The Economist recently experienced social media backlash for the imagery used on the cover of “Firing Up America,” their special report on Latinos in the U.S. The cover features a U.S. flag composed of blue denim with silver stars and red stripes made out of chiles. The use of chilies, which plays on the stereotype of “spicy” Latinos, kicked off the criticism firestorm.
Photo Credit: John Berkeley / The Economist
But guess what? The Economist is telling Americans that Hispanics – who they referred to as “Chilies in the mix” – aren’t as scary as they look. Here are some quotes:
1. Don’t Take Them For Granted
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“Since their votes cannot be taken for granted, Hispanics will become ever more influential.”
Translation: You’re not going to be able to ignore them forever, so just deal with it.
2. Don’t Be Anxious
“Anxious Americans should have more faith in their system. High-school-graduation rates are rising among Latinos; teenage pregnancy is falling. Inter-marriage between Hispanics and others is rising. The children and grandchildren of migrants are learning English—just like immigrants of the past.”
Translation: Hey Americans, don’t be so anxious about all these Hispanics running around. They’re trying. They really are.
3. Don’t Be Afraid
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“The nativists fret that Hispanics will be a race apart, tied to homelands racked by corruption and crime. Early migrants from Europe, they note, built new lives an ocean away from their ancestral lands. Hispanics, by contrast, can maintain ties with relatives who stayed behind, thanks to cheap flights and Skype. This fear is wildly exaggerated.”
Translation: You know that whole reconquista thing? Maybe you overreacted.
4. Come On, Be Optimistic
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“A giant reason to be optimistic about the rise of Hispanics is that they are making America much younger.”
Translation: Let’s look at the bright side, old people can’t work anymore and someone’s got to take care of the country
5. Bye, Bye Majority
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“More broadly, it is white decline that makes today’s demographic revolution so remarkable. America has twice before witnessed European migration waves that were proportionately even larger when measured against the population at the time: once in the 19th century and again at the start of the 20th century. Those new Americans came to be seen as respectable, over time, as they assimilated towards a majority culture rooted in what were explicitly called Anglo-Protestant ideals: self-reliance, rugged individualism, thrift and hard work. Yet now that white majority is on course to become a minority.”
Translation: Face it: the good ol’ days are gone.