In recent years, so much ado has been made by our media and academic elites of the probability that by mid-century the majority of the American population will be nonwhite or “people of color.” And of that new demographic majority, Hispanics will be the largest group. However, nothing is really said about the Hispanics who will, or should, be the leaders of our country in the years to come.
Unfortunately, more is made of the issues of poverty, lack of education, and single-parent families and how these may affect American society in the future. Given the current status of blacks and Latinos, one might be inclined to give serious pause when considering their future as American leaders. If Latinos will be the largest subset of “people of color” in the years to come, then we should expect to see more of them in leadership roles in all sectors of American life.
This past Father’s Day weekend, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to witness our daughter Eliana Arredondo receive her college diploma, a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Stanford University. While watching her receive her diploma from former Secretary of State and current Stanford professor Condoleezza Rice, I couldn’t help but think of my father who made most of this possible by leaving Mexico in 1927 at the age of 20 and coming to Lorain, Ohio, along with his brother and sister-in-law, to begin a new life. Unfortunately, my dad passed away some years ago and couldn’t see his granddaughter graduate from such a prestigious place like Stanford.
An equally moving part of the Stanford graduation-weekend festivities was the Latino graduation ceremony for the 70 graduates of the class of 2012. Their degrees ranged from doctorates in engineering, law, science and technology, to bachelors and masters degrees in all fields.
The Latino Graduation Ceremony was special because all graduates and their parents or next of kin were recognized. In this manner, we learned a little about each graduate and his or her families. We learned where they came from, what they studied, what they did to give back to the community, and what they planned to do after graduation. Especially heartening was seeing those students whose families had immigrated to the U.S. or who were the first in their families to attend college. The future bodes well for these graduates, their successive families, and our country.
Many other colleges held graduation ceremonies for thousands of Asian, black, Hispanic, and of course, white college graduates this past spring, and many — most — will go on to do well and do good for themselves and others.
My mom and dad raised seven children, all of whom but one received college degrees, including graduate degrees. Due to my wife Michele and my educational and cultural formation, Eliana and her sister Amalia were inspired and motivated to do their best for themselves and for others. Beginning with my father’s American Dream, our children’s success was fulfilled. Thankfully, many other Americans can also trace their success to an immigrant ancestor who made the sacrifice to come to America not only for theirs and their families’ benefit, but for America’s benefit as well.
David G. Arredondo is vice chairman of the Lorain County, Ohio, Republican Party. From 1973 to 1975, he was a Mexican Government Fellow and did post-graduate studies at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City.