In December 2005, I booked a United Airlines ticket to Antigua, Guatemala. I had enrolled in an intense course of Spanish instruction. The course was one-on-one. One teacher, one student (me) for six hours per day, six days per week.
I resided with a wonderful Guatemalan family in their large home, studying for about eleven days. I returned in June 2006 for three weeks of study and studied similarly in August 2006, February 2007 and March 2008. March 2006-May 2009 I studied almost weekly for two hours with a wonderful Guatemalan lady, meeting every Monday evening, at Borders Books in Lakewood, WA.
America is turning hispanic. One study I read indicated that by 2047, Spanish would be the dominant language in California.
An interesting September 11, 2010 article in The Economist magazine was further informative:
Over 40% of New Mexico’s population is of hispanic origin.
30% to 40% of Texans, Arizonians and California are of hispanic origin.
20% to 30% of Nevada’s, Florida’s and Colorado’s population is of hispanic origin.
Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have populations estimated at 10% to 20% hispanic origin.
Nationally, 16% of the population is now hispanic/latino, numbering 48.4 million in 2009. The Economist reports that the Pew Research Centre estimates that by 2050, hispanics will comprise 29% of the population, with caucasians declining to 47% of the population, and falling into the minority.
Julian Castro, the young Latino and Democratic mayor of San Antonio, which is 60% Hispanic, says Democrats should not take Latinos for granted. Castro points out that hispanics tend to support better public education and health care, but are socially conservative and religious, according to The Economist.
The Economist points out that even if you don’t see a large number of hispanics today in your area, things will change….The Economist points out that many hispanic immigrants are bypassing traditional destinations of California and Texas and moving instead to states such as Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina, which dollectively had 10% of America’s undocumented aliens in 2009, up from 4% in 1990.
Arizona’s "backlash" against immigration (known as SB1070) now partially blocked by a Federal Judge may have grown out of a "fear" of the minoritization of caucasians. Over the past two decades, Arizona’s latino population has almost tripled, with the majority of caucasians dropping from 72% to 57%.
Unfortunately, a University of Arizona poll found that 81% of the state’s registered voters favor SB1070’s requirement that people produce documentation to show that they are in the US legally, and that 74% agree that police should be allowed to detain anyone unable to prove their status.
This is misleading, though, as hispanics tend to lag caucasians in voter registration and participation, according to The Economist.
I have really enjoyed improving my Spanish, and I welcome much of what the hispanic culture brings. Some of my best friends are Spanish speakers – and I have found them to be generous and caring people, almost to a fault.
Fences, wires, guard dogs and towers are unlikely to contain human migration along the US border.
If you are interested in improving your career and your long-term marketability, consider learning Spanish – perhaps we would all be better off embracing – as opposed to retaliating.
I will make a post on how to affordably prepare yourself (and your children) for this century – by embracing Spanish.