Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Americans with attitude

navarrette column sig

By
From page A11 | March 16, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — As someone who is often prodded to declare my allegiance to the United States, I’m envious of a group of Americans that no longer has to put up with such demands.

When it comes to identity, these folks enjoy the best of all worlds. No one questions their loyalty to this country. Yet they are also unapologetically proud of their ethnic heritage. They’ll never fully assimilate. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem. These are Americans with attitude.

For its part, America has never known quite what to do with this bunch. They’re all about paradoxes. They’re patriotic and always answer the call to military service, but a group of them – the San Patricios – once famously committed treason by siding with Mexico during the U.S.-Mexican War.

They’re comfortable in the mainstream, but they have also been accused of segregating themselves. They’ve climbed the ladder and enjoyed many opportunities over the years, but their ancestors suffered discrimination because they were Catholic and spoke with accents. They’re primarily an immigrant population who came here with their heads lowered because their home country failed them, and they know well what it’s like to be picked on and mistreated by nativists and “know-nothings.”

What can we say to this perplexing group of Americans? How about, Happy St. Patrick’s Day?

The 34.1 million Americans who identify themselves as either primarily or partially Irish helped shape this country in the 20th century. They have more in common than many of them may realize with the group that will help shape the next one: the 53 million Latinos in the United States.

Both groups had to overcome stereotypes. In 1914, while fear-mongering politicians such as Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts warned that immigrants (read: Irish) were “diminishing” the quality of U.S. citizenship, people named “Murphy” or “O’Brien” were constantly being depicted in newspaper cartoons as the three “d’s”: dirty, dumb and drunk. In 2014, Latinos are often portrayed by Hollywood and the media according to their own set of “d’s”: domestics, delinquents and drug dealers.

Both groups also had to decipher America’s mixed messages. One minute, we’re told not to segregate ourselves but to blend into the mainstream. The next, we have obstacles in our way to keep us from the mainstream. A century ago, there might not have been a need for the Irish to congregate in South Boston if the blue bloods on Beacon Hill hadn’t been so inhospitable.

One difference is that while the main wave of Irish migration to the United States lasted almost 100 years – from the 1840s to the 1930s – there was a clear beginning and ultimately an end. With Mexican migration, there are peaks and valleys but there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. This worries those who think that having a constant flow of people streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border will make it harder for those on this side of it to fully assimilate.

Not this again.

It’s an illogical worry. America has always changed immigrants as much as immigrants change America. Just because you still hear Spanish being spoken in the Southwest doesn’t mean that Latinos aren’t, by the second generation, conversing almost entirely in English. In fact, while many media companies still make the common mistake of approaching Hispanic consumers in Spanish, more than 80 percent of U.S. Hispanics now speak either English entirely – or a combination of English and Spanish.

As they navigate the messy immigration debate, Americans should pause to think about the history of migration to the United States. They’ll conclude that what the nativists of the 1800s and 1900s said about the Germans, Chinese, Irish, Italians and Jews back then sounds a lot like what the nativists of today are saying about Latinos. The fear and paranoia were unjustified then, and the same is true now.

I often refer to the Irish in trying to explain to clueless media executives what Latinos are about. We’re not just at ease in the American mainstream, I tell them. We are the new American mainstream. We’ll go along to get along. But, like the Irish, we will preserve our ethnic identity.

If you don’t like it, then – as our friends say – that’s your problem.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Rio Vista woman died in Suisun City crash

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Red light camera fate now uncertain in state

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Obscure state agency creates big money problems

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
I like Liam, but I think he’s interested in another girl

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Horoscopes for July 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead dinner to make back-to-school smoother

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

You too can bake artisanal quality bread at home

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
A healthy afterschool snack that eats like a treat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Sports

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5