The Unintended Paradox of Arizona

Nothing defines an individual more than a different identity being thrust upon him or her. It is more important than just one moment, and it in the long run might be pivotal for the country.  It might convert a leaderless community into one of action — for America’s good.. 

The massive attention given to the Supreme Court decision on Arizona represents only a part of our passage into the new time we are privileged to witness, although many of us will have to adjust our vision to it, as if entering a room suddenly lit.  The intense speculation over the HispanicLatino vote in the presidential race is but another component of the point of no return.  Things HispanicLatino have become and will forever be, with growing strength, a part of the national consciousness.  The Dream Act.  The penetration of the HispanicLatino image into mainstream advertising.  The changing demography.  Unending elections and perennial electoral calculations.  All are real departure points rooted in change but now intensified by the necessity of HispanicLatinos to prove their citizenship by showing their papers until the last remaining part of Arizona is declared unconstitutional. 

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The Nation-saving Purpose of the HispanicLatino Population

Readers who have heard me speak know that it was as a teenager more than 40 years ago that I watched the impact that sudden changes in demography and in the economy can unleash.  The winding down of the bracero program and the nearly simultaneous closing of the local air force base devastated the town in West Texas where my family once lived.  From that experience it was only a matter of time before I realized what was coming to the country as a whole.  As a young reporter in Corpus Christi in the late 1970’s, I saw the makeup of its schools’ HispanicLatino population prefigure the slow unfolding of the drama we are witnessing today.  It was then that I first learned the power of 2.1.

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