I love watching US politics from a distance. The proliferation of social media, in giving formerly unheard voices a platform has allowed everyone with a grievance to come to the fore. This is a mixed blessing, of course, and I see the current mix as one part people with genuine points to make to 10 parts nutjobs who simply want to complain because they have no discernible talent or desire to work to get ahead.
One of the things that amuses me most is how concerned activists try to convince people from groups that are just trying to live their lives that they are, in fact, victim of a society conspiring against them, and that they should organize and protest the unfairness inherent in being in the US.
From my point of view, the strangest is trying to drag Hispanics into the fight. This is particularly ridiculous when you remember that most Hispanics in the US are there because they left somewhere that was much, much worse, and have found a place where their families can grow and prosper. They remember what populist and socialist countries look like–it’s what the RAN from.
Which is why only the truly misguided allow themselves to be referred to as Latinx. You won’t find much of that in their own communities. Most Hispanics I’ve ever spoken to think it’s imbecilic and do not want to know.
Funnier still, treating Hispanics as a minority in the US is anachronistic. I still remember when New Mexico became the first state in which Hispanics were the largest ethnic or racial group–which makes them a majority, not a minority.
More importantly, perhaps, the same milestone was passed by California in 2014. And Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the US.
So it’s entertaining to watch the “white vs. brown” argument in the US, which in a few years will be completely irrelevant. Hispanics have their own way of viewing the world, their own type of collectivism (and they love American values, much to the future annoyance of the hand-winging and guilt crowd). Most importantly, however, they will soon be the majority.
But no one really knows that they thing. They don’t care about white guilt or a past of slavery. They are following the American dream… and in a few years, they’re going to remind everyone of it by force of numbers.
Maybe it’s time you stopped calling them Latinx (which they hate) and started listening to them.
But even if you don’t… you will, soon.
Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine novelist and short story writer who enjoys observing the world, from Switzerland to Swaziland. Then he writes about it, celebrating the wonders of different people and our common humanity. His collection Off the Beaten Path is the most concrete example of this passion. You can check it out here.