What Defines ‘Hispanic’?

In a racially diverse America, we have no discernible rules for what determines one’s race.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


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15 thoughts on “What Defines ‘Hispanic’?”

  1. The race industry and its Affirmative Action tools are too heavily invested and make too much money to abandon now. New identifications not associated with race, color, or heritage are making inroads such as sexual orientation. I remember in California where I was an adjunct professor of Political Science at Hartnell College in Salinas and also at Monterey Peninsula College when I was shot down for full time positions by racial and female hires despite having more experience teaching over both other candidates. The job at Cabrillo College went to a Spanish language instructor from DLI who had never taught a Government or History course, then the bread and butter at community colleges. He did however, have a “Hispanic” surname. The female candidate at Hartnell was Anglo, but never having taught a Poli Sci course. I was essentially a professional adjunct serving for 10 years in Northern Virginia once my active duty military spouse transferred from Monterey to the greater DC area. In 10 years, I could not crack into a full time spot usually due to ethnic female preferential hiring. I eventually worked 6 years in the Intelligence Analyst Community after failing to find a full time classroom and despite highest recommendations from two former Department Heads (also older white males). Since leaving the IC I have unsuccessfully applied to countless teaching positions and suspect some degree of preferential hiring to be part of the problem. I am not sure if the pendulum will ever swing back, but as a conservative white male over 60 with an undergrad UC Berkeley Poli Sci degree and a terminal two year’s Master’s from the Fletcher School, I have looked for non-traditional teaching opportunities and my fingers are crossed for a French Speaking Park Ranger job in the Everglades which my Veteran Status has given me some preferential points towards. After working for Obama, Panetta, Hagel, Hillary, and Kerry I think talking French to alligators and crocodiles will be preferable, at least better scenery than the basement of the Pentagon. If I could write…, but you do so excellently that all I need to do is read and enjoy. Thank you for your service and keep it up; it will be an interesting lame duck period and 2016 will be truly critical if we can last that long.

  2. I enjoy your bemusement regarding the state of the world. The central concept around which I organize my thinking is the ascendance of the use of government power in the US as a source of religious experience. The Religion of Secular Utopia explains such bizarre things as “If you want your doctor….” as the statement of the high priest of the RSU regarding the ideal state which is worth any sacrifice, any number of martyrs, in order to achieve. The primary mission of the high priest of the RSU, aka the pseudo-President, is to reach out to Muslim leaders and victims of gun violence, ebola or racism.

  3. Such a pity that there does not exist a magic wand which would, when waved over a person’s head, produce a video and a biography of every individual in that person’s three thousand year lineage. That might initiate a lot more humility and a lot less ethnic and racial pride, maybe even less prejudice.

  4. Most Mexicans would prefer to be white Hispanic given the racist Euro centric nature of Mexico’s culture. That’s simply a reflection of how Mexicans treat one another. Similarly 95% of Uruguayans are in fact white ethnically European. They happen to speak Spanish, Portguese or Portunlo almost by accident being born in a small country between Brazil and Argentina. And on the other coast. the ruling class of Peruvian Hispanics, is heavily weighted towards ethnically Japanese. All I can conclude is that “Hispanic” is a political convenience. It’s simply a matter of what kind of knot you want to twist yourself into. I remember in grad school, the Hispanic student of the year was a blonde haired blue eyed fellow with a Scottish name, who spoke no Spanish, never been to Latin America and who’s father was British and who’s mother was a German emigre to Chile. Her ‘Hispanic’ classification was transitive so it conferred on her son that same status.

  5. Oh, I always thought that the blued eyed Elizabeth Warren was sincere in her believe that she was Native American. It’s just that she grew up poor in Oklahoma in a household that couldn’t afford mirrors.
    That there is an ideological reservation where minorities are expected to remain is not exactly new.

  6. Racial categorization is the same as the new “gender” categorization. Unless you are conservative, you can say you have whatever gender you want to have, and use the government to enforce your subjective whim. Same with race. If Elizabeth Warren says she’s Cherokee, then she’s Cherokee–how hard is that to understand. But if you are conservative, you can’t be authentically black (Clarence Thomas), authentically Hispanic (Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) or authentically Islamic (Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

  7. the great Ted Williams mother was Mexican. yet baseball did not recognize him as one of the great Latinos, during a ceremony, held in the 2005 world series, honoring great Hispanics of baseball

  8. Elizabeth Warren’s and Ward Churchhill’s usurpations of Native American identities are the very epitome of Orwell’s most famous sentence. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

  9. It’s all nonsense. My family is from Spain, the Philippines, France, Ireland and Scotland. I’ve got news for our friends on the left, I’m an American, period, the end.

  10. Hispanic is not a race classification. A Hispanic person can be of any race. There are many white Hispanics, along with black Hispanic, native american, Asian, and any mixture you can imagine. The New York Times did not even the term “white Hispanic”. It has been around for decades. Why would Victor Davis Hanson consider the term white Hispanic baffles me. It just shows a lack of understanding on what it means to be Hispanic. It is true that the word Hispanic at one time did not exist but in the Spanish lanquage the word Hispano exists, which is fairly equivalent. My grandparents were from Puerto Rico but my ancestors were from Spain and Italy. Is it wrong for me to be proud of my European heritage? Is it absurd for me to identify my self as a white Hispanic.

  11. This is what defines “Hispanic” or being a minority: (in employment form), Lastly, we are an equal opportunity firm, check any of the items that applies to you:…

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