Even if our borders were sealed tomorrow and not a single illegal immigrant
entered the nation, nearly one
in five people in the U.S. will still be classified as Hispanic
by 2025. In less than a generation, we can expect a “bebé
boom” of young Hispanics entering the job market. Will our economy
find work for them? Or will we have an unstable mass of restless, idle,
and alienated youth?
is a Hispanic?
This often-misused term first coined in the late seventies lumps all
people of Latin American and Spanish origin into a single group. The
term has morphed into a quasi-racial label that creates the illusion
of a monolithic bloc among Spanish-surnamed people. In reality, people
labeled Hispanic vary widely in politics, economic status, and race.
But the specter of a racial conflict has already stirred a mainstream
As the number of "Hispanics" grows, mainstream fears will
intensify. The presence of fringe separatist
groups are fueling those fears.
The violent nature of Hispanic street gangs is no secret. Although their
ruthless reign touches almost everyone in the barrios, they have remained
apolitical—so far. Will barrio gangs, usually formed in a reaction
to prejudice, remain on the sidelines in a growing ethnic conflict?
As Hitler, Mussolini, the Sandinistas, the warlords of Somalia, and
countless other demagogues have proven, street thugs can quickly become
the shock troops of political upheaval. Already, drug gangs often outgun
the officers on the U.S. border.