While reading Bryanna Bevens’ VDARE.com account of the new Spanish-language reality show Gana la Verde ["Win the Green"] in which immigrant contestants eat worms and the like to garner the help of immigration lawyers in getting their Green Card, I noticed that the show was produced by a division of Liberman Broadcasting, which owns 15 Spanish-language radio stations and four television stations.
"Wait a minute," I thought "Where have I heard the name ‘Liberman’ before?"
Then I remembered—it featured in one of the funniest affirmative action conundrums that Dan Seligman covered in his wonderful old "Keeping Up" column in Fortune. (Here’s Peter Brimelow’s profile of Seligman.)
A mysterious aspect of the debate over ethnic preferences is that while everyone seems to have a strong opinion about affirmative action for African-Americans, almost nobody (except us here at VDARE.com) seems to care that Hispanics also benefit from quotas. Yet Latinos now outnumber blacks. They therefore deprive whites of even more jobs, given quotas’ zero-sum nature.
This is especially puzzling since the most persuasive argument for preferences for blacks—that quotas are compensation to the descendants of slaves—doesn’t apply to Hispanics. They were never slaves here. And it makes even less sense to give preferences, as public policy now does, to newly-arrived Latino immigrants. They are presumably choosing a better life for themselves in America, with its warts and all. Above all, it is especially bizarre to provide affirmative action to illegal immigrants, as is often done. But hardly anybody makes a peep about it.
Moreover, preferences for Hispanics are awarded based on ethnicity, which is an even fuzzier concept than race. Nobody seems to have a clear idea of who exactly is eligible.
To help me explore the story, Dan Seligman kindly faxed me his "Keeping Up" column of August 10, 1981. It explained how the Liberman family, whose patriarch was born in Poland, cost the taxpayers a sizable amount of capital gains taxes on the sale of a Los Angeles AM radio station by having themselves declared by the Federal Communications Commission to be officially "Hispanic."
As Seligman recounted:
"It seems that Storer [Broadcasting] sold an AM radio station in Los Angeles to a company owned by a family named Liberman. After the sale, Storer and the Libermans asked the FCC to grant the certificate that makes the tax advantage possible. Their contention was that the Libermans were a minority family. In acceding to this argument the other day, the FCC noted that they ‘are regarded by both themselves and their community as being Hispanic,’ to which the commission added: ‘The Liberman family is descended from Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. Although Adolfo Liberman was born in Poland, the language spoken in his home during childhood was Castilian Spanish…’"This is really quite intriguing. The possibilities seem endless:
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and
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