How Marxists Invented “Hispanics”
Hispanics, Identity Politics, Marxist Tactics, Racial Bullshit, Ressentiment, Victim Groups
In a must-read article in Claremont Review, Mike Gonzalez explains how the Marxist Left successfully created a second imaginary racial category of victims and turned White Mexicans brown.
I know a Spanish count, a grandee of Spain and a descendant of the Hapsburgs, who got into Yale as a Hispanic victim of White European Oppression. He thought it was hilarious.
Americaâ€™s surging politics of victimhood and identitarian division did not emerge organically or inevitably, as many believe. Nor are these practices the result of irrepressible demands by minorities for recognition, or for redress of past wrongs, as we are constantly told. Those explanations are myths, spread by the activists, intellectuals, and philanthropists who set out deliberately, beginning at mid-century, to redefine our country. Their goal was mass mobilization for political ends, and one of their earliest targets was the Mexican-American community. These activists strived purposefully to turn Americans of this community (who mostly resided in the Southwestern states) against their countrymen, teaching them first to see themselves as a racial minority and then to think of themselves as the core of a pan-ethnic victim group of â€œHispanicsâ€â€”a fabricated term with no basis in ethnicity, culture, or race.
This transformation took effortâ€”because many Mexican Americans had traditionally seen themselves as white. When the 1930 Census classified â€œMexican Americanâ€ as a race, leaders of the community protested vehemently and had the classification changed back to white in the very next census. …
They had the law on their side: a federal district court ruled in In Re Ricardo RodrÃguez (1896) that Mexican Americans were to be considered white for the purposes of citizenship concerns. …
And so as late as 1947, the judge in another federal case (Mendez v. Westminster) ruled that segregating Mexican-American students in remedial schools in Orange County was unconstitutional because it represented social disadvantage, not racial discrimination. At that time Mexican Americans were as white before the law as they were in their own estimation.
Half a century later, many Mexican Americans had been persuaded of a very different origin story. Among the persuaders-in-chief was Paul Ylvisaker, head of the Public Affairs Program at New Yorkâ€™s wealthy Ford Foundation during the 1950s and â€™60s. Though little-known today, he wielded great power and influence to advance a particular vision of social justice inspired partly by socialism and its politics of resentment. Ylvisaker hoped, as he later put it in a 1991 essay, â€œThe Future of Hispanic Nonprofits,â€ that Mexican Americans could be organized into a â€œunited front.â€ That concept, formulated in 1922 by the Comintern, implied a union of disparate groups on the Left into what the Cominternâ€™s 4th World Congress called â€œa common struggle to defend the immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.â€
Ylvisaker, who saw philanthropy as â€œthe passing gearâ€ of social change, set off to find out if something similar was possible with Mexican Americans. In 1968, he poured $2.2 million in seed funding into the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national advocacy conglomerate whose headquarters still buzz with activity in Los Angeles today.
He built on foundations laid by the organizing guru Saul Alinsky, who had begun the effort to consolidate the Mexican-American vote during Ed Roybalâ€™s 1949 L.A. City Council election. Roybal, an army veteran and distant descendant of New Mexicoâ€™s Spanish settlers, was one of many Democrats at the time whose success in local politics owed much to Alinskyâ€™s organizing tactics. Alinskyâ€™s groups also trained men like Herman Gallegos, Julian Samora, and Ernesto Galarzaâ€”Chicano Movement intellectuals who used Ylvisakerâ€™s Ford Foundation money (starting with a one-year grant of $630,000) to found the interest group La Raza in 1968.
What all these radicals soughtâ€”and were quite successful at eventually achievingâ€”was to analogize the experience of black Americans to that of Latinos. The term La Raza, literally â€œthe race,â€ by itself epitomized this process of racialization. Ylvisaker was direct on this point. In 1964 he handed UCLA researchers the then-goodly sum of $647,999 for a deep survey of Mexican Americans in the Southwest. One of the things he wanted this survey to find out was in what respect the Mexican-American experience was comparable to that of â€œNegroes today.â€
If you look at any university today, you’ll find that the same bad guys have also got Asian kids brainwashed into signing on as another whiny victim group fighting against White Male Oppression, quite ironically since the only real modern discrimination against Asians consists of college admission quotas created and enforced by the very same Left-Wing Establishment that leads them around by the nose.