Recently a Mexican-American fringe publication called "La Voz de Aztlan" published an editorial entitled "La Raza and Jews on Collision Course in Alta California," which any Jewish-American concerned about the maintenance of Jewish influence would be well advised to ponder.
It's a fascinating document, but before I quote from it, I'd like to offer some background. I think the Aztlan movement, which calls for the secession of the American Southwest, has no more likelihood of success within the next couple of decades than the neo-Confederate secession movement. Honest treason is much less profitable than dual loyalty. What Mexican President Vicente Fox and his Foreign Minister Jorge G. Castañeda want is for people of Mexican descent living in the U.S. to reap the benefits of dual citizenship. They want them to be able to vote for Mexican interests in American elections and for Fox's coalition in Mexican elections.
Fox has quickly discovered that he is more likely to win large concessions from the American establishment than from the entrenched Mexican establishment. For example, on March 21st Fox spoke in front of the California legislature and asked that California give bigger state college tuition subsidies to illegal immigrants than to American citizens from other states.
At home, however, Fox is finding it much tougher. He knows that his education and health programs are starved for funds because Mexico's rich cheat like mad on their income taxes. Yet the chance of getting them to stop is slim. Fox has instead recommended raising the regressive sales tax.
In contrast, the editorialist for La Voz, having forsworn the devious machinations of Mexican-American politics in favor of simple extremism, enjoys the freedom to express the harsh logic of future American ethnic relations:
The Jews of California, about 3% of the state's population [this figure seems a little low], have an overwhelming and disproportionate share of the state's wealth, which they utilize effectively to wield immense influence on the state's political apparatus principally through dominance of the Democratic Party. … Since they comprise a very small percent of the overall population, they are forced to utilize strategies outside of having the most numbers to maintain control. A principal strategy is to utilize their vast supply of funds to manipulate the political system as they are presently doing in the race for mayor of Los Angeles…
This largely parallels, in an uncharitable way, a March 25th essay in the L.A. Times entitled "Two Powers Passing in the Night" (click here- it may require registration to read) by respected ethnic analyst Joel Kotkin, author of Tribes : How Race, Religion, and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy. Kotkin's article was also an exploration of the growing conflict in L.A. between the long-dominant Jews and the up-and-coming Latinos. In describing what he calls Jewish "economic hegemony" over L.A., Kotkin wrote:
Jews reign over many of the most dynamic parts of the city's economy, from Hollywood to real estate, from cyberspace to the garment business. They are well represented at both the elite and grass-roots levels of L.A. business. … Nearly half the Los Angeles Business Journal's list of richest Angelenos are Jews.
A Jewish-black coalition elected black Democrat Tom Bradley to five consecutive terms as mayor from 1973 through 1989. But blacks are in relative decline in L.A., being swept aside by Mexican immigrants. Kotkin noted:
Unlike Jews and Gentiles, or African Americans, Jews and Latinos share little history or mythology. For the most part, their contacts have been opportunistic. Jews have employed Latinos in garment factories, as maids and gardeners and serviced them as customers in a host of enterprises from Whittier Boulevard to Santee Alley and Pico-Union. … But these two communities still live largely in separate worlds. Jewish-Latino relations are characterized not so much by an ethnic "schism" as by something between indifference and incomprehension. … Prospects of creating anything like the black-Jewish alliance of the Tom Bradley years seem dim.
The La Voz editorialist echoes Kotkin's theme and expands upon it:
Our increasing population and voting strength will, in the near future, collide with the interests of the Jews in Alta California, and for that matter, in the other regions of Aztlan. Our increasing ties with our brothers and sisters in Mexico will also present a challenge for the American Jewish community. The Mexican Dual Nationality Program means that we now have the same status with Mexico that American Jews have with Israel. We are now in the position to question the over eight billion dollars [this figure is high] of our tax money that are sent to Israel each year, much of it which is used for military weaponry to strike out against the Palestinians, and soon we will be in the position to remind the American Jews of their shoddy treatment of Mexico when the nation's U.N. Ambassador voted to equate Zionism with Racism.
In assessing this, we should keep in mind that lots of immigrant groups hold much stronger views about Jews than do Mexicans. For example, America's rapidly growing Muslim population. Muslim leaders contend that there are now about as many Muslims as Jews in the U.S. If they are exaggerating, it won't be for much longer. By contrast, the American Jewish Council demographers expect the U.S. Jewish community to shrink substantially in absolute numbers in the 21st century. So within a generation there will be many times more Muslims than Jews in America. The long-run prospects for Jewish political interests, such as support for Israel, are correspondingly dim.
Jews have long tended to back heavy immigration for a variety of reasons, some sentimental, some practical. One reason has been to help break Protestant monopolization of the best jobs in America. While successful, this has obviously reached the point of diminishing returns. There isn't much Protestant hegemony left.
Immigrants arriving in Southern California don't see WASPs running the place. They see Jews as having a huge proportion of the really sexy jobs. The guy who has got the best job in Southern California isn't some WASP head of a big industrial corporation (there aren't many Fortune 500 corporations in LA). No, it's Steven Spielberg.
Now, Mr. Spielberg is a phenomenally competent man (for example, he earned 48 merit badges as a Boy Scout - you only need 21 to make Eagle Scout). He has very much earned his eminence. Still, to anybody who has recently shown up, he's obviously at the top of the heap. To immigrants, the notion that they should subsidize Israel through their taxes, rather than Spielberg and his zillionaire friends doing so through their voluntary donations, is puzzling to say the least.
European opinion has swung strongly in favor of the Palestinians since last fall. The U.S. is the last devoted friend that Israel has left. Jews who want to keep America on Israel's side need to reassess their traditional enthusiasm for immigration.
During the Crack Epidemic years, Jewish voters in big cities helped to bring crime under control by throwing out black mayors and replacing them with white Republicans, like Rudy Giuliani in New York and Richard Riordan in LA, or white conservative machine Democrats, like Richard M. Daley in Chicago. This has worked well.
The next big question: can Jews bring themselves to vote at the federal level for candidates willing to cut back on immigration? That's a much a bigger psychological hurdle than voting for Giuliani or Riordan. You can't tell yourself you aren't selling out your Jewish liberal roots because you still vote for immigration federally.
Jews, however, will eventually realize that by voting for immigration, they are selling out Israel.
April 09, 2001