Although Latinos currently outnumber blacks and are the fastest growing segment of the American population, they have not been prominent in the histories of American attitudes toward race and ethnicity or in the histories of the relationships of Jews with other ethnic and racial groups. Victoria Hattam, an associate professor of political science at the New School for Social Research in New York and the chairperson of its political science department, seeks to right this imbalance. Hattam believes that race, not ethnicity, remains the most convincing paradigm for understanding contemporary American politics, particularly if one is concerned with issues of power and inequality and wishes to see a revival of what she calls “progressive politics.”
Jews, blacks, and Latinos are deeply divided along social, economic, and religious lines. Hattam makes sense of this morass through the prism of her own radical political attachments, and she ignores factors which challenge her conclusions. Thus she overlooks completely the political implications of the high intermarriage rate among Latinos and Anglos and the growing intermarriage rate between whites and blacks, does not discuss the politics of the Republican-leaning Cuban-Americans of South Florida, and scoffs at the Republican success in attracting the votes of Latinos in Texas.