A professor from the City University of New York warned last week that white people may launch a “race war” against Latinos as a result of President Barack Obama’s re-election.
Linda Martín Alcoff, a philosophy professor, made the remark during a guest lecture at Columbia University. She was invited to speak by the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Columbia.
Demographic factors are causing white people to lose their political power to the rising Latino population, Alcoff argued.
“No other group can realistically pose a threat of ballooning numbers like we can,” said Alcoff, who is Hispanic. “It’s not like the Jews in Germany, where they were like 3 percent of the population and there was no real economic threat.”
Alcoff pointed to increases in gun sales and the growth of right-wing hate groups as evidence that white people see Latinos as a threat and may be preparing for a race war with them.
“These groups are not harmless,” Alcoff said. “The principle target here … is not an unspecified or abstract immigrant population, but generally Latino immigrants from Mexico or Central America.”
According to the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of right-wing hate groups in the country has greatly increased since Obama’s election in 2008. However, the latest hate crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found a significant decline in racially-motivated crimes in recent years.
The lecture was a preview of Alcoff’s forthcoming paper, which will argue for harsher laws aimed at prohibiting hate crimes against Latinos.
Alcoff did not respond to requests for a clarification of her opinion on the likelihood of a race war breaking out between whites and Latinos. The center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity also did not respond to requests for comment.
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