Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The November 12th print edition of La Raza Del Noroeste

Editor's Note -  12/24/2015 RMF : I  updated link addresses for La Raza Del Noroeste to I also updated demographic stats to 2014 from Census for WA and Whatcom County. For some reason, this 11/17/2010 post became very popular this week. 

Above is a photo of the political cartoons in the November 12 print edition of La Raza Del Noroeste, available this week at Taco Lobo in downtown Bellingham.. Beneath the cartoon is an editorial by Maria Elena Salinas entitled, "Impacto Latino legislative elections" [Google Chrome will translate this into English if you like, with some accurate results...].

Ms. Salinas comments:
"the first published data on voter turnout among Latinos continues to reflect 2 votes Democrats for a Republican. Latinos voted between 62 percent and 64 percent for Democrats and between 30 percent and 33 percent for Republican candidates, except Florida and New Mexico."

Of course, conservative Latinos did pick up substantial victories in the governorships, Senate and Congress as columnist Jorge Ramos highlights here. Politics has always been mixed for those of us who have Hispanic roots. 

We are a varied and ancient peoples representing many interests from many different parts of the world with many different politics. Reputedly, my 'Castilian' relatives accompanied Cortes to Mexico from Hispaniola to plunder Aztec fortunes.  In the early 18th century, my 8th grandfather(??), Don Marcelino Escobar, reputedly ruled as a land grant patriarch in an area that is now a treasured California State Park. Two hundred years later, my great,great grandmother ('mama mamacita') looked very "Hispanic" in the 19th century pictures of the 'oldest native daughters of California' my grandmother used to proudly show me.  My grandmother, however, was the last in our family to speak Spanish natively.  Not so with my wife and my daughter, however. 

My wife is determined not let six generations of New Mexican heritage disappear.  And so my daughter , is learning to speak Spanish. And she is a quick study, jumping on her mother's lap and demanding  that her mother read her the the November 12 print edition of La Raza Del NoroestePerhaps, with Hispanics as the fastest growing minority in Washington State, I should try to reclaim some of my heritage.  It may not be too hard to do. For starters, I could just start attending the 12:30 Sunday Spanish Mass at The Church of the Assumption in Bellingham, Wa.  as my visiting mother did this last Sunday.  "I used to know the Nicene Creed in Spanish," my wife told me. Well, at least as a young (English, Irish, Spanish, Polish, Italian among other ethnicities) boy growing up Catholic in east Oakland, I had memorized  the Creed in English.

With twelve percent of WA population Hispanic, they are indeed a powerful part of the electorate in WA state and will become more so in the coming years.  In Whatcom, Skagit,Snohomish, and King Counties, those of Hispanic descent are a significant and growing population. Whatcom has over 17,000 residents of Hispanic descent according the 2014 (Census) American Community Survey and I will venture that they pay closer attention to the world of politics than most Republicans and Democrats can probably imagine.  Reputedly, twenty-five percent of the population of Mt. Vernon is Hispanic. There, the mayor of Mt. Vernon gave the city key to 'uber-Gringo' Glenn Beck who once talked about a proposal that the illegal aliens from Mexico should be turned into "fuel". 

The Hispanic population of the West has been an important part of our country's heritage from the beginnings of European colonization, but I am not sure that all Americans understand that before there was a Northern European migration, there was a Spanish colonization from the South. Columbus, as many of us remember was an Italian, however he was financed under Isabel of Castille. The first European settlement in North America was not Plymouth Rock nor Jamestown. It was Spanish founded St. Augustine, FLA.  The oldest capitol city in North America is Santa Fe,NM where the land grant Peralta family, once very important in Oakland, Ca where my wife and I were raised, was the third governor of Santa Fe, NM.

To whomever the proud and historic Hispanic vote is given, it is most probably not going to be given here in Washington state to those who associate with someone who would propose "turning them into fuel".  Let us hope the right wing in Washington State can do better than that next election. After all, we are all of us here in Whatcom County from many different places and heritages. And in the West, it has been that way now for many hundreds of years.

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