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Oct 02nd
Home Sections Politics The "Clash of Civilizations" Now Brewing in California? (Part II)
The "Clash of Civilizations" Now Brewing in California? (Part II) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Tuesday, 04 September 2007 02:35

Part II of a Miniseries: "The Filipino and the 'Clash of Civilizations'"

G regory Rodriguez, a contributing editor to the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, wrote an in-depth article about Prof. Samuel P. Huntington's thesis on the "Clash of Civilizations (CoC)." He is also a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.


Mr. Rodriguez said that Professor Huntington's thesis "is not the least bit new. In the mid-19th century, when the United States took control of the Southwest through conquest and annexation, some Anglo Americans feared that large numbers of unassimilable (sic) Mexicans would undermine national integrity. In 1847, South Carolina Sen. John C. Calhoun questioned whether the U.S. could 'incorporate a people so dissimilar from us in every respect - so little qualified for free and popular government - without certain destruction to our political institutions'?"

Mr. Rodriguez continued: "The problem with Huntington's theory is that it doesn't take into account the people whose actions it presumes to predict. In the more than a century and a half of Mexican-American history, there has not been one serious, popularly supported movement to wrest control of the Southwest away from the U.S. or to isolate it from the rest of the nation. Nor have Mexican Americans ever shown much interest in distancing themselves from the mainstream by building parallel ethnic institutions."

B ut from what are happening in California, perhaps the "CoC," as theorized by Professor Huntington, may already be brewing. Are the more-than 1.2 million Filipino Americans and Filipino immigrants in California in the middle of these cultural clashes?

The City of Long Beach in Southern California is where the former British luxury liner, the Queen Mary, is berthed. It is also where numerous clashes between Mexican and Cambodian gangs happen. This may be more than a classic "cultural" confrontation between representatives of the Hispanic (Mexican) and Confucian (Asian) civilizations. The clashes have become violent, bloody and deadly.

In many California prisons, inmates have banded according to ethnicity. There have been clashes among Hispanic, Black-American and Caucasian bands of brothers. There are reports also of Asian gangs within the prison walls that are involved in disturbances. The Caucasian inmates usually refuse to take in the White supremacists that continue to spouse the superiority - even in prison - of the Aryan race. These "Skinheads" usually get separated from the rest, as they are the targets of everybody else.

Supposedly the Filipino-American youth in Long Beach and Filipino-American inmates are the foes of no one and the friends of every one. The enigma that is the Filipino - Chinese-looking, with Hispanic names and being the most Americanized - brings advantages and disadvantages. Among the Mexican-Americans, the "ñ-Filipinos" are like cousins. The Filipinos happen also to be closest in historical ties to Black Americans, on account of the more-than 6,000 Buffalo soldiers sent to the Philippines during the Filipino-American War from 1899-1902.

But if the "CoC" comes, no ethnic group can really be neutral and stay in the middle. What is the Filipino's racial classification? Are they Asians? Are they the "ñ-Filipinos," to use the term I coined for HispanoFilipinos? Are they Brown Americans and, therefore, allied with the Caucasian Americans? Remember they are "little brown brothers," to use William Howard Taft's words. Mr. Taft was the first American civil governor in the Philippines before he became the U.S. President in 1909.

Some students of Professor Huntington's thesis wonder if the predicted clash between the Hispanics (read, Mexicans) and the Anglo Saxons will come? Pundits say that the Latinos in this country are composed of so-many ethnic groups that share mainly the Spanish language and/or some of its dialects. The Mexicans are just the more-numerous members of the Latino population in the United States. There are the Cubans, the Puerto Ricans, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the El Salvadorans, the Hondurans and other immigrants from South/Central America and the Caribbean. Then as I explained in my (longer) essay about the MLA (Missing Latinos in America), there are the HispanoAsians and the "ñ-Filipinos."


* To read more about the Filipino linkages to the Hispanic civilization, please go to Rediscovering the “Missing Latinos in America”: The HispanoAsians and the ñ-Filipinos

Even among Latino Americans, many Mexicans and other immigrants from South America continue their traditional hatred for Spain. They still blame the Spaniards for their colonial exploitation.

(To be continued . . .)


E ditor’s Note: To read the earlier articles of this series, please just click on these hyperlinks:


The Filipino and the Clash of Civilizations, Part I


The "Clash of Civilizations" Now Brewing in California?


Is the Philippines the Prototype of the "Clash of Civilizations?" (Part III)


Overseas Filipinos Can End the "Clash of Civilizations" in RP (Part IV)


Illiteracy Fuels the Ongoing “Clash of Civilizations” in RP, Especially in Mindanao (Part V)


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Last Updated on Saturday, 09 January 2010 13:12

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