Fear of a Descended From Spanish-Speakers Planet

Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart debate debate whether “we” should “fear a Hispanic-majority United States”. I have to say that while I don’t normally feel particularly Hispanic this sort of exclusion-by-premise from the conversation has a way of getting underneath my skin.

Beinart says almost everything I’d want to say about this, but it’s worth noting that it’s kind of hard to see what this scenario even means. I mean, do I — with a paternal grandfather who grew up in a Spanish-dominant Cuban immigrant community in Florida plus three “Anglo” (i.e., Ashkenazi Jewish) grandparents — count toward this looming Hispanic menace? And since we’re talking about a future scenario, would my kids. Their kids? It doesn’t seem to make sense. It always seems to me that this is part of the reason that the public seems to underestimate the extent of Hispanic assimilation. People descended, in whole or in part, from immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries don’t wear little yellow stars marking us out from the rest of the group. If you’re English-dominant and your skin tone gets either too light or too dark, you don’t “count” as Hispanic at all. But English-dominance and intermarriage are key markers of integration. So you wind up only noticing the Hispanic presence in the United States via its less assimilated members.

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