Ruben Navarrette Jr.’s recent article on emerging Hispanic leaders is very interesting. He lists some of the young Hispanic leaders, a new generation of leaders, that are making a name for themselves in the political arena. He adds an interesting wrinkle to his thoughts – that of generational differences between today’s Hispanic leaders and those from the 1960′s. Interesting perspective indeed as Ruben describes the differences older and younger generations have in regard to social and cultural objectives.
It seems a lot of the tension he describes was brought about by perceptions, for example, the perception of prejudice or role models. As I grew up, Cesar Chavez and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales were a larger than life figures in Los Angeles, where I grew up. My parents, their friends, and my older sisters could identify with what leaders like Cesar Chavez were trying to do in helping unionize farm workers in California as well as change the political landscape. The next generation of Hispanics have very different perceptions. Today, we also have very different Hispanic role models -in politics, business, and entertainment – Hispanic culture is much more mainstream and interwoven into the American fabric. Anyway, a great piece to read.