Saturday, August 29, 2009

Geraldo On Hispanics

Raker of Muck Geraldo (nee Gerald Michael Rivera) has a book talking about how cool Hispanics are, in a brave attempt to fight against Latino stereotypes. And while Gutfeld was interviewing him about it on "Red Eye" (politely not locking horns over the assumption that GOP resistance to Hispanic immigration was due to anti-Hispanic sentiment versus simple legality) and he was waxing poetic on how Latinos were going to save the country—I guess through providing support to the bankrupt Social Security system—and talking about the stereotypes of them as "wall jumpers" and other ideas you'd get about them from watching the news media (of which he is a well-established part), and also how they'd ultimately come to be accepted like any other immigrants (European Jews, Irish, etc.), I just kept thinking one thing:

Burrito. Taco taco. Burrito. Taco. Taco taco.

No, actually, what I thought was: Huh? I guess it comes from living in L.A., where Hispanics represent a plurality of the population. But do people really walk around with all these Hispanic stereotypes that need to be disabused? Was "The George Lopez Show" a real breakthrough in race-relations? If so, what does that make "Chico and the Man"?

I loved Jack Albertson.

I guess what I'm not getting is, is this the way race relations repairing happens? Each new ethnicity, or sub-niche of an ethnicity, or sub-niche of a sub-niche must tackle the stereotypes imposed upon their kind? Otherwise enlightened people, who have learned to treat blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans equally see an Australian Aboriginal and say, "But I'll bet those guys can't hold their liquor!"

I'm an open-borders guy in principle—in practice, I don't think you can mix that with unfettered government giveaways—but I hated the way the last so-called immigration debate was conducted. Even Penn & Teller just decided the anti-illegal-immigration side was all racism: That there was no valid objection based on rule of law, revolving door handling of criminals, drug trade or anything else.

Sort of like any objection to stimulus, bailouts, universal health care, or any other policy unpopular with the left.

I was glad to see "my" side lose that debate.

Not once in my readings did I come across any anti-Hispanic sentiment. Not. Once.

Is it out there? And is it behind some portion of the resistance to open borders? Yes and yes. But it's not the driving concern.

Why do I feel like all these people are constantly trying to cram modern situations into the terms of last century's debates?


  1. Rake muck, muckrakers!

    Feld guts, Gutfelders!

  2. Geraldo's real name is Jerry Rivers. His dad was Jewish I believe but he took the name Geraldo Rivera when it became fashionable to use it and was advantageous due to affirmative action. He was one of the original reporters on the first Eyewitness News crews along with John Johnson (black) and Roseanne Scamadella (Italian) so that they could cover the ethnic bases as it were.

  3. Geraldo did fluff pieces about the subway and stuff until he latched on to an expose of the Willowbrook school where the mentally retarded were definately being warehoused and abused by the state. He did good work on that story. Which was the last good work he ever did.

  4. Did you ever notice how many people hit it right once and do something great. One great novel. One great film. One great reporting scoop. Then they continue to chase it and never come close to duplicating it. Sometimes it becomes sad and pathetic.

  5. He did good work on that story

    Except the result was massive de-institutionalization of not only the marginally crazy, but also the 'if on my own, I'm going to drool in the streets and wallow in my own feces' kind of crazies that occupy the streets in homeless friendly towns like Santa Monica.

    Now a crazy person has to do something criminal to get taken off the streets. That's bad for the crazies, it's bad for the cities they inhabit, and it's bad for the prison system that has to deal with far more mentally ill inmates than they used to.

    There's got to be a middle path between letting schizophrenics wallow in their illness, untreated and homeless, and abusing them in a snake pit.

  6. Geraldo is an Israeli citizen and explored (seriously) running for the Israeli Knesset a few years ago.
    Nothing wrong with that - but he's no more Hispanic than Alan Dershowitz.

  7. The thing was Willowbrook was a dumping ground for the mentally retarded. It wasn't really a pyscho ward. Most of the people there had Downs syndrome and were dumped there like they were Rosemary Kennedy.

    The opening of the pyscho wards came later when Hugh Carey wanted to save some money.

  8. Ah, luck would explain why the guy has done nothing comparable to Willowbrook since then.

    Frankly, I'd prefer living on the streets to being drugged and locked up. And that seems to be the "middle ground".

    Handicapped or insane, the treatment is lots and lots of drugs and restraint with a smattering of sexual, mental and physical abuse.

  9. Why do I feel like all these people are constantly trying to cram modern situations into the terms of last century's debates?

    A- because that is what progressive really means. Regression, stasis, anything but progress.

  10. I watched this. My main thought was "huh??"

    Why do I feel like all these people are constantly trying to cram modern situations into the terms of last century's debates?

    There's a lot of power to be had from becoming a Special Interest Group.


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