The tea baggers of today are no different from the know nothings of Lincoln's era who feared the bad effects of unAmerican German and Irish immigrants.
But, the liberal also have their issues. The Irish, the Germans, the Jews, .. all of these made their way in America AGAINST the majority.
While the larger society can help Blacks and Hispanics, ultimately the success of these communities needs to come from within.
I also see Black and Hispanic issues as very different. The term "People of Color" is itself racist. Most Hispanics I know are well within the scope f skin color we identify as European. Hispanics seems to me much more like previous Europeans groups who have come here and, not having the physical tag of "I am different" have mutated into the White mainstream.
Racism can be positive too. The default assumption that a Korean or Iranian face belongs to a hard worker is very different from the prejudice the larger society feels toward the face of .. well, to be honest, Michelle Obama. Americans have come to admire her, but there is still a feeling of amazement that someone who is as African as she is, can be so different. On the other hand, this prejudice without the indelible features she inherited from her parents, was also faced in previous generations by people with Irish, Italian or Jewish names.
I do not have answers, but I do have two suggestions.
The first is for the larger community. We need to do all we can t smother bigotry like that behind the Arizona law. There should be outrage at he intent of that law, an intent not to solve the problems of immigrants but to feed the fires of prejudice that make the problem worse.
The second is for the communities who have the greatest challenge .. the African American, Native American and indigenous Hispanic communities. These communities are not simply defined by skin color. Ask any Puerto Rican who has dealt with "Americans" who welcome her as an immigrant! That challenge, however, is like the challenges facing earlier ethnic groups. It needs to be addressed from within.
I think this part of the challenge is hardest for Native Americans. They can look white but when they do so, their heritage becomes vestigial and no longer visible to the main community. Ethnic Puyallup people never get the credit for those of the tribe who pass for white. How many tea bagers know or care that Dino Rossi is Tinglit?
African Americans, in the faces of Michelle, Barack and Dr. King may have a real advantage.