Will Latinos save New Orleans?

Here is the next Slate.com installment on New Orleans.  The closing bit:

In October, Mayor Ray Nagin asked, "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?" The answer: Do not rebuild.

Comments

The mayor sees McDonalds offering thousands of dollars in signing bonuses... and his worry is how to keep the Mexicans OUT?

He says the city needs $100 billion in federal aid.... applying Charles Murray's process, we could just give all half million former residents their $200,000 and not have to fuss with a lot of silly administrative bureaucracy!

And how many years ago did "60 Minutes" run that show which displayed for the whole nation how this New Orleans flood was way likely?

New Orleans: La Nouvelle-Orléans is "la Nueva Orleans" in Spanish; it's feminine not masculine.

Tyler writes in Slate:

"Still, as Latinos put down roots, these cultural outposts will continue to pop up. As they do, Latinos will be restoring a time-honored Hispanic influence to New Orleans. The Spanish ruled the city from 1762 to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. During this time, Louisiana grew from fewer than 7,500 people to about 50,000. The so-called "French Quarter" of New Orleans draws more on Spanish than French architecture. Creole cuisine derived jambalaya from African sources but also from paella. The use of paprika, meat pies, and red beans—all local staples—comes from Spanish sources as well, often through the mediation of the colonial New World. The early 20th-century New Orleans port made much of its money dealing in Central American coffee and bananas. Might a new influx of Hispanic influence bring comparable benefits in the future?"

The traditional Latin American influence on New Orleans was heavily mulatto from the Islands, _not_ mestizo from the Mainland, like 95% of the illegal aliens moving into New Orleans. This influx will turn much of New Orleans into Santa Ana East, not into anything resembling the New Orleans that contributed so much to world culture.

I know you like Latin American folk art, Tyler, but you're kidding yourself that massive illegal immigration is making American life more interesting. This is a fallacy held by many who live in the D.C. area like you do, with its unusually diverse sources of immigration. If you want to see the real future your cheerleading is helping bring on, come out and visit the vast, dreary monocultural proletarian barrios of northern Orange County and eastern San Fernando Valley.

In response to Tyler's fantasies in Slate about all the great music that might come out of the vast Latino shantytown he's advocating for New Orleans, I offer a little realism about the creative cultural impact of illegal aliens on American here:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2006/04/i-could-see-this-one-coming.html

One of my econ profs put it best when he said "Anyone who thinks there are too many Mexicans in this city hasn't tried to get a construction team over to his house lately."

The city is supposed to change culturally and demographically and permanently so your prof doesn't have to wait a month or two to get his drywalling up. Somehow I doubt the cajuns south of NO are waiting on the hired help from Mexico to get on with rebuilding their places.

In addition, Tyler Cowen might actually do a little digging into the best of Brazilian music if he wishes to laud the creativity of South America favela dwellers. It is most definitely not the drum banging whistle blowing generic samba stuff that was so popular late 1990s discos. The height of Brazilian is music was the 1960s, the bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim , Joaõ Gilberto, Sergio Mendez. All came from the middle class/upper class side of Brazilian society. All were more Portugese than Afro. Their music reminds me more of Portugesefado, or the stylings of non-favela dweller Cesaria Evora, than banda or reggaeton.

Because I have yet to run across any sort of African music that sounds like fado, but plenty of traditional Portuguese fado music sounds like Evora.

At any rate, its not banda

Here's an idea,or rather 2,for you "vibrant culture" types:

1)get a thesaurus

2)instead of importing Mexico here ,let's export you to Mexico,where you may enjoy all the "vibrant culture" and cheap labor you want.

p.s. Nuevo Laredo is usually in need of a police chief due to that "Vibrant Culture" stuff.
You know,drug lords,bad cops,street shoot-outs and drive-bys.

Now that,by gawd is vibrant!
Garan-damn-teed to relieve the ennui of effete urban bo-bo's!

sorry for the triple post

Comments for this post are closed