The previous part of this report began with a broad overview of how the Inland Empire’s population has evolved in recent decades at the regional level. It highlighted in particular the region’s shift from a majority white to a majority Black and brown population. Naturally, this shift has meant that at more local levels, residents of the region increasingly encounter people who look, speak, or worship differently than themselves. Such diverse areas of California have in recent years been viewed as promising settings for organizing against politics of nativism and othering, and pushing forward progressive policy change. But the fate of this promise will hinge on whether community organizing and strategic narrative can make political operatives’ vision of a “new majority” take hold and transform how people in places like the Inland Empire see themselves, each other, and their collective future.
There is also an older, and perhaps still dominant, assumption about places where Black and immigrant populations rapidly come to live near one another, and share public spaces, schools, and job and housing markets. It says that demographic change will inevitably lead to intergroup competition, tensions, and rivalry.42 In our research in the Inland Empire, Latinx and Black residents themselves often echoed this idea that their two ethno-racial groups are bound to live in tension with one another. “You can see it wherever you go, wherever I go… This problem between them—between these two races,” as one Latina interviewee from Moreno Valley put it.
But following such pronouncements, in almost all cases, our study participants told stories that showed that the belief that Black-Latinx intergroup tension is pervasive and irresoluble is grounded more in hearsay than in personal interactions, and in an absence—rather than a failure—of cross-group bridging experiences. The following sections discuss and analyze Latinx and Black Inland Empire residents’ views of one another’s groups, and of immigrants. They spotlight the centrality of conventional narratives about Black-Latinx relations to sustaining ideas of tension, and point to openings for rearticulating these narratives toward bridging. But first, we begin with a broad, large-sample overview of the major patterns in intergroup attitudes in the Inland Empire.
Bridging is a process by which two or more people or groups come together across acknowledged lines of difference in a way that both affirms their distinct identities and creates a new inclusive “we” identity. This process involves confronting dynamics or structures that foster division in order to develop a “we” identity that is not only more expansive, but cohesive and durable. Members of this new “we” need not agree on everything; but they should have a shared empathy and commitment to one another’s experience of belonging.
Perceived Competition between Latinx and Black Inland Residents
Blueprint for Belonging’s qualitative research in the Inland Empire uncovered a handful of stories and beliefs that sustain perceptions of tension and competition between Latinxs and Black communities in the region. But before exploring those, it is important to ask: How widely are those perceptions held, and by whom? Qualitative data are critical for getting beneath the surface of an opinion or view, and to help us engage (and change) views that are, or could become, resonant. To understand broadly where and with whom the opinion is most likely present, however, we must begin with data from the project’s large-scale survey of the region.
Our Inland Empire survey explored perceptions of intergroup competition and solidarity across a number of tested opinion research questions. Overall, a notably smaller share of the 680 Latinx and 350 Black residents interviewed in the survey expressed zero-sum thinking about their groups’ access to resources and influence than one might expect. That is, the trope of Black and Latinx communities being at loggerheads over jobs and representation is not borne out by the evidence in the Inland Empire.
With respect to jobs, Black and Latinx inland residents are much more likely to see themselves in competition with whites than with each other. When presented with the statement, “The more jobs that go to whites, the fewer good jobs there will be for people like me,” 36 percent of Latinxs and a 64 percent majority of Black respondents said they agreed. In contrast, just 11 percent of Latinxs felt the same about jobs going to African Americans, and 37 percent of African Americans said jobs going to Latinxs limit their opportunities.43
These findings are consistent with Blueprint for Belonging’s 2017 California Survey on Othering and Belonging, but with the data even more pronounced.44 The earlier statewide survey too found that Black and Latinx Californians perceive whites—not each other’s groups—as their main job competitors. But in the Inland Empire in 2020, the shares of Black and Latinx residents who perceive job competition with one another’s groups are even smaller, and Black residents are even more likely to feel competition with whites. We cannot know whether place or time is more responsible for these differences.45 But the two surveys coincide in showing that smaller shares of Latinx and Black Californians feel that their groups are competing for jobs than popular discourse would suggest.
Further disaggregating the 2020 data from the Inland Empire, age has a notable effect on which Black respondents perceive job competition with Latinxs. It is older African Americans who disproportionately hold a competitive view, with just 28 percent of Black respondents under 50 years old expressing it, and nearly half of those 50 and older saying that “people like me” are competing with Latinxs for jobs. The same pattern holds for Black respondents’ perceived job competition with whites, though the gap is smaller (58 versus 68 percent perceiving competition, for 18-49 and 50+ year olds, respectively). This finding is curious, given that one would expect younger people—who are less likely to be established in the workforce, and more active in job markets—to be most sensitive to job competition. It suggests that the zero-sum, competitive view of work opportunities may have as much to do with generational mindset as position in labor markets; but further research and analysis would be needed to make such a claim with confidence.46
Discrepancy across age groups also shows up in Latinx Inland Empire residents’ attitudes toward Black Americans. A series of survey items gauged the extent to which respondents hold latent anti-Black sentiment versus recognize the role of historical and structural barriers to opportunity for African Americans.47 On statements concerning whether “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class,” and if “[B]lacks have gotten less than they deserve” in recent years, Latinxs age 50 and above are significantly less likely than younger Latinxs to express sympathy around the continuing impacts of systemic oppression.48 As Figure 7 shows, the shares who “strongly disagree” with these statements are not insubstantial across Latinxs in general; but the numbers who take this racially resentful position are especially high for the older sub-set.
Expressions of racial resentment, by race/ethnicity and age
A final measure of Latinx and Black intergroup attitudes utilized in our 2020 survey of the Inland Empire focused not on labor or economic opportunity, but on political representation. It sought to assess how much Black and Latinx residents feel that they are competing with one another for political space or voice. Here the findings echo the message from the data on perceived job competition, but perhaps even more loudly. Large majorities of Latinx and Black respondents do not agree that their own group’s underrepresentation is due to the other group, but instead that it comes from the overrepresentation of whites.
Survey respondents were asked of a series of different groups whether that group has “too much influence in California politics, too little influence in California politics, or just about the right amount of influence.” When asked about whites, a plurality (47 percent) of all Inland Empire residents expressed that whites have too much influence, including 71 percent of Black respondents, 59 percent of Latinxs, and 31 percent of whites themselves.49 Just one in ten said that whites have too little influence. This much is not surprising.
What stands out more in the data are the large shares of Black and Latinx residents who say that one another’s groups have too little influence in politics. Figures 8a and 8b show Latinx and Black respondents’ views on the political clout of each of the four largest ethno-racial population categories in the Inland Empire region. What is evident in these graphs is the widespread sense of solidarity within these groups on the extent to which all communities of color are squeezed out by whites’ occupation of political space. It is not only their own groups that Black and Latinx residents see as deserving more influence, but one another’s as well.50
This awareness and inchoate solidarity around racialized political influence is particularly strong among the Inland Empire’s women of color. Notably larger shares of Latina and Black women than men say that whites have too much influence, and that their own and one another’s groups have too little. Latinas were also less likely than their male counterparts to express anti-Black sentiment on all four of the racial resentment items mentioned above, and Black women were somewhat less likely than men to say that they are competing with Latinos or immigrants for jobs. Taken together, all of this points to the conclusion that Latina and Black women appear to be the residents most disposed and ready to lead bridging efforts in the Inland Empire.51
Figures 8a and 8b:
Views of Latinxs and African Americans on influence of different groups in CA politics
Residents of the Inland Empire were asked “How much political influence do these groups have?"
The Narrative Life of Black-Latinx Tensions
The survey data presented in the previous section show that tensions between Black and Latinx Inland Empire residents are far from pervasive. But even as we keep this “big picture” in mind, it remains important to understand—where tensions are present—what underlies and sustains them. For this, we turn to qualitative data from focus groups and interviews, in which we heard inland residents’ stories of in-groups and out-groups, and “us” and “them,” in their own words. These stories offer insights that can inform civic and movement leaders’ strategies not only for impeding potential conflict, but also for fostering bases for a shared Latinx- and Black-encompassing “we.”
In the handful of instances in which Black inland residents spoke of tensions with Latinxs, their comments centered on perceived differences in the two groups’ access to economic opportunity and social status. Specifically, there was a perception that Latinxs receive preferential treatment relative to Black Americans in the workforce and in public spaces. “Right now, it’s [all about] the Hispanics,” said one older African-American man in Riverside. “They got all the jobs. They got all new cars. They buying all the houses. It’s like America’s taken on an attachment towards them, and lacking towards the African American.” Later, the interviewee homed in on the issue of favoritism in the workplace: “I’ve actually been at a job where [employers] would rather have somebody there, paying them less money,” he said. “And these people [Latinxs] work their butts off—true enough. But… it shouldn’t be no injustice—injustice towards who they should hire. [And] that’s rampant here.”
Social-science research affirms that employers have indeed blended anti-Black racism with hiring preferences for Latinx immigrants in a number of low-wage labor market contexts.52 Previous research also shows that where Black Americans perceive that their Latinx neighbors enjoy relative economic advantages, they are less likely to consider them potential political allies.53 This was reflected in the words of another Black interviewee from Corona: “[T]hey don’t have a problem out here. This is their town. We have two different burdens… We don’t share the same struggle.”
What is interesting in these and similar comments from Black study participants concerning Black-Latinx relations is that, in nearly every case, there is a third party implicated in the relationship. The tensions may be expressed as between Black and Latinx people, but the actions criticized come from elsewhere. Statements about favoritism, preferential treatment, “attachment towards them,” and (as heard elsewhere) Latinxs’ “overwhelming popularity” are about how others act in relation to Black and Latinx people—not about interactions between people form those groups. And these third parties are actors of a particular kind: they are those with power to exercise favoritism in economically and socially consequential ways. This insight offers an opening for organizers and communicators to reorganize and rearticulate the local knowledge expressed into a different story that foregrounds the role of the powerholders who create competition and scarcity for Black and Latinx communities alike. We return to this point in more detail in Part III’s conclusions and implications below.
Pero me he fijado, yo he visto que… [pausa] he oído que los afroamericanos siempre andan acusando que nosotros los latinos venimos a quitarles los trabajo a ellos, y que por eso ellos no encuentran trabajo—por culpa de los latinos. Por eso siempre hay ese conflicto entre ellos.
But I’ve noticed, I have seen… [pause] I’ve heard that African American people are always accusing that we Latinos come to take their jobs, and that that’s why they can’t find work—due to the Latinos. That’s why there’s always this conflict with them.
— Latina woman, 54, Moreno Valley
Like Black study participants, the Latinxs in the Inland Empire who said that the two groups live in tension were also short on examples from personal experience. Most Latinx interviewees—whether English- and Spanish-dominant—said that they did not know many Black people, and interact with them only infrequently around their children’s schools. When pressed more deeply on why they perceived tension between Latinx and Black community members, interviewees referred to what are best described as stereotypes, assumptions, and hearsay.
Past research too has pointed to the significant role of stereotypes in shaping intergroup attitudes between Black and Latinx neighbors;54 but our findings in the Inland Empire were distinct. Whereas those studies often find Latinxs echoing derogatory anti-Black tropes, our interviewees’ stereotypes were about the negative things that they assumed, or had heard that, Black Americans think or say about them. In a sense, they were stereotypes about stereotypes, or prejudices of prejudices, taking the form of, “We don’t get along because I’ve heard that they don’t like us speaking Spanish,” or because “they think we take their jobs.” This pattern held across multiple interviewees, and is a case study in how relations—in this case, tensions—can live almost entirely at the narrative level, transmuting through repetition into “reality.”
Latinx interviewees’ stories of tensions with whites, on the other hand, were often much more tangible. Unlike those about Black neighbors, they almost always involved personal interactions, which revolved around whites talking down to Latinxs, complaining about them to authorities, or otherwise disrespecting or mistreating them. The fact that numerous Latinxs recounted this type of incident to us shows that the lack of similar stories about African Americans was not due to interviewees being reticent to disclose such stories. The contrast reinforces all of the other evidence above, suggesting that what tension exists between Latinx and Black inland residents has little grounding in negative personal experiences or interactions between members of the two groups.
Latinx Adoption of Anti-Immigrant Tropes
What was far more common than anti-Black invective among our Latinx interviewees was anti-immigrant, and indeed anti-Latinx, rhetoric. Commentaries critical of immigrants or other Latinxs emerged not in the context of discussing community tensions or conflicts, but in conversations about public services and resources. They frequently traded on a long-standing theme in anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-poor discourse—alleged abuse of social safety-net programs like food stamps or temporary cash assistance (“welfare”). Discussions of this purported problem rested on broad generalizations—in some cases extrapolated from specific stories—that set boundaries distinguishing “good” from “bad” immigrants or Latinxs.
Discourse on immigrants in the United States is full of variations on the good/bad binary, each with attendant criteria and narratives. Some hinge, for example, on immigrants’ terms of entry into the country, adherence to laws, work ethic, family structure, “family values,” commitment to assimilation, and submissiveness, to name a few. In our research in the Inland Empire, the dichotomies drawn by Latinx study participants focused almost entirely on how fellow Latinxs, especially immigrants, access and utilize resources. These participants adopted many elements of the moralizing “up-by-your-bootstraps” narrative of self-reliance that assumes open and fair opportunity structures (i.e. meritocracy), which has been imposed upon generations of U.S. immigrants.55 They contraposed those who work hard, pay taxes, and more or less follow this “bootstraps” script—people like themselves—against what was repeatedly characterized as “a lot of people”/“muchas personas” who overuse, prefer to rely upon, or manipulate a supposedly generous public welfare system.
The prevalence of these talking points among Latinxs speaks to how pervasive the narrative template of the “welfare cheat” has become.56 Tellingly, often when Latinx interviewees—most of them immigrants themselves—spoke of welfare dependency among Latinxs or immigrants, their comments were in large part a response to what they said white, conservative, or native-born Americans say about “us.” Take, for example, a 56-year-old Latina interviewee from Yucaipa. She had just finished speaking of the strong sense of belonging she gets from her “Hispanic” neighbors and church community, and then turned to something that made her feel she did not belong:
The Americans were very… [pause] they’re nice. I don’t want to say they’re not. But… they think, ‘You are Mexican, [so] you’re on welfare,’ or, ‘You have a lot of kids because, because it gets you welfare.’ And unfortunately, I can go to whole communities there in Yucaipa… [and] each home has a welfare case open. Be it medical, be it [food] stamps, be it cash [assistance]. But all of them are depending. I think the government has made a dependent community.57
Continuing on this topic, within a few minutes, the woman proceeded to reproduce the very stereotype that she had found personally hurtful:
[T]he thinking of the Hispanic who comes from Mexico [is]: ‘I have kids—I have one, they give me $500; I have another, and they give me $1000…’ Who wants to work if they have a government that gives them everything in their mouth?58
This instance of a Latinx interviewee deflecting an insulting stereotype at other fellow Latinxs and immigrants was not an isolated one. Two different interviewees from Moreno Valley—a 35-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man, both Spanish-dominant—followed up criticisms of the discriminatory rhetoric of Donald Trump or his supporters by saying that they are at least “part right” when they say that “Mexicans are abusing [public] services” or that some people migrate to the United States “just to get [public] benefits.”
Latinx interviewees’ repeated acquiescence to stereotypes about resource abuse almost always set up a distinction between other fellow Latinxs or immigrants and themselves. This pattern made evident the heavy burden that these Latinxs feel to demonstrate and defend their own work ethics and individual self-reliance, likely having had them questioned. But in defending themselves—and thereby casting themselves as the “good” immigrants or Latinxs—they draw upon and reproduce the very discriminatory images of supposedly deficient others that make their self-defense necessary in the first place. Said another way, they challenge their individual place in anti-Latinx narratives, but while endorsing the basic script.
The prevalence of “good”/“bad” immigrant talk among our Latinx interviewees was not a fluke of the participant pool. Our regional survey data confirm that a substantial minority of Latinxs in the Inland Empire agree with statements extolling the individualist “bootstrap” narrative, and refusing sympathy to the challenges faced by immigrants today. Across a four-part series of items measuring latent anti-immigrant sentiment (using the same language as those on anti-Black sentiment), consistently almost one in three Latinxs downplayed the significance of structural barriers to immigrants’ advancement. For example, 30 percent of Latinxs agreed that, “if immigrants today would only try harder, they could be just as well off as white Americans,” and 34 percent disagreed that in the past few years, “immigrants have gotten less than they deserve.” As with expressions of anti-Black sentiment, there is a strong age effect here, with older Latinxs (50+ year olds) much more likely to take the individualist, “bootstrap” position.59
Conclusions and Implications
This part of our report has brought forward a wealth of data, both qualitative and quantitative, illuminating how Latinx and Black residents of the Inland Empire think about one another, and the relationships between and within their ethno-racial groups. From these, a number of lessons emerge that are applicable to efforts to curtail friction, address tensions, and build ties and a sense of shared fate across these groups—what we call “bridging.” The following short paragraphs summarize those lessons.
- African Americans’ perception of resource competition with Latinxs is less widespread than commonly believed, and where it is present, the narrative is ripe for reformulation. Talk of competition almost always invokes a third figure: one that prefers, favors, or “shows love for” Latinxs over African Americans. The imperative for narrative change here is to name and foreground that third figure, pulling it—and the power and privilege that allow it to confer socially and economically significant favoritism—from the shadows to the center of the story. In current expressions, this figure is read between the lines, whereas it should arguably be understood as the protagonist driving the plot.
- Hearsay, rumors, and stereotypes factor prominently in Black-Latinx “relations” in the Inland Empire—flourishing in the vacuum left by a dearth of meaningful interpersonal experiences between members of the two groups. Civic and community organizations are well-positioned to destabilize stereotypes by using local knowledge and credibility to create spaces for intergroup interactions, including ones in which the stereotypes themselves are examined, discussed, and exposed. Latinx and Black residents in our study commonly spoke of appreciating, and wishing for more, open public events in which “everyone is there.” Where such events can lead to positive interpersonal experiences, these could be part of overcoming negative perceptions or assumptions.
- Black and Latinx inland residents lack experience with, or even stories about, people from their two groups coming together to work toward a common goal. When interviewees were asked if they had heard of such things happening, they said things like, “No, not really. Not out here;” “Firsthand, no. Not secondhand either. I’ve never heard of that;” and, “Outside of co-workers and outside of friends, I haven’t seen it.”60 It seems, then, that it is not that programs or campaigns in what we call bridging have failed; it is that they have not been tried. There is need here for experimentation and learning. Initiatives intentionally designed and explicitly articulated as cross-group collaborations around a shared problem will not only provide inland residents with experiences and stories of bridging. They may also bring to light deeper-seated tensions, allowing for those to be understood and addressed as well. If properly studied and evaluated, they will build the knowledge base for honing future bridging interventions in the Inland Empire and beyond.
- Prominent U.S. narratives that laud individual self-reliance and allege widespread welfare abuse have considerable currency in inland Latinxs communities, driving both “us-and-them” divisions and opposition to government services. There is evidence in our research that the adoption of these narratives is, at least for some, a defensive response arising from Latinx interviewees’ felt need to distinguish themselves as among “the good ones” who do not “take advantage.” But this does not make the repetition of the narratives any less damaging, as the narrow defense of self concedes a powerful cudgel used to attack other Latinxs, immigrants, and Black Americans.61 Our study’s focus group discussions suggest, however, that some of the adoption of “welfare abuse” narratives may be thin, and thus, changeable. When focus-group participants brought up public-resource abuse, even modest pushback from fellow participants—often grounded in personal experience—led to considerable refinement of the views expressed. Broad-brush condemnations of “people taking advantage” quickly yielded to more targeted and nuanced criticisms of the functioning of existing systems.62 These conversations showcased how the idea of “welfare abuse” can be as much a habit of talk—or a shortcut of thought—as a deep-seated belief. It is a ubiquitous and persistent story, but a flimsy one when addressed directly.
Introducing a set of studies on Black-Latinx relations a decade ago, scholars Edward Telles, Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Mark Q. Sawyer, and Sylvia Zamora noted, “Conflict is far from inevitable, and any particular outcome depends largely on the (in)actions of communities and their leaders.”63 We hope that the above points can serve to structure effective action of leaders in the Inland Empire. Maybe more than anything else, our research with Black and Latinx residents of the region attests that members of these groups have had few occasions for meaningful interaction, much less structured, intentional spaces engagement. There is room to create such spaces—to experiment with bridging. Such experimentation could teach lessons that not only shape the future of the Inland Empire, but also provide guidance for places with similar socio-demographic dynamics throughout the country.
- 42 For a relatively recent set of papers exploring the layers and nuance in Black-Latinx relations in Los Angeles, see Josh Kun and Laura Pulido, eds., Black and Brown in Los Angeles: Beyond Conflict and Coalition, University of California Press, 2014
- 43 Interestingly, even fewer African Americans in the Inland Empire (30 percent) agreed with the version of the statement inquiring as to whether jobs going to “immigrants” means “fewer good jobs… for people like me.” Further, more than two in five (42 percent) said they strongly disagree with the statement suggesting immigrants are taking jobs from people like themselves.
- 44 Again, information and topline results from the 2017 survey can be found at Othering & Belonging Institute, “California Survey on Othering and Belonging,” https://belonging.berkeley.edu/california-survey-othering-and-belonging.
- 45 The 2017 statewide survey did not have a large enough Inland Empire regional subsample to disaggregate the region’s results by race/ethnicity with statistical reliability.
- 46 There is an extensive body of scholarly literature on zero-sum Black-Latinx competition—both debating its reality, and discussing Black and Latinx perceptions. A review of much of this literature, with citations, can be found in Rodney E. Hero and Robert R. Preuhs, Black-Latino Relations in U.S. National Politics: Beyond Conflict or Cooperation, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
- 47 This refers to the “racial resentment” battery, a standardized set of survey questions that has been used to assess subtler contemporary forms of anti-Black racial animus for nearly forty years. For a very succinct discussion of it, and some alternative approaches to measuring racial prejudice in opinion surveys, see Michael Tesler, Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era, The University of Chicago Press, 2016, pp. 19-24.
- 48 The racial resentment battery uses “blacks” (rather than “African Americans” or “Black Americans”) intentionally, and in the same manner that it has for its decades’ long history. See ibid. At the time the survey items were designed, “African American” was used in many sectors of society, but still not dominant. The concern of researchers is that replacing “blacks” with “African Americans” in the items would trigger social-desirability bias—i.e. a bias in results effected by some respondents being reticent to express their true, racially resentful opinions, because they assume based on the use of “African American” that the survey designers are racially “liberal.” This type of bias would undermine the battery’s ability to do what it is designed to do: capture racist sentiments of individuals who are loath to express them directly. Capitalizing the first letter of “blacks” would not have been contemplated at the time the racial resentment battery was designed, because until very recently, ethno-racial identity terms were only capitalized in English when and if they were demonyms derived from proper-noun place names, like “African American” and “Asian American” are. This rationale for capitalization in style guidelines changed rapidly in 2020. Elahe Izadi, “Why hundreds of American newsrooms have started capitalizing the ‘b’ in ‘Black’,” The Washington Post, June 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/why-hundreds-of-american-newsrooms-have-started-capitalizing-the-b-in-black/2020/06/18/7687a7a8-b16e-11ea-8f56-63f38c990077_story.html; and Chicago Manual, “Black and White: A Matter of Capitalization,” CMOS Shop Talk, The Chicago Manual of Style, June 22, 2020, https://cmosshoptalk.com/2020/06/22/black-and-white-a-matter-of-capitalization.
- 49 It is worth noting that this plurality would become a majority if we excluded from the denominator the 13 percent of respondents who said they “don’t know” whether whites have too much, too little, or the right amount of political influence.
- 50 This finding has been largely consistent across other Institute surveys as well. See Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Latino Decisions, “Executive Summary: Nevada and Florida Baseline Surveys – Civic Engagement Narrative Change,” March 2019, available at https://belonging.berkeley.edu/baseline-surveys; and Olivia Araiza, Joshua Clark, and Gerald Lenoir, “From Estrangement to Engagement: Bridging to the Ballot Box,” Othering & Belonging Institute, September 2020, p. 7.
- 51 It is beyond the scope of our findings to explain all of the sources of the gender difference we identify with respect to baseline cross-group solidarity. However, the conclusion about Black and Latina women’s exceptional leadership potential echoes other recent studies, including Institute for Policy Studies and The Black Worker Initiative, And Still I Rise: Black Women Labor Leaders’ Voices/Power/Promise, Institute for Policy Studies, 2015, https://and-still-i-rise.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ASIR4_21.pdf; and Ruth Milkman and Veronica Terriquez, “‘We Are the Ones Who Are Out in Front’: Women’s Leadership in the Immigrant Rights Movement,” Feminist Studies 38, no. 3 (2012): 723-752.
- 52 Roger Waldinger and Michael I. Lichter, How the Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor, University of California Press, 2003; and Angela Stuesse, Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South, University of California Press, 2016.
- 53 For example, Claudine Gay, “Seeing Difference: The Effect of Economic Disparity on Black Attitudes toward Latinos,” American Journal of Political Science 50, no. 4 (2006): 982-997.
- 54 An early, seminal example is, Tatcho Mindiola, Jr., Yolanda Flores Niemann, and Nestor Rodriguez, Black-Brown Relations and Stereotypes, University of Texas Press, 2002. See also, Paula D. McClain et al., “Racial Distancing in a Southern City: Latino Immigrants’ Views of Black Americans,” The Journal of Politics 68, no. 3 (2006): 571-584; and Helen B. Marrow, New Destination Dreaming: Immigration, Race, and Legal Status in the Rural American South, Stanford University Press, 2011.
- 55 Some have pointed out that the racial resentment scale discussed in an earlier section may actually capture survey respondents’ adherence to this narrative as much as it does their anti-Black animus. See Cindy D. Kam and Camille D. Burge, “Uncovering Reactions to the Racial Resentment Scale across the Racial Divide,” The Journal of Politics 80, no. 1 (2018): 314-320. This is an important point when considering the results on Latinxs’ responses to our parallel anti-immigrant resentment battery.
- 56 The fact that it was commonly expressed by relatively new immigrants with limited or no English-language proficiency raises the question of whether the narrative of U.S. welfare cheats has spread to sending countries.
- 57 Translated by Clark. The quote in the original Spanish reads: “[L]os americanos eran muy… [pause] son ‘nice.’ No quiero decir que no son. Pero… piensan, ‘eres mexicana, estás en el welfare,’ o ‘tienes muchos niños, porque, porque te da el welfare.’ Y desafortunadamente, yo puedo ir a comunidades enteras allí en Yucaipa… [y] cada casa tiene un caso abierto en el welfare. Ya sea medical, ya sea estampillas, ya sea dinero. Pero todos están dependiendo. Creo que el gobierno ha hecho una comunidad dependiente.”
- 58 Translated by Clark. The quote in the original Spanish reads: “[E]l pensamiento del hispano que viene de México [es]: ‘Tengo hijos, tengo uno, me dan $500; tengo otro me dan $1000…’ ¿Quién quiere trabajar así si tiene un gobierno que le da todo en la boca?”
- 59 On the two items quoted in the previous sentence, 44 percent of older Latinxs agreed with the first statement, and 50 percent disagreed with the second.
- 60 See further, Araiza, Clark, and Lenoir, “From Estrangement to Engagement,” p. 8.
- 61 The narrative of the welfare cheat in U.S. culture is steeped in anti-Black racism, with the most well-known version of the story being that of the “welfare queen,” a myth-cum-stereotype about a Black woman from Chicago.
- 62 Focus group participants told stories, for example, about mismatches between available services and community needs, and how support structures often evaporate just a step or two short of getting recipients to the point of sustainability or independence.
- 63 Edward Telles et al., “Introduction,” in Edward Telles, Mark Q. Sawyer, and Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, eds., Just Neighbors?; Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States, Russell Sage Foundation, 2011, p. 3.