There’s an article at City Journal on California’s dramatic demographic shift over the last half century from very Anglo to increasingly Hispanic that you might want to take a look at:
The poor Mexican immigrants who have fueled the transformation—84 percent of the state’s Hispanics have Mexican origins—bring an admirable work ethic and a respect for authority too often lacking in America’s native-born population. Many of their children and grandchildren have started thriving businesses and assumed positions of civic and economic leadership. But a sizable portion of Mexican, as well as Central American, immigrants, however hardworking, lack the social capital to inoculate their children reliably against America’s contagious underclass culture. The resulting dysfunction is holding them back and may hold California back as well.
I found a number of shortcomings in the article. First, I think the author depends too heavily on the persistence theory (if it’s sunny today, it will probably be sunny tomorrow, too). Over the period of the last several decades the U. S. has experienced an extraordinary immigration from Mexico and it is that which has fed the transition the author points to. I think there’s good reason to believe that immigration will not continue including its decline or even reversal as a consequence of the decline in jobs in home construction, improving economic opportunities in Mexico, and Mexico’s own demographic shift. What will the consequences of markedly lower immigration from Mexico? I don’t know but I strongly suspect that it means that a U. S. Hispanic majority is a lot less likely now that it looked just a few years ago.
Second, the author skirts around the fringes of something without giving it a name. That she fails to give it a name makes me wonder about her understanding of what she’s seeing. She spends some time describing certain aspects of something that is called cholo culture. It bears roughly the same relationship to urban Mexican-American young people that hip-hop culture does to urban black kids. I believe we’ll hear an increasing amount about it in the next few years but that’s more because its roots have been cut off rather than that it’s growing. We’ve already seen some mention of it. For example, celebrities like Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, and Kat Von D have all openly acknowledged their borrowing from cholita style.
There’s an factor in cholo culture mentioned only in passing in the article: explicit disdain for education. Perhaps you see some way to reconcile that with an America in which education is increasingly vital. I don’t.