The dichotomy of Latino patriarchy and Black matriarchy affects how each culture should be treated.The latest reviews by the U.S. Census indicate that the only significant growth by a minority group over the next thirty years will occur in the Latino population. The review states that the Latino population will grow from approximately 16 % of the total today to almost 30% of the total in thirty years. The Black population is expected to remain static at 12% of the total population over the same period.
I have often wondered why politicians don’t seem to recognize that demographics are determined long before they become obvious. Demographics determine what the makeup of the population will be far into the future and, short of a major asteroid strike or a pandemic far worse than COVID19, those numbers will not change. School districts attempt to predict what will happen with the changing demographics, because they need to anticipate where schools have to be built and where they should be closed, but even their recognition of demographics is often stymied by short-term budgetary concerns. The result, normally, is resources in the wrong places.
The recent U.S. Presidential election has made me think more about demographics, the future of the political arena and how that combination will affect future election results. Bluntly speaking, whichever party, Democratic or Republican, figures out how to win the majority of the Latino vote in the future, will be the winners. No other factor comes close to guaranteeing success, given the demographics.
However, there’s another problem the political parties must overcome, if they are to be the winners. In my opinion, they must recognize that courting the Latino vote is not the same as courting the Black vote.
In the U.S., the term “Minority” has been defined and developed to describe the Black community. Other minorities have been lumped together under the same definition but, I submit, that does not reflect the characteristics of those other minorities. Making the assumption that all minorities are all the same, abrogates the possibility of successfully courting them.
Demographics show that the future of U.S. politics lies with the Latinos – it should also be noted that the U.S. Census expects the “White” population to decrease by roughly the same amount as the Latino population increases, so cultivating the “White” population is, politically, a losing proposition.
Assuming that to be true, there is a fundamental difference between Black and Hispanic cultures that successful politicians of the future must understand and act upon. The difference is Latino patriarchy and Black matriarchy.
A high-ranking public official in Puerto Rico once told me, “Always remember that Puerto Rico only practices democracy one day once every four years. The rest of the time it is a patriarchy.” It is an example, but it is also a definitive statement on the histories of the Hispanic cultures – “machismo” is also a product of this historical development. It normally applies to men, not women.
I will develop this concept further in future blogs, but it fits. Both U.S. political parties were amazed at the number of Latinos who voted for Trump in the recent election. They didn’t understand why minorities did not vote for the Democrats, “as all minorities always do”. That is a Black interpretation, and therein lies the political problem.
If you think of Latino culture as patriarchal, however, voting for Trump makes eminent sense. More on this later.