The U.S. senator from Hispania

Buck writes:

As an aside to the case and arguments on Obamacare, which I listened to on C-Span, there was something else that irritated me. The pompous and pretentious legislators gathered for the press on the lawn right after. First came the obnoxious Schumer, followed by others. Then the Republicans took a turn. The usual boiler plate, blah, blah, blah. Then Marco Rubio made some routine remarks. What unexpectedly boiled my blood was that when Rubio finished in English, he immediately repeated it in Spanish. It floored me. Who in the hell is a standing United States senator speaking Spanish to?

Of course, I know who, but it just struck me as even more absurd and offensive at that moment, in that venue, for the reason that he was there in the first place. No one even blinked.

LA replies:

I found the video right at the top at Rubio’s site. The statement must have been posted as soon as he made it. And he’s not shy about the Spanish part. it’s right there. I’m staggered. A U.S. senator making remarks on national policy in the nation’s capital, and then immediately giving the same remarks in Spanish, as though this were bi-lingual Canada, where politicians make all their public statements in both English and French.

This totally alters my view of Rubio. It doesn’t matter if he’s good on some things. He stands for the Hispanicization of the United States. He stands for the idea that Spanish is a public language of this country, a language in which our politics is conducted along with English. His selection as vice presidential nominee is a deal killer. A Republican party that nominates this man for national office has lost any claim to be standing for America.

Here is the video. The sudden switch to Spanish occurs at about 1:38.

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Rodrigo writes:

As a regular reader of your blog, I would like to call your attention to the fact that Hispania was a Roman province some 2,000 years ago. Spanish and Portuguese are Hispanic. Not all Latin Americans are pure Hispanic-blooded. There are over 30 million Italian and German Brazilians, for example. The largest Japanese community outside of Japan is in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Mexicans in the U.S. are mostly mongoloid-negroid, as the pure Hispanic Mexicans belong to the ruling class and have no need to emigrate. [LA replies: How is there any Negroid admixture in the Mexican population? I have never heard of that, nor seen any evidence of it.] Of course, one could argue that “pure Hispanics” do not exist, as they are merely the mix of Celtic, Semitic (Jewish and Arabic), German (Suebi and Visigothic), Iranic (Alani) blood.

I find it most unfortunate that (some) people in the U.S. are classified according to the language they speak. Romanians and Moldovans speak a Latin language. Are they “Latinos,” too? What about Italians? For Americans, a Hispanic is someone from Latin America. In Brazil, for example, we have more words: one can be “branco” (white/European), or “mulato” (mix of white and black), or “caboclo” (mix of white and native amerindian), or just “mestiço” (mix of everything). Portuguese-Italian and Italian-German mixes have no specific names. It would be non-PC in today’s America to call people what they are, but your blog neither is nor tries to be a bastion of political correctness, according to my perception.

Rubio looks more Hispanic than mongoloid or negroid to me. [LA replies: Of course. He’s a Spanish-descended Cuban.] But Zimmerman is clearly not Hispanic according to my definition of “Hispanic.” Why not use my definition when what the Romans called “Germania” is now called Germany, and what Romans called “Brittania” is now called Britain?

Pardon my pedantry. And many thanks for the attention,

LA replies:

As I understand, basically your position comes down to this: Speaking racially, not culturally, only Spanish-descended Latin Americans should be called Hispanic. Indio-descended Latin Americans should be called something else. Zimmerman on his mother’s side is Peruvian, and evidently indio; on his father’s side he is German (or perhaps even Jewish). So he should be called some term that is the equivalent of the Brazilian term caboclo: half European / half Amerindian. I have no problem with that. But expecting U.S. discourse to come anywhere close to the exactitude you desire in these matters would be a vain hope.

March 29

Corey N. writes:

Your Brazilian reader is wrong. “Hispanic,” in the context of the American hemisphere, and especially when in the context of the politics of the USA, properly refers to a distinct race formed from the combination of Iberian male conquerors and colonists and the American Indian women they married. (That was the big difference between the British colonies and Latin America; the British and other Europeans brought women of their own kind with them, while in the Spanish domains only the ruling class did so, the rest took natives for brides—encouraged by the Pope.) The blogger at Unamusement Park had a lengthy discussion of this topic, I think a year ago or so, where he cited extensive genetic studies from various authors indicating exactly that: about one in two of all people described as “Hispanic” have a genetic mix of almost equal European and American Indian ancestry, with (most notably) the Y-chromosomes being European and the X being largely American Indian, and most of the rest have a mix of similar origins but different proportions. These people have a particular look to them and their children look the same. They are a distinct and stable racial group. This is, in fact, a major aspect of modern Mexican mythology and background psychology; that the national Mother figure was essentially raped by the Father, resulting in a very conflicted view of European civilization by modern Mexicans—a mix of pride and underlying fury.

The blogger Chechar (a Mexican) has written extensively about this aspect of Mexican culture, but as he also has strongly negative opinions of Jews, I expect you will not want to read him. (He also writes at great length, even when I was reading him regularly, I tended to skim a lot.) [LA replies: Chechar, a.k.a. Cesar Tort, is an exterminationist anti-Semite.]

So Zimmerman is correctly understood to be a member of that racial group. Calling it “Hispanic” may be unfair to the ancient Roman Hispania, but everyone will understand what it means, even the liberals and conservatives who deny that Hispanic is a race.

In Brazil the amalgamation may be less systematic—I know in the southern parts in particular there are European settlements that are still racially distinct.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 28, 2012 01:24 PM | Send

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