Ethnic Identity Is Often A Choice,; One That Can Be Politically ProfitableRoundup
tags: Race, ethnicity
Once upon a time, the liberal position was to reject the old discriminatory branding of people by the color of their skins rather than by the content of their characters.
Not now. Political and career advantage is found in trumpeting — or occasionally making up — genealogies.
Take the inexact category of Latino or Hispanic — an often constructed identity that increasingly no one quite knows how to define.
Almost anyone can be a Latino or Hispanic, from a fourth-generation American with one-quarter Mexican ancestry, to a first-generation Cuban, to a youth who recently arrived illegally from Central America, to someone whose great-grandparents emigrated from the Portuguese Azores.
What ties them together? Not necessarily appearance, their names, knowledge of Spanish or proximity of their ancestral homelands.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is Latina — her parents were Mexican-American. But her now-desperate Democratic challenger for the governorship, Gary King, claims that Martinez "does not have a Latino heart."
Apparently for King, a self-appointed genealogist, if you do not share his liberal agenda, then you are, de facto, not Latino....
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