by Daniel Cubias
Recently, a piece on Blacks and Hispanics highlighted the commonalities and the conflicts between Hispanics and African Americans.
The two groups have long been played off one another, which benefits those who love the status quo. After all, if America’s two largest ethnic minorities are busy fighting each other, they have little energy to combat the power structures that hinder their mutual growth.
A recent example of this took place when “GOP House members argued in a hearing that more minorities would be working were it not for illegal immigration.”
Yes, conservative politicians already have rural America good and terrified of Latinos. So they’ve moved on to scaring other ethnicities. The claim is that undocumented immigrants are snagging low-skilled jobs that would otherwise go to African Americans.
This ploy comes despite the fact that “studies indicate that the correlation is not as direct as some would suggest,” which is a polite way of saying there’s little proof for this.
Even if Latino immigrants were taking jobs away from black people, African American “unemployment rates for more than 50 years have been almost double what they are for white Americans…even as the population of foreign-born people in the U.S. has increased.”
In other words, Black Americans perpetually trail other ethnicities, regardless of how many immigrants show up. But it’s an effective strategy to get Blacks and Hispanics to feel that each is stealing the other’s tiny piece of the pie. As such, it is a classic example of divide and conquer.
Of course, the subtext of this tactic is that Latinos and Blacks should be grateful if they can snag a job doing manual labor. This assumption could not clearer among conservatives.
Witness a recent candidate for Congress who proposed a novel solution for the high unemployment rate for Black teenagers. Jack Davis, a New York Republican, said, “Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work.” Davis added that he would simultaneously deport all the illegal immigrants who hold those jobs.
Davis’ plan to kick out Hispanics while sending Black people back into the fields hasn’t gained traction. But the overall effort to nudge blacks and Latinos into a cultural fist fight isn’t going away.
Again, this is not some plot to incite a racial war. Instead it is a knee-jerk reaction from the establishment to keep people in their place. As Dr. Boyce Watkins has stated, “American corporations have been allowed to pillage the American worker, strip him/her of significant bargaining power and keep wages lower than they need to be.”
Goading Hispanics and Blacks into battling over who gets to be exploited in a menial job is a dream come true for individuals in power. The good news is that, if certain politicians get their way, none of this will matter in the future. Every American below the top two percent will be a serf, regardless of ethnicity.
So we’ll finally all be equal.
To learn more about Daniel, visit Hispanic Fanatic.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.