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New Mexico Republican’s His-panic Attack

25 September 2008

All over the press right now is the outrageous statement by Bernadillo County, New Mexico Republican Party chairman Fernando C de Baca that:

The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors, African-Americans came here as slaves.

Hispanics consider themselves above blacks. They won’t vote for a black president.

The comments by C de Baca (a common New Mexico variant on the family name “Cabaza de Vaca”) have set off a blogswarm (and media-storm) of reaction leading up to C de Vaca’s resignation as county chair on Thursday.

Two things need to be pointed out.  The BBC article (written by Jon Kelly) quotes C de Vaca (who Kelly misnames as “de Vaca”) in a much longer look at New Mexico’s Latino community’s support for Barack Obama.  The most prominent Latino politician in the country right now is Bill Richardson, the state’s governor.

Secondly, “Hispanic” has a different meaning in New Mexico (and probably the correct one) than in the rest of the U.S.  New Mexico’s “hispanics” — who sometimes call themselves “Spaniards” do not see themselves as Latin-Americans, but as the descendants of the conquistadors — a separate people from the Mexican-Americans, and from the confusing census data category of “Hispanic” which includes anyone of Latin American descent, regardless of “race” or other factors.  Some New Mexico “Hispanics” no doubt will not vote for an African-descended presidential candidate, but then again, at least the older ones won’t vote for a Democratic Party candidate anyway.

And, New Mexico is a strange state, when it comes to ethnic politics.  I know someone who was involved in New Mexico politics, who talks about visiting one of these “hispanic” communities, where he was told there were two “anglos” in town… “but they’re both black.”  Depending on the user, “Anglo” could mean native English speaker or “white.”  Mexican-Americans are often lumped with recent Mexican immigrants as “Mexicans,” though some Mexican-Americans call themselves “Chicanos” — a term of deadly insult to the “Hispanics,” who look down upon the Chicanos as rubes and “Indians.”  And a lot of the native Americans (a sizeable portion of New Mexico’s electorate) speak Spanish, not English, and are sometimes called “Hispanics”… though they have no European ancestry.

The BBC got the story right, though the context wasn’t clear.  Commentators in the U.S. are just spinning their wheels over someone who is — and according to my New Mexico sources, always was — an asshole.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mr. Rushing permalink
    26 September 2008 4:59 pm

    If you don’t vote for Barack Obama, it is not because you are a capitalist and you don’t like his ideas, it is because you are racist. Prepare to see more of this BS as Barak H. Obama continues to lose ground.

    As a side note, I know plenty of people who are so unprincipled that their basis for not voting for Obama is based completely out of racial fear of a black uprising. Scary as it might sound, most of these people probobly saw Bush as a born again Christian in 2000 and not the Ivy league liberal that he really was and still is.

    This white Conquistodor in New Mexico seems to be one of them. This sounds like something that would be said at a political focus group meeting. Politicians in the US tend to want people to be divided by ethnicity and to vote in a predictable fasion. The only group where this is overwhelmingly evident is blacks where there is a 90%+ bias towards Democrats and socialist candidates. You will often hear this typical BS in the form of the x “Comunity”.

    “Well the (insert significant populous group here) community wants to know that their jobs are going to be safe from outsourcing to foriegn countries or being stolen by undocumented workers.”

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