Monday, June 30, 2008

GREAT news in the fight for respect and tolerance

Today's USA Today featured the most heartening news amid all the negatives about the Hispanic presence in this nation and punitive political actions locally and annually.

"Births, not immigration, now account for most of the growth in the nation's Hispanic population, a distinct reversal of trends of the past 30 years.

"The Hispanic baby boom is transforming the demographics of small-town America in a dramatic way. Some rural counties where the population had been shrinking and aging are growing because of Hispanic immigration and births and now must provide services for the young.

"In all of the uproar over immigration, this is getting missed," says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute. "All the focus is on immigration, immigration, immigration. At some point, it's not. It's natural increase.

"This natural increase — more births than deaths — is accelerating among Hispanics in the USA because they are younger than the U.S. population as a whole."

Thank you, Our Lady of Guadalupe, protectress of the Hispanic people.

All the anti-immigrant conservatives will have to swallow a big one on this matter of simple demographics. And more Hispanic births represent family values, a supposedly "pro-life" perspective, the next workforce for the American economy and a personal dedication to faith.

Each child is considered a gift from God. Conservatives claim they champion these sentiments. But will they when it comes to we dark-skinned folks? Inquiring minds want to know.

To be honest, however, we don't have to care anymore how the anti-immigrant folks think. The second wonderful aspect of this news is that these births represent more American citizens who vote, at least by the year 2019. These Census numbers tracking the explosion of Hispanic births in this nation started in 2001.

We don't have to care much longer about Lou Dobbs and CNN's refusal to make him follow simple rules of fairness and accuracy.

We don't have to be frustrated much longer by George S. and his ABC-TV show This Week on Sunday mornings. His refusal to have Hispanics on his Roundtable panel and ABC News' refusal to answer any questions about it soon won't matter. More of the TV audience is moving away from his show and to Tom Brokaw on NBC-TV's Meet the Press. I like George W. and Cokie Roberts but not enough to watch This Week anymore. And when ABC debuts its reality show saluting border patrol and ICE agents next year, then Latinos will turn even more away from the network.

We don't have to care much longer about Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads. Each day, one of his listeners dies and a future non-listener is born.

Accordingly, a member of the Republican Party dies each day. If the GOP wants to remain a viable party within this generation, then it will have to give up its anti-immigrant agenda in 287(g) deportation programs, ICE raids of workplaces and blocking comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.

Republicans claim they are not anti-immigrant. But from the victims of public policy in Hispanic families in the Nashville area where I live, I can tell you that all Hispanics -- legal or not -- are being painted with the same intolerant brush. The 287g program is destroying hard-working families. I have the personal stories to prove that point, not the backside-covering rhetoric of empty ideological words.

So be of good cheer, all my Latino brothers and sisters, and all you good advocates and souls who view everyone as God's children. The day of deliverance is at hand through the gift of life. So is a better day for America with this young workforce that will make our economy more prosperous and this nation more worthy of its claim to be "under God".

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