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Census numbers of increase in Latinos signals time for respect

LatinaLista — The Latino population is growing.

In light of the release of Census findings showing Latino gains contributing to states’ growths — like in Texas, where the Latino share of the population increased 42%, from 6.7 million to 9.5 million over the last ten years — it’s a definite understatement to say there are more Latinos in the nation.


Now, that it’s official, the numbers should translate into more respect.

In this case, respect is very simple.

For example, in Colorado, some of the state’s history teachers will now be incorporating Latinos’ historical perspectives into their lessons.

Peggy O’Neill-Jones, a professor in Metro State’s Teaching With Primary Sources program, said organizers would like the program Hispanics in Colorado to grow to reach more educators and for the concepts to be expanded to other ethnic groups.

“We’re modeling what we want to bubble to the top because there are so many perspectives,” O’Neill- Jones said. “Just because they didn’t end up in front and center of a textbook doesn’t mean they weren’t here and that their experiences didn’t affect them and their families.”

It’s a far cry from what is happening in Arizona where the state legislature has outlawed ethnic studies, particularly attacking Mexican-American Studies classes.

Respect can translate into accepting the Census numbers for what they are and how they impact redistricting efforts. Not like a current Texas lawsuit where three plaintiffs are challenging the Census count of the increase in Latinos in the state because, among other things, the numbers strengthen the Latino vote.

Respecting a new demographic reality in this nation is undoubtedly hard for some to swallow but it’s only a matter of time where the facts will no longer require asking for respect but demanding it.

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