Noel Ignatiev is a pioneer in the growing field of “whiteness studies” that seeks to deconstruct and delegitimize whites. He is the editor of the publication Race Traitor whose explicit goal is to “abolish the white race”, arguing that “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”
Genocide? Ignatiev [Email him] insists he does not mean literally abolishing white people,
“It is not fair skin that makes people white; it is fair skin in a certain kind of society, one that attaches social importance to skin color. When we say we want to abolish the white race, we do not mean we want to exterminate people with fair skin. We mean that we want to do away with the social meaning of skin color, thereby abolishing the white race as a social category” [What We Believe, Race Traitor, The Journal of The New Abolitionism]
I hold no brief for Ignatiev or his views, but this is intellectually consistent. He believes that race is a social construct, so he is not calling for killing people, but the supposed construct.
Ignatiev’s best known scholarly work is his Harvard dissertation, published as How the Irish Became White, which claims that Irish were not originally considered to be “white” by their Anglo Saxon brethren in America, but became accepted as “white” by adopting racism against African Americans.
Of course, this is just Leftist wishful race-denial. The 1790 Naturalization Act restricted citizenship to “free white persons,” yet the Irish were eligible for citizenship from the beginning. Similarly, anti-miscegenation laws existed from Colonial days until well after Independence, but they did not prevent Anglo Saxons from marrying Irish, though they prevented Irish from marrying blacks or Native Americans.
In contrast to the Irish, there was a direct attempt by the Hispanics to be considered white. This was possible because Hispanic is a linguistic and ethnic, not a racial, category.
For example, the 1876 Texas constitution established segregated schools between blacks and whites. Hispanics’ status was muddled. Depending on the local school board, they would be grouped with blacks, whites, or by themselves.
But as more Mexicans immigrated to this country following the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution and subsequent upheavals, they began lobbying to be grouped with whites. This effort intensified after community leaders founded LULAC, the “League of United Latin American Citizens” in 1929. And they eventually succeeded in having Mexicans grouped with whites.
With this in mind, let’s consider the ethnic identity of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, for those who have not read the news for the past two weeks, is the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17 year old African American teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s father is white and mother is Hispanic—in fact, Peruvian.
Almost all the Main Stream Media stories initially described Zimmerman as white—fitting into the well-established narrative that the murder and the failure of the police to charge Zimmerman with murder was part of the inherent racism of the American justice system blah blah blah.
Then Zimmerman’s father hand-delivered a note to the Orlando Sentinel noting his son was a “Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends.” [George Zimmerman's father: My son is not racist, did not confront Trayvon Martin, By Rene Stutzman, March 15, 2012|]Major conservative outlets like Breitbart.com and Drudge highlighted this letter. The MSM could not go on pretending like he was White.
So now the New York Times, Reuters, and pretty much everyone else calls Zimmerman a “White Hispanic.” Google News shows over 961 stories that use the phrase “White Hispanic” and Zimmerman. In contrast, only 43 stories use the phrase “white Hispanic” without also using “Zimmerman.” All but one of these articles was simply referring to Zimmerman without using his name.
The New York Times had used the term “white Hispanic” a mere five times prior to writing about Zimmerman. Most of the time, the paper was using it to specifically distinguish them from “black Hispanics” (such as Dominicans and black Cubans) or else discussing how to classify Hispanics.
We still do not know exactly what the MSM means by “white Hispanic.” The Wikipedia page for White Hispanic refers to those of nearly pure European Spanish descent such as Cameron Diaz and Rita Hayworth. But Zimmerman looks far less European than they do. (For that matter he looks far darker than Bill Richardson, Cecelia Munoz, Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio and most other Hispanic leaders in this country) The MSM could mean that he is half white and half Hispanic—but I have never heard them refer to Obama a “white black.” They could simply mean to refer to all Hispanics who are not primarily of African origin, which is how the New York Times used the term in the past. But then it should apply to most other Hispanics.
This is not the first time a Hispanic has magically become white. Rolando Solano, one of the four officers who beat Rodney King, was Hispanic. Yet the MSM constantly reports that “four white” police officers beat King. Thus a black columnist recently said that Trayon Martin’s death is part of pattern
“borne out by lynch mobs that killed with impunity and mass tragedies such as a 1920 riot in Ocoee and the 1923 burning by a white mob of Rosewood, an all-black Levy County town, for which no arrests were made. And more recently, with the notorious 1992 acquittal by an all-white jury [Actually, the Simi Valley jury was ten whites, one Latino and one Asian] of four white Los Angeles cops involved in the brutal beating of Rodney King.”
[Here's why people are so angry over Trayvon Martin's death, by Darryl E. Owens, March 17, 2012]
As a Hispanic, Zimmerman is eligible for racial preferences in hiring and education. And, had a white person attacked Zimmerman and called him a “Spic,” you can be sure that the MSM would not consider him white. If a police officer had asked for his papers in the neighboring states of Georgia or Alabama, after the recent patriotic immigration reform legislation there, you can be sure the Obama Administration would be screaming that he was the victim of white racism.
Ignatiev claimed the Irish and other white ethnic groups oppressed blacks in order to become “white” and join the power structure. But today, it appears, America’s ruling class has decided Hispanics become “white” when they attack blacks—not to enable them to get white privilege, but to strip them of their minority privilege.
Conversely, with Zimmerman’s freedom on the line and demands that he be charged with a “hate crime,” his defenders are using the fact that that he is Hispanic as a defense.
In other words, privilege in the U.S. has gone 180 degrees from the days when LULAC fought for Hispanics to be considered white.
It is now undeniable that in today’s America, to adapt the constituent’s prediction that Enoch Powell quoted in his famous 1968 speech opposing immigration into Britain, minorities have the whip hand over the white man.
Ellison Lodge (email him) works on Capitol Hill.