Tag: culture

Going Green, Staying White

Lots of people lost their minds recently — I mean, really went bugfuck loco — when Pope Francis said climate change is a real and grave threat to humanity.

popefranics

Yes, a position that is supported by 97% of the world’s scientists and most of the industrial world’s citizens is somehow controversial. But then again, I’m not Catholic — at least not anymore — and of course, I’m Latino.

But why should the fact that I’m Hispanic matter on something as racially neutral as climate change?

Well, as I’ve written before, Latinos are more likely to revere nature and to support efforts to combat global warming. In fact, one study says that “54 percent of Latinos see climate change as something that is extremely or very important to them personally, much higher than the 37 percent of whites who answered in the same way.”

And Hispanic Catholics, who are naturally among Pope Francis’ biggest fans, are twice as likely as white Catholics to be concerned about climate change.

There are, of course, several reasons for this discrepancy. For starters, environmental racism is a factor. Toxic waste sites, landfills and polluting industries are located disproportionately in minority communities.

Basically, Latinos care more about the environment because they are more likely to be breathing in all that carcinogenic shit.

But there is more to it than simple self-preservation.

Some studies find that Latinos’ are more likely to be environmentalists because of beliefs that “grew from connections to their ancestral homelands and an understanding of nature as inseparable from God.” In addition, Hispanics’ concern about environmental degradation often arises “from values like love and respect — values they’d learned through their families, culture, and religion, which are inextricably linked.”

Well, that all makes sense. But there is even more to this complex relationship.

Some commentators have speculated that being part of a minority — any minority — makes you more empathetic to environmental concerns. For example, one survey found that 55 percent of gay people care greatly about the environment, compared to just one-third of heterosexuals.

The idea is that you are more likely to care about the planet if you don’t feel like you own the world.

Still, groups like the Sierra Club tend to “remain predominately white in part because they are not connecting with the actual concerns of minorities.”

So we have a situation where the people who are most passionate about environmentalism, and have the most to lose in a warming world, aren’t being heard.

How messed up is that?

 


Some of My Best Friends Aren’t…

In this great melting pot we call America, people of every race commingle and socialize routinely. Why, you can’t walk down the street without elbowing groups of hotties representing both genders and every ethnicity, all hanging out and being so very cosmopolitan and twenty-first century.

Peer-Groups-multiethnic1

 

Wait, that’s not real life. That’s a Gap ad.

In actuality, a recent study has found that about “40 percent of whites and 25 percent of non-whites do not have any close friends of other races.”

This means that large segments of American society still view other races as an exotic other. Specifically, the survey found that older, white, conservative women were the least likely to hang with someone who didn’t resemble them, while “younger Americans were more likely to say they have friends — or romances — outside their own racial group.” Also people on the West Coast “had the most diverse relationships while people in the South had the least.”

Yes, even in this mythical post-racial environment, a lot of us prefer to kick back with our own kind, if you get my racially coded drift.

But wait, the poll also found that “Hispanics were the most likely to have a diverse friendship network.” So once again, it’s Latinos who are on the cutting edge of culture.

Apparently, we will drink with anybody.

 



Plot Twist

My wife is pregnant.

Yes, it’s pretty great news.

Our daughter is due in January. We’ve never been parents, so by next summer, I’ll be one of those annoying first-time fathers who believes the most important thing in the world is his baby’s capacity for drool. Just wait, I’ll be blogging about it day and night. This may cut into the readership of the 19.3 million mommy bloggers out there, so I apologize in advance for usurping their authority.

But with all the hectic preparation for the child’s arrival, and careful time set aside for crippling self-doubt and solipsistic panic attacks, I’ve barely had time to ponder the political ramifications of this kid. That has to change.

To continue reading this post, please click here.

 


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