Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ethnicity matters

I know we don't like to say it but the data exists to show that it is more than an anecdotal racist remark.

Ethnicity matters in the area of domestic abuse:
Dr. Craig Field and The University of Texas Houston School of Public Health did a study of couples in 1995 and again in 2000. His results indicate that eight percent of white couples experience some type of male-on-female partner violence. Hispanic couples show a 21% rate of male-on-female violence.

The study statistically controlled socio-demographic and psychosocial variables.

To read more, here's a link:

I lay this problem at the feet of Salad Bowl Assimilation. We have told everyone to come here just as they are and don't change a thing. We even go to great lengths to preserve their culture through bilingual education and the sharing of national anthems. (Now that was a hit.)

The problem is further complicated by ethnic enclaves (we live in one) where a predominant minority group can do everything in Spanish; radio, TV, newspapers, church, school, shopping. They even celebrate the holidays and festivals from the old country.

But sociologist George Borjas explains that such ethnic enclaves delay true assimilation by three generations or more.

Under that colorful surface of our Salad Bowl of peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers is a putrid mess of rotting culture.

Ethnicity matters in the area of drunk driving:
MADD did a study about self-perception of drunkenness. Whites feel that they are too impaired to drive after two to four drinks. Hispanics, when asked the same questions will say six to eight drinks. And the fatalities by nationality prove the point.

Ethnicity matters in the number of high school drop-outs:
In 1960 53% of adult men born in the US were high school dropouts. By 1998, that number was down to 9%. For immigrant men today, that number is 33.6%. One only needs to look at virtually any school district in America to see that Hispanic males have the highest dropout rate of any students. And it hasn't been any different for 35 years.

We can look at other topics as well, like date rape, littering, and driving without insurance. My point is that ethnicity matters. Our society has worked hard to get the message out that it is unacceptable to beat your spouse. And we have been largely successful at being less violent than the previous generation. Additionally, reporting and counseling have become acceptable in our society.

But when we overlay another culture and fail to insist on true assimilation, our culture is cheapened. And the immigration rate and high birth rate among Hispanics means a constant flow of newcomers and less urgency to adopt the ways of their new land. Why change your ways when you can remain the same?

True assimilation begins when our society, including our media, is honest with itself. Only then can we begin to teach and lift our visitors and newcomers. Instead, those who cry out for the preservation of our culture are labeled as racists. I think they are buying in to the wrongheaded idea that American culture is not worth preserving. By the time enough of us figure out that we should protect it, I fear it will be too late.

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