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Historian Anticipated Rift Between African-Americans And Hispanic Immigrants

Feb 13, 2008
I almost shivered as I read an article entitled "The Hispanic Factor." Its purpose was to "look at the possibility of African-Americans and Hispanic Americans forming a political bloc as a means of combatting white America's racism." It was written in 1993 and published in 1995 as part of a book entitled Not To Be. The author, Mba Mbulu, had anticipated at least 15 years in advance that a rift would emerge between African-Americans and Hispanics, but he was not blaming either group.

I have not read many of Mr. Mbulu's works, but it is clear that the race question is a major factor in much that he writes. I can understand why some people, particularly those in positions of affluence and prosperity, might accuse him of seeing race in every thing. But this prophetic article about African-Americans and Hispanics does not seem like the writing of an individual who can't get beyond his Black roots. This appears to me to be an objective assessment of a well thought out policy. Listen to this quote:

"Why were Hispanics selected to fulfill America's cheap labor needs? Why not Asians, or Arabs, or Pacific Islanders? Why not other whites, from western or eastern Europe? Why Hispanics? Simply because Hispanics are more like African-Americans than any of the other mentioned peoples. But alike how? Shouldn't similarities increase the possibilities of African-Americans and Hispanics uniting against white American discrimination and domination? If those were the type similarities whites had observed, white businessmen and politicians definitely would not have recruited Hispanics and placed them right in the midst of African-Americans. The similarities that appealed to white leaders were the type that suggest that Hispanic immigrants would fail to be politically astute to the point where they could become a threat to the white American way-of-life. America's white leadership concluded that Hispanics, like African-Americans, would not develop a sophisticated enough degree of political maturity to orchestrate an independent political platform or unite with their 'natural' allies and force the changes that they feel are necessary. If their assessment is correct, then African-Americans and Hispanics in the United States will not form a viable political bloc. They will, instead, grow continually more hostile toward each other and possibly render each other politically ineffective."

Since the year 2000, the reports of violence between Hispanics and African-Americans have been on a steady upsurge. Gang activity that targets one or the other group has turned deadly, and those who are less likely to resort to physical violence are using words that indicate an infectious level of hostility. Granted, these segments of each group are the least likely to be politically sophisticated, but that is exactly the point Mr. Mbulu made. White America's status quo allowed Hispanic immigrants into the country knowing that they could only afford to live where the deprived masses of African-Americans live, could only compete for the jobs the masses of African-Americans traditionally worked, and could not speak the language African-Americans speak. One would think that the leaders of this country had to know what the results of this combination of ignorance, poverty deprivation and inability to communicate would be.

Even worse, those Hispanics and African-Americans who are politically astute, those who can control their gut impulses- don't have enough influence with status quo representatives and authority figures to slow this self destructive monster down. However, white America's political and business leadership can slow that monster down.

But white America's political and business leadership will not put a stop to the violence because color on color discord and antipathy makes it easier for them to maintain control of the country. It seems, like Mba Mbulu suggests, that they planned it this way and are playing African-Americans and Hispanics like a piano. And, like a piano, like politically immature people, African-Americans and Hispanics are producing the senseless tune white power America wants them to produce.
About the Author
Genevieve Grant has taught alternative education courses and has more than 20 years experience as an Alternative Education Specialist. She can be reached at ggrant@asetgls.com Not To Be www.asetbooks.com
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