For John, BLUF: I don't care who your ancestors were—I want to know who YOU are. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Popehat, which used to be a blog, now has a Twitter feed, and an opinion on NPR dismissing Senator Ted Cruz's hispanic heritage by noting he is "White". I wonder if they meant to say Caucasian or if they are just dismissive of Caucasians, calling them "White".
This distinction is not unique with NPR. The Federal Government, in surveys, may ask if one characterizes oneself as "White Hispanic and "Non-White Hispanic". (Yes, the Government does have racist tendencies.)
At any rate, Popehat notes.
First time I ever heard NPR use the term ‘White Hispanic’ was George Zimmerman. Second time today. Never for Castro, who’s white as snow.The Instapundit, in noting this Tweet, comments:
The “White Hispanic” thing is a case of dog-whistle othering, telling people that the target is outside the protection of the Democrats’ racial coalition and thus can be freely attacked. By engaging in such signalling, NPR is also signalling that it’s a full-blown part of the Democratic Party apparat, though that’s not really news. . . .I like the point made by the Instapundit, and I like the use of the term "dog-whistle", since I sometimes find the term being used to describe certain positions taken by certain Republicans.
This raises other issues in my mind. With the race and ethnicity designations we use in the United States (e.g., the Decennial Census) we can be fairly arbitrary. For example, in 1970 we decided that people from the nation of India are "White" (they mean Caucasian). So are Arabs and Persians also Caucasian? Well, by the 2010 US Census, Asian Indians were their own "race". Just like that, a couple of decades and your "race" changes.♠
Let us look at this from a map of the 2000 Census by ancestry:
So, if you live in the Old South, the plurality (not majority) ethnic ancestry in each county is either "American" or "African American". African Americans are not Americans? How bad is that? In much of the rest of the United States it is Irish or English or German or Norwegian or even Dutch or French. There are counties where Aleuts or Eskimos predominate (and they are not interchangeable terms) or American Indians. We are a wonderful mix and I am sure that we benefit from social scientists looking at the numbers, and that means we have to provide details on the Census forms, but please let us not make too big a deal of all this. Aside from a few folks who hanker for a more simple life and want to impose that more simple life on the rest of us,♦ we are all in this together and doing pretty well—with room for improvement.
America is sort of like that Alfred Hitchcock movie, Lifeboat. Everyone is in it together, even the bad guy. And they survive.♣
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Frankly, I thought the call in 1970 was a good one. What is gained by further fragmentation? For that matter, what is gained by taking the Spanish and making them their own ethnic group? What about their Portuguese neighbors to their west?
♥ The source is Wikipedia and it is not copyrighted.
♦ For example, those in sympathy with Daesh.
♣ Yes, that is my understanding also.