The Corner

They All Look the Same to Me

Apparently it’s news that “Rubio faces Hispanic Critics“:

In Miami’s Little Havana, the Cuban exile community has rallied to the defense of its favorite son, Sen. Marco Rubio, as he fights off allegations he embellished his family history to boost his meteoric political career.

But well beyond Calle Ocho, the freshman Florida Republican still faces a bigger challenge selling himself to the broader Hispanic electorate. Rubio is expected to encounter tough questions from voters and activists over his hard-line stance on immigration as he heads to Texas and possibly Arizona next week to court Hispanic voters and high-dollar donors. As his personal history morphs into a national political story, it’s clear Rubio still has plenty of skeptics in the Latino political community.

Here’s a hint: his critics are — drum roll  — Democrats! The controversy itself is obviously phony (the Post has his parents’ 1956 immigration application but we can’t see Obama’s transcripts?), but what’s really hilarious is the idea that a Cuban-American Republican is somehow naturally going to appeal to Mexican-American Democrats just because their ancestors came from countries that were once both part of Spain’s long-defunct empire. News flash: Cubans aren’t Mexicans. Puerto Ricans aren’t New Mexico Hispanos. And Mayan-speaking Guatemalans certainly aren’t Portuguese. The very idea of an “Hispanic” or “Latino” identity is an ahistorical fiction, but one we are doing everything in our power to create and reinforce. But its falsehood doesn’t mean it can’t become real if government, corporations, philanthropy, academia, and the media put enough money and power behind the concept for a long enough time. After all, there was never such a thing as a “Palestinian” people, and yet political artifice has made it a reality.

This is why we need to start treating Colombians and Cubans, Mexicans and Dominicans as regular immigrant groups, not a new collective “minority” group whose phony leaders want in on the gravy train. The place to start would be to banish from all government record-keeping any reference to race or ethnicity other than for blacks — I long for the day we can rid of that classifications too, but there’s a difference in kind between the historical experience of black Americans, on the one hand, and every other group of people in our country, on the other.


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