Monday, May 6, 2013

Tio Thomas?

A couple of years ago, I began this blog with a look at the beginning of this nation: the Declaration of Independence. In one of those posts, I linked the ideas of the Declaration with our unique conception of national identity. We are not a nation in the traditional sense. We are an idea.

As the late Margaret Thatcher put it, "Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy."

Our national identity as Americans is wrapped up no so much in who we are, but in what we believe. That is why when some Americans adopt beliefs too far from the mainstream, we call them "un-American."

Sometimes this sense of identity based upon beliefs is applied in unexpected ways. For example, ethnic groups in America--or at least the elites who serve as the self-appointed spokespersons for ethnic groups--will attempt to impose a set of beliefs to serve as a litmus test for assessing the "authenticity" of another's membership in that ethnic group.

This has long been true of black Americans. Elite spokespersons have established a set of beliefs to which they expect other black Americans to adhere. They ostracize group members who deviate from this set of beliefs, sometimes calling them "Uncle Tom." Based upon the main character in the famous Harriet Beecher Stowe novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, the name evokes the image of a man who is subservient to whites and exhibits no sense of pride or dignity in his own ethnic heritage.

We such more of this developing in the fastest growing ethnic minority: Hispanic Americans.

In a recent appearance on ABC's This Week, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson asserted that Texas Senator Ted Cruz should not be considered a Hispanic American. Why not? Has he made false claims about his genealogy and ethnic heritage?

No. He simply advocates unacceptable political policies and expresses in views in a manner with which Richardson disagrees.

"He's anti-immigration," Richardson said.

"Almost every Hispanic in the country wants to see immigration reform. No, I don't think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He's a politician from Texas, a conservative state. And I respect Texas' choice. But what I don't like is when you try to get things done--it's OK to be strong and state your views, your ideology, but I've seen him demean the office, but rude to other senators, not be part of, I think, the civility that is really needed in Washington."

Aside from the empty content of the passage above (who doesn't want immigration reform? We just do not agree on what those reforms should be), he essentially is calling Cruz as Hispanic "Uncle Tom, " or, if you will,

Tio Thomas.


CW said...

This signature practice of the Left – ridiculing and ostracizing those who won’t conform to their view of how things should be – is why I always find it so laughable when they accuse anyone else of bullying. The Left wrote the book on bullying. The tactics you so aptly describe are straight out of the grade school playbook where some children ridicule and ostracize other children just because they’re a little different from them.

And what about this false narrative being repeated by lefties that Cruz is rude and bullying? Not that this has anything to do with his legitimate claim to his Hispanic heritage, but I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever. Apparently, asking other senators to explain how their proposed laws fit into the constraints of the Constitution is now considered “rude.”

They’ve got a target on Cruz’s back. He’s trying to make them accountable to the Constitution they swore an oath to and that makes him enemy #1.

RightDetour said...

I guess he is considered rude for decorum asking questions instead of going along for the ride.

Alan Dershowitz has a different memory of Cruz as one of his students.

It appears that "brilliant insights" in the classroom are transformed into "rude bullying" in the Senate.

CW said...

Interesting article, praising both Cruz and his polar opposite - Elizabeth Warren - for their smarts. A lot of conservatives think that liberalism equates to stupidity but I disagree. There are some stupid liberals, but it isn't stupidity that leads to liberalism, it's ego.