Hispanic Hokum and Hypocrisy about White Privilege
October 19, 2017
By Mencken's Ghost
You've no doubt heard the agitated small-brained parrots screeching in unison: "Squawk! White privilege! White privilege! Squawk!"
The most mindless are the parrots who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, such as un-funny comedian George Lopez, who recently insulted an audience at a charity event with a diatribe about white privilege. Other Hispanic celebrities, as well as pseudo-intellectual Hispanic reporters and commentators, also have screeched about white privilege.
These parrots make a mockery out of the diversity movement and make fools out of themselves with their appalling ignorance of anthropology and history, especially the history of Hispanics, which is a history replete with white privilege and oppression by Hispanics.
Perhaps it's my age, but the quality of thinking about racial issues seems to have gone downhill since my college years in the late 60's, and especially since I was at the leading edge of the diversity movement in the early 90's, a movement that was subsequently hijacked by race mongers.
As a young man, this Italian American lived in the barrio and went to a university in Texas that had a large student population of Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals, many of whom were friends, served with me in the school's ROTC unit, and, like me, went on to serve in the U.S. Army during the waning days of the Vietnam War. Friendships were close enough that I accompanied one Mexican friend on a visit to his family home in Monterrey, Mexico, and was accompanied by another Mexican friend on a visit to my family home in St. Louis, Missouri.
Other than some differences in culture, cuisine and native language, these young men of Mexican descent were similar to me and other Italian Americans in outlook, values and experiences, especially the experience of being the sons or grandsons of poor immigrants, having bilingual parents, having a swarthy complexion, and being part of a minority group. (Italian Americans are only about six percent of the U.S. population, versus about twelve percent for everyone clumped together under the Hispanic rubric.)
Back then, Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals referred to themselves as "Mexican," not "Hispanic," since this was a time before the government, academia, media, and industry began affixing the catch-all label of "Hispanic" to widely diverse people of different races, skin colors, nationalities, and ethnicities—as if a Mexican is the same as a Puerto Rican or Cuban. Likewise, with the exception of white Hispanics, all "whites" are lumped together under the "white" label, as if Scots-Irish Appalachians are no different from me and thus grew up listening to Italian opera, eating such Northern Italian fare as risotto, playing bocce, buying mortadella and fresh Italian bread at the neighborhood market, and being an altar boy at the neighborhood Catholic church.
In the name of diversity, the government has obliterated ethnic and cultural differences for some parts of the population while creating misleading labels for others. Then, proving how easily they are trained by the state, the parrots in the media, academia and elsewhere repeat the nonsense.
Another similarity between Mexicans and Italians was growing up with negative stereotypes in movies and the media in general. The "spics" were portrayed as scruffy banditos in sombreros; the "wops" were portrayed as zoot-suited gangsters in hundreds of movies, including, more recently, the "Godfather" trilogy. Even accomplished Italian Americans didn't escape negative stereotypes. For example, the national magazine, Look Magazine, wondered if baseball great Joe DiMaggio reeked of garlic and put bear grease on his hair like other Italians.
For the last 30 years, I've lived in Phoenix, Ariz., where I've written extensively and admirably about immigrants from Latin America, and where I was embarrassed by the racial antics and brown-shirt tactics of Italian-American Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The irony was lost on Arpaio that immigrant Italians used to be profiled and harassed by Irish cops.
What do I get in return? I get slapped with the stereotype of white privilege by racist Hispanics, as if my forebears were wealthy Brahmins with the last name of Cabot, Lowell, or Sumner.
The name-calling by ignoramuses is not what is so concerning. What is so concerning is the ignorance of the slappers, because it's a reflection of what is taught in schools—or isn't taught.
The widespread ignorance was on full display in the racial rants about Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, a day that has no special meaning to me, even though Columbus is considered an Italian. You see, his deeds and misdeeds have no relation to me or my peasant forebears, who, like so many residents of the Italian peninsula, were undoubtedly of mixed races, due to the peninsula being the crossroads for millennia of conquering armies and traders from afar, including from North Africa and the Middle East. Besides, Columbus sailed 400 years before the nation state of Italy was even formed.
Most college graduates probably don't know that Columbus sailed from Spain on behalf of the Spanish monarchy and not on behalf of his home country of the Republic of Genoa. This means that Columbus' deeds and misdeeds were done on behalf of Hispanics, since the word "Hispanic" denotes people with roots in the Iberian Peninsula; that is, today's Spain and Portugal.
Of course the Hispanic Conquistadors who followed Columbus inflicted disease, terror and genocide on native populations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. They also interbred with the native populations, which explains why most people today in the region are a varying mix of Hispanic and native blood, as well as a varying range of skin colors, from pure white, to my olive tint, to brown.
Accordingly, when self-described Hispanics rail against white privilege and white oppression, they are unwittingly railing against their own Hispanic heritage and genes.
Maybe it's a form of self-loathing.
I'd hate myself, too, if I were as ignorant as them.