It is 7:37 p.m., and I’m on Ann Coulter’s blog reading how much she can’t stand Mexicans, and guess what banner ad is splattered across the top of her website? It’s for Subway, announcing how you can now add “guacamole to your favorite sandwiches.”
Tasty irony? OK maybe a little, but mostly it’s just plain reality.
The fact of the matter is that whether Coulter likes it or not (frankly, I don’t really think she cares one way or another), Latinos are now driving the U.S. economy.
That's why Walmart says it expects to derive more than 80 percent of its growth from Hispanics. That's why Toyota says Hispanics will account for more than 60 percent of its growth. That's why giants like Mitsubishi and Turbo Tax fly me and other Hispanic leaders to their corporate headquarters to help them better understand the Latino market.
And that's why a woman who dedicates herself to disparaging Mexicans in order to ingratiate herself to xenophobes ends up with a banner advertisement on her website pitching a Mexican staple.
Here’s a hint. If you don't want to know what is really going on in this country, keep listening to Ann Coulter.
Go ahead, ignore every single business model that adheres to the principals of sound economics that shows that a young and more diverse labor- and consumer-force benefits an economy much more than it harms it.
The model being followed by Fortune 500 companies like Walmart, Target, Toyota and Intuit. If it makes you feel good to read or hear my pal Annie lambaste anybody who doesn’t look or sound like you do, go for it.
It’s human nature to think somebody’s trying to take something away from you even if they’re not, to hate the newest kid on the block even if he’s more like you than you think – especially when you’re being provoked by the best in the business. Yep, Ann Coulter is really good. She’s really good at making herself rich while making you stupid.
This week while Ann was trying to gin up the immigration paranoia by playing to the worst in all of us by calling Mexican immigrants in the United States “a deficient culture made up mostly of peasants who are much more dangerous than ISIS,” there was some actual news derived not from hate-filled anecdotes, but from real metrics.
“Immigrants, Latinos Helped Drive Business Creation Last Year” is the headline the Wall Strett Journal – hardly a bastion of liberalism – chose to use for a newly released report on U.S. startup activity for 2014. The study compiled by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City nonprofit, explains that immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5% of the new businesses in 2014, up from 25.9% a year before and just 13.3% in 1996.
Researchers found that immigrants started new companies or became self-employed at nearly twice the rate of native-born Americans, even though they made up only 12.9% of the U.S. population. Latino new business creators also climbed to 22.1% in 2014 from 20.4% in 2013 and just 10% in 1996, the study found, while they make up only 17.1% of the U.S. population.
Not bad for a bunch of lowly peasants, huh, Ann?
I can’t imagine anyone but Ann proclaiming that 17 percent of the population of the United States is more dangerous than ISIS, but that’s exactly what Ann told Hispanic anchorman Jorge Ramos – who seemed either too unprepared or too dumbfounded by the comment to respond. So let me help him, and once again let me do it not with Coulter-like anecdotes about a skull found in the desert in Arizona, but rather with facts.
According to a study by an accomplished sociologist who has spent years researching and writing about immigrants in the U.S., the crime rate among first-generation immigrants – those who came to this country from somewhere else – is significantly lower than the overall crime rate. It’s even lower than for second-generation Americans.
That means that as immigrants assimilate into American, they are more apt to commit a crime.
Hmm, that sounds oddly enough like the opposite of what Ann told Jorge.
The woman who compiled that research is Bianca E. Bersani of the University of Massachusetts, who has authored extensive works on immigrant behavioral patterns in America. She’s a Ph.D who would rather inform than alarm.
What she isn't is a rich author, or a best-selling one and certainly not a ratings get – which is why you have to get her information here and not on a nationally-televised interview.