Social Cohesion

Mayoral Election; Race Is His Magic Shield

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
May 15, 2005 |

In the absence of major policy differences between the candidates in this year's mayoral race, character has moved to center stage. The campaigns of Mayor James K. Hahn and his rival, Antonio Villaraigosa, are both out to prove who is more corrupt. But Villaraigosa has an advantage. His ethnicity has shielded him from tough questions about his character.

Assimilation Happens -- Deal With It

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
October 10, 2004 |

Last week, The Times reported that California demographers had scaled back their state population projections for 2040, citing a sharp decline in the Latino birthrate. They had overestimated population growth in part because their assumptions incorporated a 1970s nostalgia that treated culture the same way that Americans have always regarded race.

Latinos Fall to Footnote

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
June 27, 2004 |

This month, the Census Bureau announced that the U.S. Latino population was growing four times faster than the nation at large. In May, the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials projected that the Latino electorate had grown 17% over the last four years, and that nearly 7 million would cast ballots in November. Despite these gains, however, Latinos are not receiving the kind of media and political attention they did just four years ago. Has the Latino moment come and gone?

Suburbia Gains an Accent

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
December 28, 2003 |

When novelist James M. Cain needed a setting for "Mildred Pierce," his 1941 classic about middle-class ambition gone awry, he chose Glendale because he believed it represented the epitome of suburban blandness. For the next three decades, the real Glendale remained the quintessentially insular, racially intolerant bedroom community that resisted the big-city temptations on the other side of the L.A. River.

Demographic Changes Upset Affirmative Action

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
January 26, 2003 |

Race-based affirmative action is doomed. Not because of the Bush administration's recent maneuvering on the subject. Nor because the U.S. Supreme Court may reverse its 1978 Bakke decision allowing universities and colleges to consider race as a factor in admitting students. Rather, its demise is more the consequence of last week's historic announcement by the Census Bureau that Latinos have officially surpassed African Americans as the nation's largest minority.

Where the Minorities Rule

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
February 10, 2002 |

For more than two decades, a mural on the wall of a public housing project in East Los Angeles has been exhorting the neighborhood's mostly Mexican-American residents to stop thinking of themselves as members of a minority group. "We are NOT a minority!" the image of a finger-wagging revolutionary declares.

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