End of the Rainbow
Report; Posted on: 2005-12-20 12:01:38
South Central Los Angeles ushers in a new era of racial tension—this time between blacks and Hispanics.
by Roger D. McGrath
Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition has a ways to go in Los Angeles, where Mexicans and blacks are killing each other at record rates. The action is particularly hot in South Central Los Angeles and in nearby Compton, two areas that have undergone a dramatic shift during the last two decades from virtually all black to half or more Hispanic.
Most of the schools in these areas are now majority Latino, something I could not possibly have imagined when I was in high school in the early 1960s. By that time South Central and Compton had made a transition from virtually all white during the 1930s to virtually all black. They remained that way into the late 1970s, when the effects of illegal immigration from Mexico first began to be felt. By the 1990s, whole neighborhoods had been transformed. Terry Anderson, a black auto mechanic from South Central, describes what it was like at the end of the decade:
"Today, teenagers can’t get after-school or entry-level jobs—something to put on a resume. When I was 16 and 17, I had jobs at McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box. Now these jobs in L.A. are held by 30- or 40-year-old immigrants—100% Spanish-speaking and probably 90% from Mexico.
"We have schools here that used to be 80% to 90% black and now, after a period of 10 years, are 80% to 90% Latino. As this trend spreads, blacks either can move to other neighborhoods or watch their children stuck in schools listening to Spanish all day. Yet nobody speaks up for our children the way pro-immigrant organizations do for immigrant children. As a result, our children are getting the equivalent of half a day of school. Why should our children be deprived?
"My two-bedroom house near the Coliseum is worth about $100,000. A comparable house two doors away sold for $135,000 and the buyers put five immigrant families in it. A black family can’t pay that and can’t live like that. In the American culture, we have one family to a house. Each of my immigrant neighbors has seven or eight children, while we Americans have two or three. Before long, all these children are going to need a place of their own. Does a black homeowner have to put four families in the house and a fifth in the garage in order to survive? A for-sale sign in our neighborhood causes panic. We know who will get that house. There will be 20 to 30 people living in it, they will keep goats, they will grow corn in the front yard, they will hang their wash on the front fence. It’s a culture clash."
Since the 1990s, the changes described by Anderson have intensified. The demographic statistics are startling. The two high schools nearest the Los Angeles Coliseum—presumably the schools Anderson’s children would have attended—are Jefferson, two miles to the east, and Manual Arts, a half mile to the southwest. During the 1960s and ’70s, the schools were nearly 100 percent black—and Jefferson had been since the 1940s. Today Jefferson is 7 percent black and 92 percent Hispanic, and Manual Arts 20 percent black and 79.5 percent Hispanic.
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=7249 )
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