Cultural Revolutions

Creating a "New Economy"

Al Gore, in a recent address to the National Council of La Raza, the militant Hispanic organization, credited Latinos for creating "a new economy in America" and said "not enough Latinos are participating [in its benefits]. We have a lot of work to do, and we will not rest until everyone in the community shares fully." The problem can be rectified in the next presidential election, if the 32-million-member Latino population goes for Al Gore. On the same day that the Vice President spoke. La Raza released a report showing that one-third of American Hispanics are impoverished —not a surprising datum when juxtaposed with another finding in the report, that 53.4 percent of Latinos in the United States graduated from high school in 1995, compared with 73.8 percent of blacks and 83 percent of whites.

For Clinton Democrats who regard the white American majority as incurably racist. La Raza's statistics have a sinister significance they are eager to share with a potential constituency, which more than one speaker in Chicago referred to as a "sleeping giant." "I don't want to hear any talk that's supposed to make us feel good," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials Education Fund. "I want to hear about the immigrant bashing and the threats to affirmative action that arc sweeping the country."

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