Since its inception in 1968, made possible in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation, La Raza has been far more dependent on boardrooms and government than grass-roots support. But with government largess drying up, the liberal political-advocacy group may find itself needing greater support from the rank and file.This won’t be easy.The nation’s “Hispanics” are undergoing a radical shift that most politicians are missing: A white majority is likely to persist in America.“Many children growing up today in mixed families are integrating into a still largely white mainstream society,” sociologist Richard Alba noted in American Prospect last year. These children are “likely to think of themselves as part of that mainstream, rather than as minorities excluded from it.”The name La Raza – “the race” in Spanish – flies in the face of this reality. It is off-putting to many “Hispanics,” an artificial Census category comprising many razas.The organization’s CEO, Janet Murguia, admitted as much in a video announcing the name change: “We must make sure that our name and our organization evolves along with and remains relevant to our ever changing Hispanic community.”Appealing to a broader swath of this diverse group is necessary now that the “fat years” under President Obama are gone.
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