Editorials | Opinions | August 2007
|True or False: Los Angeles is the Second Largest Mexican City?|
Robert “Bob” Bagwell - EGPNews.com
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Today’s Urban Myth, courtesy of Mexican-hater Doug Bell of San Diego, “Los Angeles is the second largest Mexican city outside Mexico City.” (NCTIMES Aug 16 letters)
He found that information on MSN’s Encarta online encyclopedia. No numbers, no facts, just a statement that, “More Mexicans live in Los Angeles than in any city except Mexico City.” It seems that Encarta writers share Mr. Bell’s ethnic and nationality blindness. In other words, Encarta, take notice, Mexicans are Mexicans and Americans are Americans.
The city of Los Angeles has 3.5 million people (Estimate, Department of Finance, 2005). How many are Mexican citizens; how many are Americans of Mexican descent or naturalized U.S. citizens? Does Doug Bell know? No… and obviously neither does Encarta.
Parse the Encarta statement and one sees sheer ignorance and denial. A Mexican is a Mexican citizen. An American-born son or daughter of a Mexican national is an American, albeit a Mexican American or American of Mexican descent. Nonetheless, there is no stretch of imagination that makes an American-born or naturalized citizen a Mexican, except in rare cases of dual citizenship as I have.
Only hate-blinded bigots make the claim there is no difference between American citizens of Mexican origin and Mexican citizens.
Let’s look at some facts: Encarta says that 46.5% of the City of Los Angeles is Hispanic/Latino and that 79% of the 46.5% is of Mexican origin or descent. It does not say how many are Mexican citizens because it doesn’t know, or, perhaps, doesn’t care to know.
Using Encarta’s percentages, we arrive at 37.2% of the City of Los Angeles is of Mexican origin. Now, because no one knows how many of this 37.2% are Mexican citizens, let’s include “Green Carders” here legally who are still Mexican citizens, illegals from Mexico and people here on bona fide work permits. Let’s assume that’s half the Mexican origin population or 18.6% of the total in the City of Los Angeles.
Assuming, then, that 18.6% of the City of Los Angeles are citizens of Mexico—that is, real Mexicans, we run the numbers and see that the total Mexican citizen population of Los Angeles is, or at least might be (18.6% of 3.5 million people) 651,000 people.
Official census numbers (2005 www.citypopulation.de/mexico.html)
indicate that 18 Mexican cities have larger populations than the 651,000 possible Mexican citizens in Los Angeles. In fact, all of California has fewer Mexican citizens than Mexico City’s 8.4 million people, despite what the Minutemen say.
If we use the higher estimate of one million Mexican citizens in Los Angeles, we still find six Mexican cities that are larger thus proving Encarta wrong. Cities other than 8.4 million person Mexico City, that is.
Encarta and Doug Bell wrap themselves with urban myths, not real facts. The question is why do they do that? The answer is simple.
There is a real concrete reason why those born in the United States of Mexican parents or families call themselves Mexican Americans. They are not Mexicans. Real Mexicans are citizens of Mexico. There is a difference between Mexican citizens and American citizens despite what the Doug Bells of the world think or say.
The line gets blurred occasionally when, say, a Mexican citizen joins the United States Armed Forces as so many have for decades. Fact: Four, including one illegal alien, have even been awarded the nation’s highest honor during war, the Medal of Honor.
Facts are facts and they are very stubborn. Encarta’s inability to distinguish between Mexican citizens and Americans leads “sheeple” like Doug Bell to parrot ignorance not because he is brainless, it’s because he revels in pure bigotry.
In that, he is like most that believe in urban myths about Mexicans, he, like they, manifests a profound bigotry towards anything Mexican, including their American progeny, the fastest growing community in the United States of America.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a writer and political commentator living in San Diego.