That’s going to freak people out.

July 21, 2010

At a conference yesterday, I sat next to a man who identifies as Latino.  He told me, “I just heard  that there are more Hispanics in the United States than Canadians in Canada.  That’s going to freak people out.”

Nearly 46.9 million Hispanics live in the United States according to the U.S. Census bureau; 34% of the nation’s population. That’s more people than Canadians in Canada (34 million).

Check yourself out.  What happened inside of you when you heard this comparison? Did you celebrate? Move to a place of fear? Whiteness as a system would shudder to think it might not be the dominant culture.  What I know about systems is how hard they strike back when change is trying to occur.

I’ve always thought the immigration debate is more about the fear of white people that we will be “taken over” by people who don’t look like us than the issues that are most typically presented.  All the conditioning we’ve received about people who look different than us, rises up and runs wild in our imaginations – fueled by fear.

What would it be like if white people could instead embrace these changes with a sense of excitement and expectation, knowing that the wisdom to approach and solve our country’s problems will be enhanced with more diverse voices in the conversation.  What a concept.  Instead of considering these changes a problem, we welcome them as ways towards a solution.

May it be so.

One comment

  1. The United States apparently now has more Spanish speakers than Spain.

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