Dogs That Don`t Bark: Latinos And Literacy

One of the hardest things for intellectuals to be aware of is the absence of evidence. So, it`s worth noting some explicit evidence of absence.

For example, I`ve been pointing out for years that it`s imprudent of intellectuals to bet the country on massive Latin American immigration without considering just how intellectual the country is going to wind up being afterward. Here in Los Angeles we`re a couple of generations ahead of you in the Northeast.

From the Los Angeles Times “Jacket Copy” column on publishing, May 12, 2012, about a Spanish-language book fair in Los Angeles that is an offshoot of the big annual trade show for Spanish language publishers in Guadalajara:

Finally, LéaLA attempts to help make amends for a bizarre L.A. cultural phenomenon: the city’s near-absence of Spanish-language bookstores. Apart from public libraries, university bookstores (which stock course-related titles) and a handful of small shops like Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar and the Libros Schmibros bookstore/lending library in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles — with the United States’ largest Spanish-speaking population — has virtually no place to find and buy Spanish-language books.

 

It`s a bit of an exaggeration to say that Los Angeles has virtually no place to find and buy Spanish-language books. For example, there`s a shelf in my local Barnes & Noble devoted to Spanish-language books. But, still ….