Zev Chavets profiled Mayor Julian Castro in the May 3 issue of The New York Times Magazine. Among his observations:
Nothing seems to ruffle him. Recently, after Arizona passed its tough immigration law, most Hispanic politicians reacted with fury. Some even compared the decision to apartheid. Castro, through a spokesman, phrased his own opposition to the decision in characteristically understated and inclusive language, saying, in part: “Texas has long been an example of how two neighboring countries can co-exist in a mutually beneficial way for the American economy. A law like Arizona’s would fly in the face of that history.”
And, while some of Chavets’ questions to our Mayor seemed designed to stir up racial tension where it does not exist, the Mayor did not bite:
“I consider myself Mexican-American, both parts of that phrase,” he said. “I don’t want to turn my back on my mother’s generation. But we are less burdened.”
The last line of the following paragraph indicates Chavets did grasp part of what makes San Antonio work:
In 2000, while Castro was still in Cambridge, the political theorist Samuel P. Huntington argued that mass immigration from Mexico poses an existential threat to the United States. “Mexican immigration,” he wrote, “is a unique, disturbing and looming challenge to our cultural integrity, our national identity and potentially to our future as a country.” At the heart of Huntington’s critique, which many Americans share, is the sense that Mexican-Americans will form a permanent, unassimilated superbarrio across the Southwest and elsewhere. Julián Castro’s San Antonio is one place that counters that concern.
Will continual national attention go to the Mayor’s head?
…in San Antonio, he added, “nobody likes people with big heads.”
Note Added on June 30: View Mayor Castro on The Colbert Report