Spin on the Latino Middle Class

latino spin
Although we’re not in the habit of posting regular book reviews on this blog, the San Francisco Chronicle’s take on Arlene Davila’s Latino Spin is particularly insightful.

Conservative pundits describe them as a growing mass of border jumpers and job thieves who cling to their native tongue and, therefore, represent a grave threat to the economic future and cultural integrity of the United States. Or, if Latino advocates are to be believed, they are no more subversive than past waves of immigrants: They have middle-class (and consumerist) aspirations and, over time, they can be relied upon to follow the example set by the Irish, the Italians and the Poles, and assimilate into the fabric of America.

Yet it’s that last representation – Latinos as new but nonthreatening actors ready to join the American mainstream – that most troubles New York University political scientist Arlene Davila in her insightful book, “Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race.”