If you don’t believe in handouts, then you’re not Hispanic, says the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. By rejecting Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s “quixotic mission to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” the organization has merely ratified it’s “ideologically-driven definition of ‘Hispanic’,” writes Mike Gonzalez:
From the beginning in the 1960s, when radical Chicano activists, federal career officials and the Ford Foundation began to strategize on how to synthetically create this now federally recognized group out many different ethnicities, it was clear that a definition of “Hispanic” would be hard to come by. […]
According to University of California Berkeley sociologist Cristina Mora, “Ambiguity was important because it allowed stakeholders to bend the definition of Hispanic panethnicity and use the notion instrumentally, as a means to an end.”
Mora, a sympathizer of the creation of the ethnicity but whose book “Making Hispanics” nonetheless renders a pretty accurate rundown of the events back then, wrote, “Activists thus described hispanics as a disadvantaged and underrepresented minority group that stretched from coast to coast, a wide framing that best allowed them to procure grants from public and private institutions.” […]
[I]t also dawned on the coalition promoting this issue that the grants and the votes in Congress would not come if this was seen strictly as a Southwestern issue. Puerto Ricans were then added, and later the conservative Cuban-Americans, reluctantly, over the opposition of activists.
La Raza, created in 1968 by the Ford Foundation, soon took the leading role in pushing federal agencies to concoct the group category, and the census to ratify it. It had “found that it could best secure more resources from state and private grantmaking agencies if it could frame its constituency as a sizable national, rather than regional minority group.”
If you’re a conservative, however, accepting a status as a separate and disadvantaged minority group is likely not your thing. So, ergo, you’re not Hispanic.
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