REPLY: Prop. 187 & ethnic voting

Author: "Richard Jensen, H-Net Executive Director"

Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 19:54:22 -0600 (CST)

Donald B. Connelly <dconnell%lonestar.jpl.utsa.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU> asks:

Can GOP make inroads in African-American, Hispanic, and Asian middleclass? That was why some GOP opposed CA Prop 187.

Richard Jensen replies:

They did in California.

In the governor's race Wilson took 46% of the Asian vote, and 23% of the Latino vote. A MAJORITY of 1st-generation immigrants voted for him.

As far as proposition 187 is concerned, it had strong support among blacks (47% yes) and Asians (47% yes). Indeed, 23% of Latinos voted for it. 54% of first generation immigrants voted in favor of 187. It's long been a factor in ethnic history that recent immigrants are the ones most economically threatened by further immigration. They have an economic reason to oppose more immigration. As both the supporters and the opponents of 187 noted, illegal immigrants are coming to California for jobs. Whose jobs?--the jobs of people who most resemble them.

Richard Jensen

U of Illinois-Chicago [campbelld@lynx.apsu.edu]





Date: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 22:21:33 CST6CDT

From: "G. L. Seligmann (AcadCore, x3399)" <GUS@cas.unt.edu>

Richard Jensen writes:

>As far as proposition 187 is concerned, it had strong support among blacks (47% yes) and Asians (47% yes). Indeed, 23% of Latinos voted for it. 54% of first generation immigrants voted in favor of 187. It's long been a factor in ethnic history that recent immigrants are the ones most economically threatened by further immigration. They have an economic reason to oppose more immigration. As both the supporters and the opponents of 187 noted, illegal immigrants are coming to California for jobs. Whose jobs?--the jobs of people who most resemble them.

In addition to the economic issues that Dick mentions above I think that a semi-intelligent Republican approach can make serious inroads. For example Southwestern hispanics are very conservative on many social issues such as abortion. I would think that there are no more crime-victimized people in America than ghetto blacks. The right sort of appeals on crime issues might work here. Having said all of that I should add that internal divisions will make it very difficult for the Republicans to move in these directions. What frightens me is that the Demos won't try and finesse these issues because of their internal divisions.

Gus Seligmann

Univ. of North Texas

gus@cas.unt.edu







Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 23:19:43 -0500 (EST)

From: DDIAMOND%delphi.com@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

Another aspect of the Prop 187 vote is the antagonism generated by the street rallies with scores of individuals waving Mexican flags. At some rallies, the constant chant of "Viva Mexico" was heard. Seldom in any attempt at developing a vote against a measure that had that old "Know-Nothing" atmosphere would we expect the flag of another country waved in the faces of the general public. I did considerable phoning the night of the election in a "GOTV" (get out the vote) program for my incumbent Republican Congressman. The number of Hispanic people who were called were quick to state their view on 187 AND THEIR resentment at those who would wave the flag of another country. Yes, they are recent immigrants AND home owners. But overwhelmingly, they AND many of their Anglo and Asian counterparts were incensed at the flying of the flag of Mexico.

Dick Diamond





Date: Fri, 18 Nov 1994 14:17:59 -0600 (CST)

From: POHENRY%stmarytx.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

Gus-

You do have a point concerning possible strategies where Republicans can make inroads among Hispanics and Blacks particularly in the Southwestern Uni ted States. However, what mitigates against this is the history of racism that permiates almost every corner of social relations in the Southwest. Republ icans are still perceived by a large percentage of Hispanics and Blacks as somehow associated with the "power structure" that (who) is responsible for the dire economic conditions under which they live. If Republicans wish to make inroads among Hispanics and Blacks they have to embrace policy positions that clearly distance themselves from this history of racism.

Henry Flores





Date: Fri, 18 Nov 1994 21:44:57 -0600

From: (Michael A. Schoenfield) <maschoen%students.wisc.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU>

Henry Flores writes:

>Gus-

>You do have a point concerning possible strategies where Republicans can make inroads among Hispanics and Blacks particularly in the Southwestern United States. However, what mitigates against this is the history of racism that permiates almost every corner of social relations in the Southwest.

Republicans are still perceived by a large percentage of Hispanics and Blacks as somehow associated with the "power structure" that (who) is responsible for the dire economic conditions under which they live. If Republicans wish to make inroads among Hispanics and Blacks they have to embrace policy positions that clearly distance themselves from this history of racism.

I agree with your analysis which is substantiated by the low participation of minority significant segments of the electorate participating in the 11/08/94 election. I occurs to me that the Republican party appears to be reviving the old "States Rights" arguments of the 1950s and 60s, which will only result in more alienation among minority group cohorts. Sociologists will have a ball during the next several years.

Mike S.

Michael A. Schoenfield

maschoen@students.wisc.edu 2637 Mason St.

(608) 238-6121 Voice

Madison, WI 53705-3709







Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 22:49:22 -0500 (EST)

From: DDIAMOND%delphi.com@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

Here is "another county heard from!"

There is much more of a problem of perception of voting and the process of change. If the Blacks and the Hispanics see the Republicans as so representative of the "establishment" and the "power elite," etc., then why don't they vote Democrat?

Perhaps both parties view these two groups with such disdain as to make them feel that they can't change the system! Many Republicans feel that the non-entreprenuers in both categories will vote Demo. Demos take them for granted and don't work hard in getting out the vote, in registering them, etc.

We need to look deeper than just Republicans and Democrats. We need to look at the notion of power, of government, and of the process of democratic change. Both of the political parties as we know them are close to ossification. I believe that a new alignment is coming in the next century. Trying not to be overly dramatic, communications systems, even those such as this one as well as the use of media without "party" backing, the use of PAC $, etc. have changed the landscape of party politics. It might be well to examine how minorities (read Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks) voted in California in terms of Governor, state legislators, U.S. Senate, and Props 187 AND 186 (universal health care ala Clinton). Some view of % of those registered who voted, what groups of people within those large blocs of voters voted as to whether or not they were college-grads, homeowners, business owners, etc. The results might be more along economic lines than racial/ethnic lines.

Serious political research needs to be done in this area. The Democratic Party either lost a great opportunity in California by not getting out their historic constituency to vote or that constituency doesn't "belong" to them any more. Perhaps the Democratic Party doesn't represent much more to those in the Southwest than the Republican Party.

Dick Diamond -





Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 12:33:55 EST

From: WHEALEY%ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

From: Robert Whealey

Dick Diamond's comment is sound. Particularly comment on PAC $. In media you leave out the difference between ads, news and polling. Both parties are buying the votes and in this race the Republicans win every time.

Robert Whealey

Department of History

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio





Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 12:37:51 -0600

From: (Michael A. Schoenfield) <maschoen%students.wisc.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU>

Regarding Dick Diamond's thesis, I would strongly suggest looking at efficacy issues related to minority groups, socio-economic levels, etc. as a possible explanation of why these groups don't vote Democratic. The messaqge that I have heard for years as an organizer is "Why should I vote, they are all the same and my vote won';t make a difference." I suspect that efficiacy may be related to much more than voting in answering why some groups succeed and others don't.

Mike S.

Michael A. Schoenfield maschoen@students.wisc.edu

U.W. Madison (608) 238-6121 Voice

2637 Mason St.

Madison, WI 53705-3709





Date: Sat, 26 Nov 1994 02:41:40 -0500 (EST)

From: DDIAMOND%delphi.com@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

As we are all aware, people bring "baggage" with them in most all things that they do, including participating in the democratic process. The power groups, ether they be at the local level, state, or national level, look to some groups more favorably than others. A council member of my city in speaking to a class of mine was asked why more wasn't done for the homeless since they constitute a "problem" regarding local business, parking garages, etc. The representative's answer was succinct and to the point - No one cares about the homeless because they don't vote and don't give money to political causes. The class was stunned but immediately saw the point.

If we examine this notion on a broader basis, we can easily see that until the leadership in those communities which have historically low voter turnouts AT ALL LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION, gets the community to see how large bloc voting works, a significantly large segment of the population will be totally marginalized politically (some will maintain they already are). Sadly, those people who come to this country to participate in the economic riches we have to offer and participate in some aspects of the political structure bring "baggage" of authoritarian government with them. Historically, their parents did not vote (and if they did it was inconsequential) and in having a social structure which is authoritarian by nature and does not lend itself to questioning authority - secular and otherwise, does not lend itself to skepticism and vigorous dialogue, and does not believe they have the power to change things (Predestination???vs free will???), they will not be significant participants.

I know not the situation in areas outside of California (Texas, Florida, etc.,) where there is vigorous local-state-national participation by relatively recent immigrants, but the fact of economic well being through jobs, education, etc. has a significant role in becoming part of the system. Unfortunately, those who rise and become part of the power elite are scorned by those who are still mired in their "fringe" situation. While many leaders SHOULD be serving as role models, they are often called "sellout" by whatever the current terminology might be - Coconut, etc.

An unusual situation has occurred in the city of Compton which is analogous to some extent. The African-American population is the controlling group in the city. The Hispanic population, now some 35% or more in numbers, calls the African-Americans racists, etc. and slaves turned masters. There is exists no significant number of Hispanic employees in Public Safety jobs, in school district administrative positions, etc. The African-Americans CONTROL the community. Leadership in the Hispanic community seems more concerned with name calling, lawsuits, etc. than with getting the population to participate in voting.

Ah well, perhaps we could do some organizing in given areas, get some folks out to vote, control some levels of government, and then show that participation DOES work.

:-)

Dick Diamond







Date: Sat, 26 Nov 1994 17:48:34 -0600 (CST)

From: POHENRY%stmarytx.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

To a certain extent both Dick and Robert are accurate but only to a certain extent. As I mentioned earlier, and I understand this from years of litigation research but also the recent embrace of Prop. 187 by Republican candidates, before Republicans can make enroads among Hispanics and Blacks they must be able to overcome the perception that they are a party representing the affluent and white Americans. So Republicans may buy some votes in the short run but will not be able to make long term gains. Besides I thought that nationally Blacks and Hispanics still voted overwhelmingly for Democrats. As a matter of fact I was under the impression that Hispanics voted "more Democratic" this General Election than last?

Michael-

I agree, however, I think you meant to say "participate" instead of succeed, right? When I was a graduate student I administered a survey of documented farm workers in Southern California and that was the response when I asked them why they didn't wish to become citizens. They said that they did not feel that it didn't make any difference to their social or economic situation if they 1) became citizens or 2) whether they voted.

Henry Flores

Department of Political Science

St. Mary's University San Antonio, TX





Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 22:03:55 -0500 (EST)

From: DDIAMOND%delphi.com@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

It appears to me that this "thread" certainly has broader implications than the Hispanic vote or the Black vote in California as well as elsewhere with regard to the narrow issue(s) of immigration, etc.

Perhaps the election results of 1994 are a "blip" in the map of elecions regarding the Republican Party. I think not. Rather than the Republicans being the "popular" party, I believe that the Demorcats are the losers as a result of being atropied as a leadership group.

With so many people around the country who count themselves as Democrats, with so many people who view with disdain the "rich" and "their party," I have the suspicion that rather than voting for Republicans this was a solid vote against Democrats who seem to have been personified by Tom Foley (you can't take my job away from me by term limits), Dan Rostenkowski (we always do things like this in Cook County), and a host of others who were in power so long that they became arrogant. Latest map of the election seems to indicate that the few newcomer Democrats who were elected to office were barely a handful. The change in statehouses also points up to the indication that it was throw out "The Democrat" bums. Perhaps the message of many "moderate" Democrats was ok, the messenger was wrong.

If the Republicans don't pass term limits (what ever its merits or demerits), if the Republicans don't pass a balanced budget amendment (whatever its merits or demerits), if the GOP does not do some serious reform of election laws,money, operation of House (Newt is already having second thoughts), the "Populist Public" of angry Americans will throw them out too! People ARE angry, fed up, and most probably scared!! Real income for most is falling, no new jobs are being created in the U.S. by the Fortune 500, the Stock Market indicates that those able to invest are getting weathlier but this is NOT translated to most people, and most are seeing their offspring worse off then they. This was NOT supposed to happen this way.

Not being old enough to remember, but reading enough history as t a teacher of the subject, I can well imagine the fear and anger the people had in 1929-32 when the promise of the 1920's was the despair of the '30s. People followed the work ethic, saved $$, etc. and what did it get them. I think that kind of "populist" hostility is emerging today. 187 and why the minorities did or didn't vote, etc. is a starting point.

However, there is MUCH more going on that needs to be explored.

I remain faithfully yours,

Dick Diamond





Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 09:25:48 +0000

From: "Jim Zwick" <fjzwick%mailbox.syr.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU>

It seems to me that one of the problems the Democrats have with Prop. 187 is that it builds on the current immigration law that was co-sponsored by Edward Kennedy. That law requires employers to check passports, green cards, birth certificates, etc., to verify a person's legal eligibility to work in the U.S. It was very controversial when it was introduced but people seem to have gotten used to it and it is not widely contested anymore (although it is undoubtedly not followed by all employers). Prop. 187 has now revived the same issues by dramatically extending the range of activities for which such residency-status checks are required. Because they participated in the start of these checks, the Dems are in a poor position to argue against them. If the electorate still remembers the immigration bill's origins, it should influence their voting. The Democratic party does not represent a safe haven on this issue. The successful implementation of the immigration bill may also foreshadow the results of legal challenges to Prop. 187. The extent to which anyone has a right to work, health care, schooling, etc., will be shown by the results.

Of related interest: a coalition of Swarthmore College students is calling for nationally coordinated protests against Prop. 187 on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day. For information, contact Kevin Keenan <kkeenan1@cc.swarthmore.edu>.

Jim Zwick

fjzwick@mailbox.syr.edu







Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 11:58:32 -0600

From: (Michael A. Schoenfield) <maschoen%students.wisc.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU>

>The Demorcats are the losers as a result of being atropied as a leadership group.

Dick,

I agree wholely with your insight into the 1994 election. After having served as staff in both the Congress and in the Wis. statehouse I've developed a thesis which may be appropriate in this situation. It concerns a desease termed Senatitus, striking basically good decent human beibng who begin to think that their _____ dosn't stink (to be blunt). Seriously, the public and their agents (lobbyists) treat elected officials as being so special and important that incumbents begin to believe that they deserve all of this stroking. I don't believe that mandated "term limits" are the answer, as too many elected officials don't appear to have been effected by this desease, i.e., Morris Udall, Gaylord Nelson, etc. In fact, with Congressional elections (HOR) every two years, there are term limits, i.e., elections and additionally, re-election rates in the U.S. Senate are not all that great.

\My advice to newly elected offcialsis to read Macavelli's "The Prince"and remember that they have a large board of directors back home, which will fire them for cause (or without cause) -- their constituents. Yeah for Democracy.

===============================================

Michael A. Schoenfield maschoen@students.wisc.edu

U.W. Madison (608) 238-6121 Voice

2637 Mason St.

Madison, WI 53705-3709







Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 06:02:28 -0600 (CST)

From: POHENRY%stmarytx.edu@KSUVM.KSU.EDU

Dick-

I agree with you here. I think that this election reflected the fears many have concerning the "uncertain future." I think that the Clinton election reflected a coming to the fore of a new voter one that wants quick results, is not satisfied with what has existed for a long period of time, etc. I feel that we may not see too many long termers in many offices either at the national, state or local levels whether term limits passes or not. I also agree that the Republicans better not go to sleep at the switch or they will find themselves out also. It should make for interesting election watching over the next ten years or so.

Henry Flores