Study: OC Whites Want Nothing to Do With Mexicans—But Asians Are Okay!

Back in the day, Orange County's segregated ways kept non-white folks in their place. Brea used to be a “sundown town,” meaning blacks had to get out at dusk—or else! Whites didn't want the Mexican Bernal family moving into their Fullerton neighborhood until he beat them in court. Anaheim's Pearson Park had a segregated pool policy. And, of course, five Mexican families sued in Mendez, et al, v. Westminster to fight segregated OC schools. But those days are long gone, right?

A new UCLA study published last week begs to differ, finding that even with rising diversity, OC isn't becoming an integrated shade of orange, especially when it comes to Mexicans. With legal segregation in the ash heap of history, whites surveyed still spoke candidly of their preference to live, play and send their kids to school far away from Latinos (read: Mexicans). Oh, and they're still scared shitless of being in SanTana! 

Celia Lacayo, a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA's Institute of American Cultures, surveyed 40 self-identified OC white residents back in 2010 for her study. Being a woman of color, she had two white graduate students do the in-depth interviews to have the randomly sampled participants feel more comfortable airing their true views. Chosen at random, the whites surveyed ranged from 25 to 61, with most being middle- to upper-class professionals. They split almost evenly along political lines, with the slightest majority identifying as conservatives. All but two already lived in mostly white neighborhoods. 

Now, Orange County is definitely a-changing. Fifteen percent of its white residents left between 1990-2010. At the same time, its Latino population exploded by 80 percent, only outpaced by Asians whose numbers grew at a 120 percent clip, becoming the third-largest Asian-American population in the U.S. Latinos still largely live in segregated neighborhoods and attend segregated schools. How did these white folks feel about the new OC? Lacayo's study found that they held attitudes that viewed Latinos as a cultural “threat,” while not harboring the same views toward OC's Asians.  “Academia wasn't trying to hear this for a really long time,” Lacayo tells the Weekly. “They wanted Latino immigrants to be the next Irish assimilation model.” 
As mentioned before, most of those surveyed live in predominately white neighborhoods. “Obviously, I wouldn't feel comfortable living in a neighborhood that was mostly Hispanic,” Chrissy, a 43-year-old hair stylist, said in the study. “I would feel completely out of place.” Before people ascribe that to a benign preference, check out what Chrissy and others said about the one place they stay away from most in OC: SanTana! “It's a little more crime there, a littler trashier spot,” Chrissy added. “Hispanics can be dirty in their neighborhoods and gang-y as well as Blacks.”

Carl, a 64-year-old city planner used to live in SanTana but left. “Most of all the people I grew up with, basically all their parents moved out of town because it was turning into a third-world country,” he said. While 34 respondents out of the 40 admittedly avoided SanTana at all costs, 38 held favorable view of OC Asians. SanTana may be scary, but Irvine is just fine. “We definitely could see the difference if you drive through Santa Ana and Irvine,” said Todd, a 30-year-old real estate agent. “Irvine is more of an Asian population. The streets are cleaner.” 

But why the Asian comparison? “I initially only asked about Latinos,” Lacayo tells the Weekly. “What came out is the grounded information that when whites talked about Latinos, the way that they further made their arguments was to compare them to Asians. I know that part's going to be controversial, but this is what white people are saying, it's not what I'm saying.” Of course, Asians still face racism in OC—Jennifer Murphy's “Neenja” song, anyone

Back to the Mexis: practically all whites interviewed expressed fears about busing Latino kids into majority white schools. “I just want the kids to be comfortable,” says Nicole, a self-employed 48-year-old. “I don't want them to feel like a Black kid or a Mexican kid goes to [Newport] Harbor [High School] and feel all intimidated and weird.” Buying into the “model minority” frame, they praised Asians, though, while expressing negative stereotypes about Latinos with comments like, “The Asians come in and they're freaking motivated. Hispanics aren't.” 
The study found that whites didn't particularly care to share beaches or public parks with Mexicans, either, echoing the views of infamous Newport Beach council member Dick Nichols. “The Mexicans go to the beach, and I don't know why they always swim in their clothes,” said Mark, a 42-year-old repo company owner. Hey, Mark: that's only the most popular question ever for the Weekly's ¡Ask a Mexican! column! “They have a wet dirty blanket and they'll drag it; and they'll stop on the boardwalk,” Mark continued. “And it's like get out of the way. How stupid are you?”

Well, if whites in the study don't like Mexicans at the beach, they sure hope beach city neighborhoods won't become integrated with them. “I think coastal cities will remain predominately white,” said Lola, a 25-year-old marketing director. “I mean, it's beautiful. I hope it never changes.” 

So what do all these views mean? The study concludes that such attitudes reinforce de facto segregation for Latinos, and show no will from white respondents to challenge its residential and educational forms. “As Orange County has gone majority-minority, most whites are having a hostile reaction,” Lacayo tells us. “In terms of segregation, it's a mechanism for whites to keep their power even as their numbers are going down. We already know separate isn't equal.” 

Stay classy, OC!

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22 Replies to “Study: OC Whites Want Nothing to Do With Mexicans—But Asians Are Okay!”

    1. It is indeed they’ve ruined it. It’s important if we move out of state we prevent this from ever happening again anywhere else stay RED!

    1. I as a white guy living as a renter in two Hispanic neighborhood for five years to save money have experienced a lot of passive aggressive obnoxious rude psychotic behavior. About me is I don’t know any of these people. I don’t hang out in these hoods, if so very seldom like errands etc. I am a very typical white professional. I don’t have any tattoos. I wear mainly all solid colors. A back pack and t shirt and jeans are what I could wear. Harassment would include vehicles peeling out in front of wear I walk and live. Spitting close to me, attempting to block or challenge whatever I’m doing like going for a particular item etc. I don’t know or ever associate with these people. Most Hispanics I’ve seen in public are dirty, have very terrible mannered kids. The adults lack in proper manners, basic courteous ness and respect. This is most of them, not all. A lot of general ignorance and stupid behaviors are noticed.

      1. I live in Chicago. I am a subscriber of Barrons magazine. I have a Mexican (who speaks no English) deliver my paper. My November 4 paper was never delivered. After 7 phone calls to the field delivery office, i received 4, yes FOUR November 18 papers and ZERO November 4 papers. I understand the utter frustration we (Gringos and Gringas) have to deal with on a daily basis. BTW, as a former Democrat, I am supporting Trump even if he loses!

  1. I live in Anaheim hills and we are the only Mexican family in this neighborhood and when ever i go to any stores around here i am looked at and followed because they think i am going to steal. I lived in the OC all my life and being a Mexican who dose not speak Spanish life has not been harder then most because Mexicans dont like me because i cant speack spanish and whites think i am nothing more then a dumb Mexican. I always felt like there no place for me here in the OC.

    1. I get it. Same here. And I am not even Mexican. However, I do look more Mexican than most Mexicans. I am a 12 generation American, if you don’t count my native blood which goes back 12,000 years in this country. However to whites I am a foreigner and treated with distain or at the very least with tolerance.

  2. Most are associated with gangs soreno norteno and drug trafficking… they are rotting the west coast and the south… soon the whole country will be just like Mexico… destroyed by gangs dealing drugs for cartels!!! Unless we take drastic anti transnational policies!!!! The US will be third world!

  3. Hispanics are a bunch of dirty, stupid, pushy, ignorant, arrogant, low life losers, who regularly enter the U.S. illegally, and show no respect for our country’s sovereignty or our country’s laws. They make up a large majority of U.S. prison inmates, and their prison numbers are way out of proportion to their numbers in the general population. Also, any place where hispanics are concentrated winds up becoming a filthy, disease ridden ghetto. Hispanics who illegally enter the U.S. believe that it’s the job of American citizens to provide for them and take care of them since they are obviously too stupid and too lazy to do it for themselves. Hispanics only take while providing absolutely nothing in return. They are a huge liability to any country that admits them.

  4. I am half Hispanic, half white. I am also going to say this: Hispanic neighborhoods, or rather, as the area gets more and more populated with Hispanics, it gets dirtier and run down as time goes by. It’s horrible that Hispanics don’t care the image they are giving off of themselves. It makes them get discriminated. Are Asian neighborhoods dirty? No. Are Armenian, Chinese or Japanese areas dirty? No. I look latina but also a little White. I’ve received looks from Whites showing discrimination of my person- because of my latina air. As a child I’d get discriminated, but then they’d see my white mom and back off. I wish I could find a way to do something about the dirty towns. The Mayor of the town and the churches and street cleaning volunteer groups could put a stop to it. A movement of “Clean your neighborhood” would do it with actual volunteers cleaning the streets and power washing, sweeping, etc

  5. WHITE GENOCIDE!! WHITES ALWAYS THINK THEYRE ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING. SOON YOU WILL BE A MINIORITY. SLUTTY WHITE WOMEN ARENT HAVING AS MANY CHILDREN, INSTEAD THEY ARE ABORTING AND POPPING PLAN B AFTER PILLS. YOUR CRAPPY BASIC RACE WILL SOON BE OVER WITH. YOU WHITES DONT BELONG HERE IN AMERICA. ALL OF YOU COME FROM PLACES IN EUROPE WHICH MAEKS YOU ALL IMMIGRANTS.

  6. WHITE PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING HILLBILLYS THAT SCREW THEIR OWN DAUGHTERS AND HAVE RETARDED CHILDREN. MENTALLY ILL FUCKERS THAT NEED TO BE PUT DOWN. THEY GO AROUND KILLING PEOPLE. EVERY SINGLE SERIAL KILLER HAS BEEN WHITE!! WATCH THE NEWS EVERY TIME THEY SHOW A PEDO THEY HAPPEN TO BE WHITE. WHITE WOMEN ARE DISGUSTING. THEY DONT SHOWERED DAILY THEIR HAIR REEKS. THEY START LOOKING 50 IN THEIR MID TWENTYS. THEY AGE HORRIBLE. YOU PEOPLE HAVE THE WORST GENETICS. YOU PEOPLE ARE PRONE TO SO MANY DISEASES. HOW ARE YOU THE SUPERIOR RACE?? LOL

  7. Ok… those last 2 posts were obviously not the same person. Even though they were 5 minutes apart :/
    Really in all honesty Mexicans are pretty fucking dumb though.

  8. US is third world already babes and mexicans aint the issue. Sorry but the terrorism created by white men committing shootings. But we not ready for this convo

  9. I think it has to do with educational and economic status more than race. I know plenty of Caucasians , Asians, Blacks and Hispanics who have no problem littering and stealing . What do they all have in common ? They’re poor and uneducated. Obviously there’s an exception to the rule but I’ve noticed that’s those are the traits the bast majority shares. No excuse for their behavior though. My family is doing well financially now but we grew up poor-middle class and we never did any of these things. Thanks

  10. I think it has to do with educational and economic status more than race. I know plenty of Caucasians , Asians, Blacks and Hispanics who have no problem littering and stealing . What do they all have in common ? They’re poor and uneducated. Obviously there’s an exception to the rule but I’ve noticed that’s those are the traits the bast majority shares. No excuse for their behavior but that’s

  11. I’ve had the WORSE experience with mexican’ts. I’ve now totally STOPPED eating their fucking food altogether because of it. They literally disgust tf out of me now. F’king low life uneducated bunch of people ever.

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