Friday, May 7, 2010

Respecting your great-grandparents

Here's an interesting graph published in ThinkProgress, intended to refute claims that the majority of Latinos support Arizona's harsh new anti-immigrant law.  According to one poll at least, it turns out . . . not so much.  What is also really interesting, though is that support for this law increases by a factor of more than  three when you ask fourth generation Latinos, as compared to first generation Latinos.  It turns out that people still seem to identify with their parents' and even their grandparents' feelings about being allowed into this country.  Their great-grandparents?  Not so much.

I imagine that a similar chart could be prepared for people of European or other ancestry, and would probably show increased support for restrictive immigration policies the longer one's ancestors had been in this country.   It's obviously a challenge to build empathy toward people outside your immediate family or memory.  And of course it's a truism that the longer we are someplace, the easier it is to forget where we came from.

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