Hispanic votes matter

You won’t find anyone on the internet who’s a bigger critic of Donald Trump than me. More specifically, I’m disgusted by Trump’s racism and the increasing racism within the GOP.

And yet I have trouble understanding what the Democrats are trying to do. Going at least as far back as the Jesse Jackson campaigns, there’s been this “rainbow coalition” idea, a theory that people of color are oppressed by our society and thus are the natural allies of the Democratic Party, which claims to be the anti-racism party.

I’m not Hispanic, but I have to wonder how Hispanics are viewing the events of 2020. The “black lives matter” rallying cry is something close to the new religion within the Democratic Party. By itself, that may not be a big problem, but unless I’m missing something this new anti-racism ideology is increasingly focused on African-Americans, to the exclusion of other people of color. How much discussion have we seen this year about young Hispanic men who are murdered by cops? Or imprisoned for selling pot?

When some uneducated schmuck responds to “black lives matter” with “all lives matter”, he’s told that he’s a racist. How would that make the average Hispanic voter feel? I can’t say, but it’s a question worth considering as polls show increasing Hispanic support for Donald Trump.

The Democratic strategy for future decades seems to hinge on the assumption that working class Hispanics making $43,000/year will continue to have radically different voting patterns from working class whites making $43,000/year. (Even though the two groups often intermarry, and work side by side.) Maybe so, but how likely does that seem in a world where the Democrats increasingly portray blacks as the victims and non-blacks as the oppressor class? What’s the Democratic Party pitch to Hispanics (and Asians?) Recall that the old South Africa had whites, blacks, and “colored”, each treated differently. Is that the plan? No more rainbow coalition?

I’m not saying the Dems are wrong in a moral sense; perhaps this is an incredibly noble and selfless crusade on their part. I have become persuaded that the complaints of the black community are genuine. Rather this post is about strategy—I just don’t see how Dems will win in the long run unless they find some other way to frame the anti-racism issue. A more inclusive framing. A framing describing how we’d all benefit from a color-blind society.

A cynic might say this is all a sort of kabuki theatre by the Democratic establishment. After all, even heavily Democratic California refused to enact some fairly basic policy reforms to get rid of bad cops. What does that tell you about their sincerity?

“To ignore the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform is insulting,” Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said in a statement early Tuesday morning after his bill to “decertify” officers who commit crimes or serious misconduct failed to get a vote in the final hours Monday. “Today, Californians were once again let down by those who were meant to represent them.”

That’s right; even in 2020, when everyone is falling all over themselves to prove how anti-racist they are, heavily Democratic California legislators refuse to enact a bill that would take away the badges of bad cops. Blue lives matter?



29 Responses to “Hispanic votes matter”

  1. Gravatar of David R. Henderson David R. Henderson
    20. September 2020 at 10:12

    I can see how one might claim that Trump is a nativist. What’s your evidence that he’s a racist?

  2. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    20. September 2020 at 10:17

    Joel Kotkin has called California a “neo-feudal” state. The idea being that there is a sharp and permanent division between socioeconomic classes, with everyone but the top classes being shut out of property ownership and wealth accumulation.

    I don’t know if it works as a heuristic, but I do wonder about how well a theory like this would predict votes in the California legislature; anything that would increase the power or owned wealth of Californian’s without a college education will not be passed by the legislature.

  3. Gravatar of ee ee
    20. September 2020 at 10:30

    Number one issue for attracting Hispanic voters is probably local support during the pandemic. Opening schools is probably most important. I’ve also seen massive lines to get free tests and food in my area. There’s a lot that could be done to improve the options and customer service for those products.

    Other issues cited below as relatively more important to Hispanics are racial inequality and climate change:

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. September 2020 at 10:33

    David, Trump has made many dozens of statements with clear racist overtones. Here are just a couple examples:



    People that know him report that Trump uses the “N-word” in private, which is another indicator of his views.

  5. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. September 2020 at 10:38

    David, I’d add that there are other statements that are not textbook racism, but closely related bigotry, as with Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.

    When Trump repeatedly defends Confederate generals who fought to preserve slavery in his speeches, I believe white southern voters “get the message”.

  6. Gravatar of Jg Jg
    20. September 2020 at 11:16

    I grew up in the ELA area , and my mother still lives in the area. Although not Hispanic my family has roots in ELA going back to the 1930s.
    Although not a moral perception Most blue collar Hispanics have contempt for the black community.

  7. Gravatar of Jg Jg
    20. September 2020 at 11:19

    Local lib Hispanic leaders could give a crap about the average working Hispanic. As long as there are enough libs, Hispanic or otherwise, to secure election victory the Hispanic pols will never reject their true familia – the Democratic Party machine.

  8. Gravatar of Jg Jg
    20. September 2020 at 11:42

    Scott so lacks humility that he can’t see the trees from the forest. This is what happens when you live a bubble (Scott’s own words). Trump likely has stereotypical opinions about groups , and this is unfortunate. On the other hand , stereotypes are stereotypes because they reflect some truths. But on an individual basis he seems to treat everyone , irrespective of race, with the same contempt or friendliness , and his response is contingent , not on race, but on how much one kisses his booty. Albeit not presidential His behavior is not unlike a lot of humans. If there is any group that treats people like inanimate objects based on either color or gender , it is the party of the libs. This party platform is Far more pernicious to or our country (as it is an never ending political theater of propaganda and victimization ) than a single president’s moral failing.

  9. Gravatar of PRC PRC
    20. September 2020 at 13:44

    Interesting post,
    However, one caveat. For whatever reason, African Americans do commit vastly disproportionate interracial violence, especially on Hispanics or working class Whites. Now, that is not to excuse bigotry against African Americans, but I think that is BLM’s greatest weakness.

  10. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. September 2020 at 13:51

    Jg, Yes, I know some racists who treat individual minority members with respect and dignity. My bigger concern is how Trump’s racism affects his views on issues like domestic law and order, immigration, war crimes, etc.

    And honestly, Trump has so many serious flaws that even if he were not racist my views of him would hardly change at all. He recently joked about a reporter being shot and injured at a protest. Violence against reporters all over the world is a growing problem, but to Trump it’s something to joke about with his supporters. (Putin also likes to joke about it.) I could cite another 100 similar faults. Racism is just the tip of the iceberg with Trump.

  11. Gravatar of Brandon Berg Brandon Berg
    20. September 2020 at 16:17

    Why do you think the complaints of BLM are legitimate? I compared the statistics in the Washington Post database of fatal police shootings to the arrest statistics in table 43 of the UCR, and the rate of fatal shootings per 100k arrests is more or less constant across races. Men are fatally shot at five times the rate per 100k arrests that women are, and even white men are fatally shot at ten times the rate per capita at which black women are, but Mike Huckabee got nothing but jeers for correctly pointing out that “Male Lives Matter” would have been a more statistically informed slogan.

    Black people might theoretically be arrested at higher rates because the police are racist, but the racial differences in arrest rates are about what we would expect given indicators that do not depend on police, like victim reports in the NCVS and neighborhood-level crime rates. Over half of all murder victims are black, and it’s probably not because there’s a totally undetected epidemic of white people sneaking into black neighborhoods and killing people.

    It should be noted that the white-Asian gap in arrest rates and fatal police shootings is approximately the same as the black-white gap. I think it’s safe to assume that we do not have an Asian-supremacist police force.

    Public perception of the demographics of fatal police shootings is highly skewed due to selective reporting by national news outlets. If you look into individual stories of police shootings of white people in the Washington Post database, you will find many stories, covered only by local news, that are very similar to the national news stories of black people being shot by police. Other than a short blurb in Reason, there has no national news coverage of the shooting of Ryan Whitaker, for example.

    You can make an argument that police are shooting too readily across the board, and that this disproportionately affects demographics that commit more crime (men, and young black men in particular), but that’s very different from the narrative that BLM and the media are pushing.

  12. Gravatar of BC BC
    20. September 2020 at 18:18

    I was surprised to read that, “only one in four Hispanics saw the group as people of color.” [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/opinion/biden-latino-vote-strategy.html]

    I have read in several places that progressive whites’ views are actually to the left of the average black person’s views, even on racial issues.

    Something about progressives’ intellectual culture (PC, Wokeness, etc.) prevents them from hearing the views even of minority groups that progressives claim to represent. It’s not that different from how, in the past, progressive dogmas evolved to stop reflecting the views of white working class voters even though progressives claimed to also represent the working class. Maybe, White progressives’ exposure to Blacks and Latinos is too heavily weighted towards Black and Latino intellectuals, who tend to be more progressive than Blacks and Latinos generally? White progressives think they are listening to Blacks and Latinos, but they are really just listening to other progressives.

  13. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    20. September 2020 at 19:02

    When some uneducated schmuck responds to “black lives matter” with “all lives matter”, he’s told that he’s a racist. How would that make the average Hispanic voter feel?

    BLM is obviously a racist slogan, and when someone asks where it is supposed to be racist, it kind of reminds me of the answer that Ben Shapiro gave when he was asked by an activist where it says that a boy scout is supposed to be a boy.

    And if one still doesn’t see it, one can follow Scott’s potentially fatal suggestion and ask BLM activists on the streets at night why their group isn’t called “All Lives Matter”.

  14. Gravatar of Anonymous Anonymous
    20. September 2020 at 20:27

    Christian, Say what you will about BLM itself, this point has been debated a billion times since the slogan became a thing. Nobody* is arguing that non-black lives don’t matter but that e.g. police killings and their lack of consequences in many situations show that black lives have not mattered in practice. “All Lives Matter”, while theoretically just a phrase, has in practice become a loaded term that is often used to dismiss the claims and arguments of BLM proponents. Now you can argue that you disgree with BLMs premises, or that you don’t think that ALM has to mean that, but that’s the argument that’s been going on and if you want to see where those two sides are coming from that’s the reality of it.

    * Virtually nobody because in a country with 330M people there are some people who hold any arbitrarily bad opinion.

  15. Gravatar of Cartesian Theatrics Cartesian Theatrics
    20. September 2020 at 20:53

    Maybe of note, one think I’ve found is that there’s a lot of resentment lingering among hispanics w.r.t. the Oboma/Biden gun-running scandal that continues to resurface. My girlfriend is Hispanic and her family is so upset about Obama’s handling of that they still refuse to vote for Biden.

  16. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. September 2020 at 21:14

    Brandon, I’d suggest speaking with some black people about how they are treated by police.

    I agree that differing crime rates play a role, but I think you need to look beyond that simple explanation. We have a totally dysfunctional criminal justice system, and blacks are disproportionately affected.

    I know very little about BLM, so I won’t comment on that organization.

  17. Gravatar of Thomas Hutcheson Thomas Hutcheson
    21. September 2020 at 03:55

    “but unless I’m missing something this new anti-racism ideology is increasingly focused on African-Americans, to the exclusion of other people”

    I think you are missing that the slogan is “Black Lives Matter,” not “Only Black Lives Matter.” To misunderstand it as needing to be “corrected” by saying “ALL Lives Matter” does seem so incredibly obtuse that its not hard to wonder if the statement’s not racist.

    Police reform [See Alex Tabarrok] to make Black Lives Matter (including the historically scandalous failure of police to protect Black lives and property from crime) would make everyone safer.

  18. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    21. September 2020 at 05:56

    You are correct.

    And furthermore, Hispanics are largely descendant from the Spanish. Who kicked the moors out. And then conquored the New World and did many things as bad as slavery. They will go the same route as my Italian blood that had little to do with any of this. They already went after Columbus who last time I checked was backed by the Spanish.

    But of course theres a reason we don’t hold people responsible for the sins of their father or in this case sins of people from other countries in the same Continent that lived centuries ago.

  19. Gravatar of MikeDC MikeDC
    21. September 2020 at 08:32

    Police reform [See Alex Tabarrok] to make Black Lives Matter (including the historically scandalous failure of police to protect Black lives and property from crime) would make everyone safer.

    I’m wholeheartedly behind the sort of police reforms Tabarrok suggests for the reason that it would disproportionately improve the lives of blacks but also constitute a general improvement.

    But I think you are ridiculously off-base to suggest the Black Lives Matter protests support anything of the kind.
    1. As noted above, the Democratic Party killed a police reform bill in California.
    2. The Democratic Party also killed the national police reform bill put forth by Tim Scott a couple months ago.
    3. The Primary slogan is “defund the police”.
    4. The specific acts of “police violence” being protested are largely at odds with “a scandalous failure of police to protect Black lives and property”. For example, the recent shooting of Jacob Blake occurred as the police responded to Blake breaking a restraining order in place because he was accused of violence and theft against another Black person.

    The evidence is pretty clear that Black Lives Matter is not a good thing for black people who wish to be free of violence and secure in their possessions just as much as everyone else.

  20. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    21. September 2020 at 09:49

    Thomas, You said:

    “I think you are missing that the slogan is “Black Lives Matter,” not “Only Black Lives Matter.” To misunderstand it as needing to be “corrected” by saying “ALL Lives Matter” does seem so incredibly obtuse that its not hard to wonder if the statement’s not racist.”

    No, I understand exactly what’s being said; it’s you who have not understood my argument. You don’t see me going around arguing “all lives matter” do you?

    Sorry, but as long as the Dems continue calling Hispanics racist for saying “all lives matter”, they’ll never end up with a “rainbow coalition”. That’s the reality, you can accept it or not.

    Of course I agree with Alex.

    Sean, You can also argue that many Hispanics are descended from slaves (either black or native American slaves.)

  21. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    21. September 2020 at 09:57

    “Anti-racism” is a misnomer and a scam. It’s similar to “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” which is none of those things except Korean.

    A perfectly fine concept (being against racism) has been corrupted by an unworkable cult.

    The Democrats should disavow the “anti-racists” because they aren’t actually against racism, they are for setting up a new racist structure.

    Still I see that problem on the left as a lot less threatening than what’s going on on the right.

  22. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    21. September 2020 at 10:00

    Of course the BLM fervor of the left is counter-productive. It’s counter-productive, not because it unintentionally appears racist to Hispanics, but because it’s actually racist. The “anti-racist” ideology behind BLM is racist because it imputes original sin to whites and not blacks. The mobs singling out white people to make them power salute are racist.
    When BLM started they enumerated a number of reasonable police reforms. And, I agree with you that black people are harassed disproportionately by police. But BLM didn’t stop there. They make the argument that cops are systemically racist executioners because they shoot black people at a disproportionate rate, but they, of course, don’t follow that logic to the inevitable conclusion that cops are misandristic because they shoot men at a far more disproportionate rate.
    BLM calls for reparations which are, of course, racist. Under reparations I would be held accountable for sins committed by people who happen to have had the same skin color as me at a time when my ancestors were living in southern Ireland where the only slavers were brown skinned Barbary pirates who occasionally raided our coast to gather up galley and sex slaves.
    And much of the behavior is also Kabuki theater as you suggest. How else can you explain the hypocrisy of the Minneapolis city council members or Portland mayor Ted Wheeler?
    I believe we need police reform but BLM is a counter-productive vehicle for that reform. Nobody wants to be seen as giving in to a racist mob during a crime wave, but that perception is now part of what well meaning moderate and conservative politicians will have to overcome to proceed with reforms thanks to BLM.

  23. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    21. September 2020 at 10:15

    With regard to my comment above, I specifically mean people like the author of “White Fragility.”

    The unfortunate thing is that there are probably a lot of people who do have good intentions in promoting what they think is true anti-racism by supporting some of this cult. I think the same is true of BLM. I just don’t have much trust for the intellectual core of those organizations.

    I’d like to see the Democrats have a “Sista Soldier” moment on this. The normies in the Dem party handed the nomination to Biden. I think Biden and Dems in general should keep that in mind and refrain from catering to the radicals. Yes, push for police reform, etc, but don’t let the “anti-racists” get any more influence.

    I think what you’ve written is correct. It’s very unfortunate that this is happening. I don’t think a Biden administration would be affected much by this fringe though.

  24. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    21. September 2020 at 11:23

    David Henderson, to his credit, is being polite to Scott. I am not–because this is his dumb blog. Scott’s answers are either willful lies—which I admit to having a hard time believing—or he is just ignorant—also hard to accept. I just think Scott BELIEVES Trump is racist—and he has no evidence—which is why his answers are ridiculous. I will not waste my time explaining how he is factually erroneous. If he wants to bet money on his examples—then I will waste time doing so.

  25. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    21. September 2020 at 14:30

    Nobody* is arguing that non-black lives don’t matter


    If this is the case, then one should not choose such an unsuitable slogan. It is simply not a good slogan. As Scott correctly implies, other groups are not addressed by it at all, for example Hispanics.

    police killings and their lack of consequences in many situations show that black lives have not mattered in practice.

    I have certainly looked into the subject, and as far as I have read the articles and data, police violence and police murders in the US affect all ethnic groups to a disturbing amount. Another reason why one should never choose such a bad slogan.

    And there is a third reason, as far as I have read the data, most blacks are murdered by other blacks, mostly black men between 18 and 40 years of age.

    These are the vast majority of black lives that are lost, and they are lost in two ways: First the black people that are murdered and then the black perpetrators, who are imprisoned for a very long time if they are caught. These black lives, which probably make up 95-99% of all victims, do not interest BLM one bit. The motivation of BLM is only a tiny tiny fraction, namely the fraction that is killed by white policemen. Another reason why this slogan is so ridiculously stupid and so insincere.

    “All Lives Matter”, while theoretically just a phrase, has in practice become a loaded term that is often used to dismiss the claims and arguments of BLM proponents.

    You have involuntarily described one basic problem quite well. If in a quasi-religious movement the simple truth becomes a “loaded term”, then this movement has a big problem and most likely belongs into the trash can of history.

  26. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    22. September 2020 at 00:22

    The actions of a ‘racist’?
    “While criticizing Trump’s words, writers omitted Trump’s positive relations with minorities. For decades Trump cultivated friendships with African Americans. He sued the city of Palm Beach for excluding African Americans and Jews from social clubs. He created the first high-end social club in Palm Beach that welcomed black persons as members. He supported Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to pressure corporations to hire and promote black and minority employees. Trump supported the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He praised minorities working in his real estate projects. In 1999, he wanted to run for President with an African American woman as his running-mate. He made campaign contributions to political candidates who are African Americans and minorities. He made more contributions to an African American than to any white candidate. He also donated to charities affiliated with prominent African Americans.”

  27. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    22. September 2020 at 01:23

    @Postkey – good cite, and possibly Trump did this to help his businesses, as it’s not good business to be anti-Black. BTW, in the USA some friends tell me that Blacks routinely crash private parties, as in a large block party held at somebody’s house, and there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them, even if you politely tell them it’s a closed private party. Because if you do, they’ll retaliate. Better to just play dumb. This may not be true in the Midwest, but true on the coastal Blue cities.

    PS–who is racist? Everybody who does not have a significant other that’s of a different race. Sumner and I are not racist since we’re white and are with Asian women. Nearly every Black I see is racist by my definition. They, like most whites, subscribe to the Noah’s Ark theory of dating your mother. Check it out next time on TV. Hypocrites.

  28. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. September 2020 at 12:39

    Michael, Most of the smartest left wing intellectuals think Trump is a racist. Yawn.

    What you may not know is that most of the smartest right wing intellectuals also think Trump is a racist.

    So it’s not all political bias. He really is racist.

  29. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    24. September 2020 at 01:36

    ” . . . the smartest left wing intellectuals . . . the smartest right wing intellectuals . . . ”

    Oxymorons to the left of ‘us’, oxymorons to the right of ‘us’, plus an appeal to a majority of oxymorons?

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