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United States: Democracy and the Hispanics

     The United States is promoting "democracy" (?) around the world, but many WAISers have expressed doubts about ours. Here is a story which cuts both ways. Reasonable people are delighted when minorities get jobs for which they are qualified, but they are resentful when jobs are given to unqualified individuals. They have demanded that Silicon Valley companies establish quotas for minorities, which would effectively mean the death of some companies. Note that Hispanics trail even blacks in schooling.
     The charge is being investigated that some minority owned businesses which have received fat contracts for the expansion of San Francisco Airport are fronts for white owners under a arrangement guaranteeing minorities a share of the contracts. There is no evidence that the minority companies on their own could have done the job. At the same time, a wealthy Spaniard has used his name to qualify for minority contracts.
     This problem hits politics when the Spanish language is used to keep political control of the large Hispanic electorate. WAIS chairman Peter Duignan has shown that bilingual education is a failure, and Hispanic parents agreed, but those with an interest in it fought back. A. Jerrold Perenchio, head of Spanish TV company Univisión, spent heavily to defeat a California initiative banning bilingual education, but it won easily. This would seem to show that money is not all-powerful in politics, but Republican Ron Unz was so incensed by the tactics of the Hispanic campaign that he proposed legislation to limit campaign spending, and he was supported by Senator John McCain. Unfortunately it split the well-funded California Republican Party, which has remained disunited. Chalk one down for honest democracy.

Ronald Hilton - 08/31/99