The foreword to “Generations of Exclusion” is written by Joan Moore, who was associate director of UCLA’s Mexican American Study Project, which surveyed spanish-surnamed whites (most of them not first-generation immigrants themselves) in San Antonio and Los Angeles in 1965. Moore makes clear that there was a political impetus behind the project, seeking to change the perception of “hispanics” (not yet counted as a census category) or “Chicanos” (as she, but not Telles & Ortiz, refers to them) from quaint rural “ethnics” to a marginalized urban racial “minority”, tying them into the black-focused civil rights struggle and Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty. Part of their efforts were in the face of many Chicanos themselves, she notes that in San Antonio they were “proudly Latin Americans” and advertised their restaurants as serving “Spanish” fare. “Local euphemisms” is her term for it, too closely associated with a middle class white image of respectability. The embrace by young militants of the “Chicano” label “embarrassed” many of the older generation, but sometimes you have to embarrass a few fogies. I lay that out not to spark discussion of how they should be classified or perceived, but to indicate how invested the researchers were in the results of their project. Boxes of records containing the surveys were uncovered behind a bookcase in 1993, and the study became longitudinal. Much had changed over the decades, and many of Moore’s predictions about the fate of the net generations were falsified and she was “deeply disturbed” by the findings. Unlike Robert Putnam, the researchers did not sit on their findings. Nobody can blame a cabal of academics of fabricating global warming intergenerational mobility data. But almost nobody is aware of it either. In popular discourse these findings aren’t even used, much less abused. Perhaps for all the debate over immigration, people just don’t care. The People are to blame.

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