The "Hispanic" mirage
Dr Sanity has a post where she describes THE GOLDEN AGE OF VICTIMHOOD
One of the most insidious doctrines of the political left which has entered the mainstream in the last 25 years has been that of “multiculturalism”. You cannot be anywhere near a K-12 school or a university campus without being deluged by the platitudes and slogans about “diversity”. In fact, diversity has become so omnipresent in almost all areas of our cultural consciousness, it is impossible to escape its gooey self-righteousness and sanctified aura.
America has led the world in unparalleled prosperity and economic health; and with this success it has been made by the do-gooders of the left to feel more and more guilty about this success.
Generating this guilt dovetails nicely into the leftist agenda, which has always been to undermine and destroy the capitalistic underpinnings of this country and replace it with various assorted totalitarian/utopian socialist and communist policies–all in the name of “social justice”, of course
She correctly observes that,
Where once we celebrated individuality and each of us were encouraged to pursue our own life, liberty and happiness; now our children are inculcated with the idea that “diversity” is more important than competence; that allegiance to one’s ethnic identity is more important than allegiance to American values; and that achieving victimhood confers ultimate moral authority; while taking responsibility for one’s life; becoming successful, and doing well is the hallmark of the race or gender “traitor”, who has willfully joined the ranks of the oppressors. You are excoriated and ridiculed beyond belief if you are a successful woman, black, or gay person in this country and don’t adhere to the victimhood template of the politically correct left. (emphasis added)
That has been my experience.
When the affirmative action laws started to surface, my employer at the time wrote into my permanent file “Mrs. Wertz is Puerto Rican and she’s married to an American”. I first became aware of this bit of info during a performance review. I politely informed the woman at the personnel department that Puerto Ricans are Americans by birth. She insisted that “the government says that we have to report it”. Since I am Caucasian, middle-class (at the time I was in a low-middle class tax bracket), well-spoken, well-educated, and by no definition of the word can be called underprivileged, this was the only way the woman from personnel could fit me in the box.
That was only the beginning, folks.
Nowadays the Left will do its outmost to keep you in your underprivileged minority box because it makes them feel good (and after all, it’s their feelings what counts). Anyone like myself who doesn’t buy into the designed victimhood role is put down, insulted, derided, and resented.
The manifestations of this can be trivial but very telling, with comments such as “but you don’t even look Puerto Rican”. That particular type of comment (and I’ve heard it enough times that I’d be living like a Sheik if I had $5 for each time) reveals that
a. Puerto Ricans are supposed to look one way, and by implication, behave one way
b. That’s exactly what the person saying that expects.
At this point in the conversation you know they’ve bought into the multi-culti role because they can not get themselves to believe, in spite of my already assuring them, that I’m telling the truth. Not as trivial are downright insults and putdowns where you are essentially told that you are an ungrateful jerk for not appreciating the need “your people” have for the equal opportunity handout’s munificence.
While the people saying this usually have not an idea of who “my people” are – and have an equally less realistic notion of my own life story, or what kind of travails my friends have overcome – the underlying assumption is that all Hispanics belong to the oppressed, underprivileged minority that should be celebrated not for their own individual deeds, characters, achievements and merits, but for the sake of “multicultural diversity” because they can not get out of that oppressed, underprivileged situation on their own.
The hard-earned accomplishment of the individual is erased for the sake of a faceless, and I should say, worthless construct.
Additionally, as Dr. Sowell and others have repeatedly explained, the assumption is that the “minority” person has accomplished something only because of reverse discrimination. This, in turn, perpetuates the culture of victimization as it denies credit where due – when talent, hard work, virtue, and perseverance have brought the accomplishment – to the individual of merit.
When it comes to Hispanics, the dirty little secret is that there is no such thing as Hispanic.
I am not discovering America here, but maybe America needs to discover this.
There are two dozen Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. Each one of those countries is as unique as countries can be. Their histories are different, their customs, foods, music, traditions, and even their slang, are different. Every “Hispanic” country has peoples of every ethnic origin, race, religion, economic status, family size, educational background, physical size and build, level of work skills, and intellectual and mental ability. You will find this to be the case even more dramatically in all cities with large ports, and in resort areas. A lot of people from other countries who come for trade and pleasure return to settle permanently in those areas.
You want diversity? Let’s look at real diversity:
There are Peruvians of Japanese ancestry (and one of them became president of Peru). There are Chinese Cubans. There are English Puerto Ricans (my mother’s high school teacher’s family, for instance) – and Puerto Rico has a significant illegal alien problem from people from adjacent islands. There are German Venezuelans. There are Irish Argentinians. The Africans that were brought to Latin America from the slave trade are not all from the same areas of Africa and did not follow the same traditions. Even among the native peoples, the Peruvian Quechua are not the Chilean Mapuche who are not the Mayans of Apocalypto.
Within countries there are significant differences. For example: Among the millions of legal and illegal immigrants to the USA, there are hundreds of native associations, particularly in the South West. Do a google search for asociacion Oaxaca and you’ll find 966,000 results. The Mexicans who come from Oaxaca will tell you that they are not the Mexicans from the capital (Distrito Federal), and that they enjoy getting together with their friends from their corner of the old country, hence, the asociaciones OaxaqueÃ±as.
However, here in the USA there are a large number of people who are making money out of the “multicultural diversity” culture of dependence, and the industry it has generated, who are willing to go along. Some may be politicians, some may be bureaucrats, some may be using the sizeable amount of monies allocated to “minority businesses”, some just like to get a handout. And then there are the professional Hispanicss, which as Val has correctly pointed out,
Professional Hispanics have no discernible talent other than to beat their chest and play the race card. It’s just sad.
So please, let’s start looking at the content of our characters and give up on the content of our constructs.