Sunday, May 15, 2005

data merge

There's an article in this morning's Washington Post about this Tuesday's runoff election between current Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa, a former State Assembly Speaker. The focus of the article is on the division between African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles and how that plays into the election. Four years ago, these same two men found themselves in the exact same position — a runoff election pitting the two against each other. At that time, Hahn pulled out ahead, in part because of his strong support among African American voters. The support was not necessarily earned. Hahn's dad had been, as the Post describes him, a "civil rights icon" and so heredity played a role. But African Americans in LA weren't all that keen about the idea of a Latino mayor. As far as they're concerned, Latinos don't need any more of a boost that they already had. According to the Post, this is still an issue four years later, tempered only by the fact that Hahn has been a weak mayor and has done very little in his first term to earn the support of African Americans that was given to him back in 2001 -- on blind faith.

I lived in LA at the time of the last runoff and I'm pretty confident that I voted for Hahn, but if you asked me to tell you why today, I wouldn't be able to tell you. To be honest, it may have had something to do with the fact that there was a guy who was a really strong supporter of Villaraigosa who was a major jacka** and I couldn't bear the thought of doing anything that he had asked me to do (mature, huh?).

I'd vote for Villaraigosa today.

I lived in Durham, NC before moving to LA and remember that there were problems with relations between the African American and Latino community there as well. Durham had been a strong African American city for decades (something like 40 percent), but more recently there has been a rise in the Latino population, which many believed was the cause of African American on Latino violence — primarily in the form of robberies. I read an article recently that suggested that it was all a load of sh*t, that the reason for the robberies was that Latinos tended to stick their money in mattresses and the robberies were more of a reflection of opportunistic African Americans than any racial tension (in other words, cut out the town hall meetings and encourage Latinos to put their money in the bank).

Meanwhile, Mexican President Vincente Fox stuck his zapato in his mouth yesterday when he said that Mexicans were willing to do jobs that "not even black people want to do in the United States". Fox is pissed about plans to make it harder for illegal immigrants/undocumented workers to get driver's licenses. I'm sure that will do wonders for Latino/African American relations in Los Angeles, where the majority of Latinos are Mexican.

I need to get back to using my fine education to making nametags. Little did I know that it was going to be a data merge that finally caused my brain to explode.

Oh, and about Garden State. Dan thought the ending was nonsense and appeared to be quite appalled when I said I loved the movie. He's right. That scene at the end in the airport was sh*t.

The guy in the ark! I just figured out who he was! He was the uptight husband/neighbor in The Anniversary Party! Hold on . . . let me check . . . YES! Dennis O'Hare. G-d bless random information.

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