The U.S. senator from Hispania
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?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.
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.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.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 28, 2012 01:24 PM | Send