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Social Cohesion

Tell Mama All About It

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
April 9, 2006 |

The timing was perfect. Just as a growing number of American women were entering the labor force, a massive wave of immigration -- much of it undocumented -- was headed north from Mexico and Central America.

'Homing Pigeons' Have Landed

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
April 2, 2006 |

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson probably wasn't on too many peoples' minds at last weekend's massive downtown march. But that doesn't mean his presence wasn't felt. Before Wilson endorsed and legitimized Proposition 187, the anti-illegal immigrant ballot initiative in 1994, too many Mexican immigrants were content not to participate in U.S. civic life. But that year's anti-illegal immigrant campaign, and the national anti-legal immigrant crusade that followed, changed the way millions of immigrants approached life in the United States.

Korean to a Tee

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
March 19, 2006 |

South Korea's 7-3 victory over the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday wasn't the only sporting news that made front-page headlines in Seoul last week. On the same day that the South Korean team "spanked the U.S." -- as the English-language edition of the Korea Times put it -- the nation's prime minister was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had played golf with some shady businessmen on a national holiday that coincided with the start of a crippling national rail strike.

The Politics of Espanol

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
February 5, 2006 |

When I first heard that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had agreed to deliver the Democratic Party's Spanish-language response to President Bush's State of the Union address, I had the urge to call him up and plead, "Say it ain't so, Tony."

There She Is, Miss Chinatown

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
January 29, 2006 |

Just when I thought this columnist gig wouldn't pay off, I got a call from Kenny Yee, L.A.'s "Noodle King." Kenny is the president of Wing Hing Noodles, a local, family-owned firm, as well as the head of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles. He called to ask me to be a judge at this year's Miss Los Angeles Chinatown Pageant. Who was I to turn him down?

This Land is Big Ole's Land

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
January 22, 2006 |

Last week in Beijing, a prominent Chinese lawyer and art collector unveiled an 18th century map that some say proves a Chinese explorer by the name of Zheng He discovered America more than 70 years before Christopher Columbus. That means that next week, Chinese grandmothers all over the United States will begin telling their grandchildren of their ancestor's seminal role in American history.

Dropout Miscount

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
December 11, 2005 |

When the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University released a study in March concluding that the graduation rate for "minority" students in the Los Angeles Unified School District was under 50%, nobody publicly second-guessed them. On the contrary, politicians and editorialists embraced the figure as gospel.

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?

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