Our Latino Population

The feature story in the current C-Ville is Jayson Whitehead on the largely invisible latino minority in Charlottesville, a group that I’m happy to see written about. Whitehead focuses on the legal and social hardship aspects of immigration—legal and illegal—and writes quite a bit about the far-right Albemarle County Republican Party and their position on immigration. (The party chair says he totally agrees with Rep. Virgil Goode about everything; Goode got all upset about Mexican restaurants displaying the Mexican flag just last year, and that’s the least of his opposition to immigration, legal and otherwise.) The latino population remains relatively small, but as it grows, so too will immigration as an issue in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

18 Responses to “Our Latino Population”


  • Not very smart of the Republicans. What about all those Latinos who are or who become citizens and then vote? They will remember this bigotry.
    Going to the link with the Albemarle GOP I see they equate “conservative” and “Republican.” I take it they don’t want moderate Republicans,or probably even Barry Goldwater-type libertarians who believe the government should stay out of people’s private lives. They wouldnt want Dwight Eisenhower or Theodore Roosevelt(TR believed big business should be regulated and the environment protected). Not to mention Abraham Lincoln.
    John McCain does not hold Virgil-type views about immigration, his are quite fair and reasonable.So maybe he’s not a true conservative by these criteria either.

  • Hey- I think we need to outlaw Hokie flagsin Cville, home of good ol’ UVA! And I can say this, the Latinos are far better workers than the American ones at one company that I buy from.

    And if they have worked hard enough, kept their noses clean enough and pay all their taxes on time, they can hang whatever flag they want in front of their business.

    In my country, you are free to express what you wish to express as long as you do it fairly and peacefully. And if that means the college kids around the block put out a “skull and crossbones” prate flag, or I put out a JMU flag for my daughters school, or the people down the street have 50 ugly Obama (any of those signs I find ugly, housing etc) signs littering the street thats their right.

    Of course, such a thing could not be a political ploy to get some free media time. Am I cynical?

  • I would rather have Latinos for neighbors than Republicans. Much better class of people. :)

  • Yeah, but then who would you get to pay the majority of the taxes?

    Ironically, it appears that two of the biggest swing votes being micro targeted are right wing areas of Colorado and… 40 % latino New Mexico.

    Not out of the question that whoever can turn those targets…wins.

  • Well, been hunkered down waiting for the attacks! I guess I will have to wait until after 5PM but then I have to go to dinner and to the UVa commie kickball game tonight.

    Fire away boys and girls!!

  • danpri,

    I’m not convinced you’ve used the words “cynical” and “ironically” correctly, but that’s really your business and I think anyone can understand what you meant, more or less. In terms of your thinking, though, do you believe there is truly a possibility that Obama can “turn the target” with the right wingers in Colorado? I am voting that you do a bit less hunkering and a bit more thunkering.

  • One afternoon I followed her […] to a nearby public housing site to visit Marlena, one such Spanish-speaking parent and one of Ley’s regular beneficiaries. In her mid-30s, Marlena has lived in America for 10 years, seven of them in her current apartment.

    Seven years in public housing after initially coming here illegally. That’s one of the many reasons people have problems/issues with illegal immigration.

    Further, Virgil Goode is a crackpot and shouldn’t be representative of the people opposed to illegal immigration, and no serious discussion of the issues surrounding it (illegal immigration) should include him.

  • “I would rather have Latinos for neighbors than Republicans.”

    Well, if this is your idea of being inclusive, I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

    Oh, and as a Hispanic and a Republican, I must say I am curious just how far that goes.

  • Cynic- well done! No way he turns the outskirts of Colorado. And you should know by now that we Republicans have to do a lot of hunkering in this bastion of Obama bumper stickers. I just hope that is alliterative enough for Zoe’s rents.

    Funny story. While sitting at Raptures this evening, and waiting for some of those wonderful Thai beef tacos there were two guy sitting behind me talking politics. At one point they got all upset about “this crazy cult of personality this guy has.” Ranting and raving about how stupid people must be. I about fell out of my chair when they turned out to be talking about….W.

    Is that irony or cynicism? For me or them?

  • CR UVa,

    Having spent some time in Costa Rica, I can tell you that, despite your heritage, you aren’t really in the same category as the Mexicans, El Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans who struggle in their daily lives here in the US.

  • Cynic, how many Mexican, Salvadorans, and Nicoraguans did you find in Costa Rica to come to your sweeping generalizations?

  • You will find lot of Nicaraguans in Costa Rica working at 75 cents per hour for the relatively much wealthier Costa Ricans. If you combed through the Hispanic low-wage working population here, I doubt seriously you would find a single Tico, though you may find some attending UVA. What you will find locally are Mexicans and El Salvadorans. I love Ticos, and hope that CR UVa didn’t find my comments offensive, but Ticos don’t generally emigrate from Costa Rica looking for low-wage jobs in the US. They’ve got a pretty good gig going as it is. Pura Vida!

  • True that. My daughter has done three church related mission trips. Two for orphans and one medical. she has been to Romania, Honduras and Costa Rica. Costa Rica the most affluent latino with a very strong tourism base.

    I know that it might be hard for the xenophibic nationalists, but people do choose to immigrate to places other than America.

    Great read on this issue: TC Boyle “Tortilla Curtain”

    And to take it back a couple hundred years when Euros where facing the same : Russell Shorto “The Island at the Center of the World.”

    Two excellent reads for my perspective. Do we need some more aphorists?

  • I have met a handful ex-patriots in Costa Rica, too. Also in Brazil and Honduras. They were there because they were running away to war or crime. They were not there running away from poverty. That’s the same as the Ticos who are working in the restaurants around Cville. I guess we find what we’re looking for and feel most comfortable to believe. I have found that Ticos feel that tourism is a source of low-wage jobs, but they often can’t do any better at the time and hope that their work is only temporary. Still, Cynic, you make too many generalizations about a complex society.

  • Cville Eye,

    You know, when others who write on this blog don’t know very much about a subject, they sometimes choose to keep mum. I myself sometimes go weeks and weeks without seeing a topic that I may know something about or may have an opinion about. Frequently, when people have just an opinion, they say as much; they don’t try to persuade others that their opinions are fact. You, on the other hand, see yourself as some sort of expert on just about everything, though your experiential knowledge is obviously quite limited. While your ridiculous opinions regarding what life is like in our schools leaps to mind here, I think you are nearly there again with your ideas about Costa Rica. I have lived and worked in Costa Rica and know for an absolute fact that almost all of the menial labor in Costa Rica is undertaken by Nicaraguans, though there are also Colombians and Venezuelans, but no Panamanians. Nicaraguans are the maids, the gardeners, the cleaners, and the under-aged coffee pickers hanging off the sides of mountains.

    Unlike me, you have likely vacationed in Costa Rica for a week at some point, and therefore have a very superficial knowledge, which you have here tried to parlay into something more. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the following, which tracks the emigration of Nicaraguans: http://repositories.cdlib.org/ccpr/olcp/ccpr-cp-011-05/

    It does make one wonder, though: How much of the rest of what you say is just like this….opinion packaged as fact?

  • Cville Eye,

    I am sorry for my previous comment, in which my tone and word choice (e.g., ridiculous and superficial) were more negative than they needed to be. I will do better next time. I should have simply said, with a tone of civility: “Hey, it’s all here at this website….” etc…. With this anonymity thing, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that we’re all people with feelings.

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