An outspoken and controversial demographics expert told me that Italian-Americans are a dying group.
There’s nothing you can do because they’re not reproducing,’ he said to me. ‘Italian-Americans are no longer interested in their culture, they’re leaving their neighbourhoods and Hispanics are coming in and taking over. I think Italian culture in America is finished.’
Today, Hispanics make cannolis, Italian butcher and espresso shops are closing, and a church in the Bronx’s Little Italy that once said only Italian Mass have now added sermons in Spanish.
As Italian-Americans sit on a bus or train listening to Mexican-Americans chat away in Spanish in their old Italian neighbourhoods, they must be wondering where did it all go wrong.
Despite being one of the nation’s largest and longest-entrenched ethnic groups, Italians have failed to reach the highest rungs of American politics and it’s now getting very likely that we will ever see an Italian-American president in the near future.
Many Italians in the New York-New Jersey area are socially conservative and many have become Republicans (especially in Staten Island). If Italian-Americans want a Republican in 2016, they will most probably have to bow down and vote for a Hispanic.
Thirty years ago, being unpopular with ethnic minorities would hardly have stopped a white establishment candidate like Mitt Romney from trouncing Barack Obama. Times have changed and Hispanics are now an influential force in politics who were instrumental in putting Barack Obama back in the White House.
If instead it chooses another candidate like Romney in 2016, it may be doomed to failure again.
The sensible response for the Republican party will be to turn to its strong line-up of young, Hispanic figures — particularly charismatic Cuban-American Marco Rubio, a Florida senator — who are waiting in the wings as future leaders.
There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of months about who the next Republican candidate will be. The safe bet is it might be a Hispanic. It makes sense because Republicans are having trouble appealing to Hispanic voters because of their anti-immigration stance. Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and they could easily swing the election for whoever captures their vote.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is already moving swiftly behind the scenes to lock down some of Wall Street’s biggest donors and he recently become the first Hispanic to ever give the GOP response to the State of the Union and he did it in both English and Spanish — also a first.
In general, voters are much more likely to say that they’re ready for an African-American, Woman, Hispanic, and even an Asian-American over an Italian-American candidate from New York or New Jersey.
As a young Hispanic male told me last week, ‘Im from NYC and Blacks and Hispanics are now together. ….. fact that we have a common enemy (Racist Italians) we should stick together so we can boot these guidos out.’
2013 is suppose to be the year of Italian culture but in reality it’s the final goodbye before it dies out completely.
An Irish-American Guest writer Craig O’Connor offers his opinion on Italian related issues in his home state of New York.