantic powder keg into
the heart of American cities. Sooner or later, as blacks
get tired of losing both political power and economic
opportunity to their new racial rivals, the powder keg
will blow up in our faces.  

It`s not just immigration from the Middle East that
makes internal violence on a massive scale possible.


December 03,