May 10, 2010

The first Hispanic President?

From VDARE.com: 
Who Is Julián Castro and Why Is He Being Touted as the Next Minority President?

By Steve Sailer

Last week’s New York Times Magazine article by former Israeli Likud Party spokesman Zev Chafets, The Post-Hispanic Hispanic Politician (web posted May 3), breathlessly anoints the 35-year-old mayor of San Antonio, the ambitious and suavely blank Stanford and Harvard graduate Julián Castro, as a potential U.S. President—the Hispanic Barack Obama:
"Mark McKinnon is prepared to be more explicit about the long-term stakes. An early member of George W. Bush’s inner circle in Austin, he knows Texas political talent when he sees it. "Julián Castro has a very good chance of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States," he says flatly."

Just as Obama (Harvard Law ’91) enthralled Chicago lakefront fundraisers, consultants, and journalists by finally fulfilling their Sidney Poitier fantasies dating back to old Stanley Kramer movies, Castro (Harvard Law ’00) strikes America’s elites as their kind of Hispanic.

The wonderful thing about Chafets’ article, however, is that the veteran reporter, who was born in Michigan but then served in the Israeli military and worked for the late Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, appears to get his own joke about just how funny this Castro-for-Governor in 2014 / Castro-for-President in 2016 boomlet really is—even as he’s helping concoct it.

A half-decade in the Begin government appears to have permanently cured Chafets of the clueless and humorless naiveté about ethnicity that pervades most American political discourse. (Chafets’s 2007 article on the rich, fertile, and almost sociopathically clannish Syrian Jews of Brooklyn is particularly memorable. [The Sy Empire, October 14, 2007]) But, lacking Chafets’ worldliness, most NYT subscribers will fail to notice his subtly irreverent attitude.

Yet, the way he checks off a long list of my own personal obsessions—SAT scores, identical twins (Julian’s brother Joaquin—the one with the more lopsided head—is a Democratic state legislator), and the Bush dynasty’s hopes for young George P. Bush to beat Castro to the White House as the first Hispanic President—suggests that Chafets knows the score. 

Julian and Joaquin Castro are the twin sons of Rosie Castro, a prominent San Antonio 1960s Chicana college militant. ...

Rosie was a radical activist in the La Raza Unida Party co-founded by José Angel Gutiérrez, the son of a Texas doctor and author of A Chicano Manual on How to Handle Gringos. ...

Gutiérrez co-authored the 2007 book, Chicanas in Charge: Texas Women in the Public Arena, which devotes Chapter Nine to Rosie Castro.

Gutiérrez also proclaimed in a speech in San Antonio in 1969—around when Castro was first getting involved in his organization—"We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him." (He later claimed he was speaking about killing gringos in self-defense, although his firebreathing reconquista rhetoric inclines toward a rather aggressive view of self-defense.) ...

In 2003, Gutiérrez said: "The best advice I could give a 20-year-old: Get a job, get an education and go paint the White House brown as soon as you can."

Interestingly, despite being marinated in this climate of radical Chicano organizing while growing up, Mayor Julian Castro doesn’t speak Spanish. Chafets helpfully points out:
"Although he pronounces his name ‘HOO-lee-un,’ he doesn’t really speak Spanish—a fact he isn’t eager to advertise. … A Mexican-American with statewide political aspirations needs to be able to do more than pronounce his name correctly."

Amusingly,
"Early in his administration, Castro assigned his chief of staff, Robbie Greenblum—a Jewish lawyer from the border town of Laredo whose own Spanish is impeccable—to discreetly find him a tutor. Rosie Castro’s son is now being taught Spanish by a woman named Marta Bronstein. Greenblum met her in shul."

(Which reminds me of a scene in Sam Lipsyte’s new comic novel, The Ask. The narrator watches an Ivy League debate on the Middle East involving an American Likudnik intellectual: "One of the experts said the Palestinians were irrational and needed a real leader, like maybe a smart Jewish guy.")

Chafets, a veteran of Holy Land ethnic struggles over land and legitimacy, amuses himself by pushing the Castro family’s buttons over San Antonio’s Alamo:
“To Rosie, the Alamo is a symbol of bad times. ‘They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,’ she told me. ‘They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the “heroes” of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message—we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for."

In contrast, Rosie’s son Julián is almost as polished and even more opaque than Obama:
“‘The Alamo?" he said. ‘It’s the largest tourist attraction in Texas. And tourism is one of San Antonio’s major economic engines.’ …

“‘The curator called it a shrine.’

Castro considered that briefly, then nodded. ‘There are people for whom the Alamo is a sacred place.’ he said without any discernible emotion.”  

Read the whole thing here and comment upon it below.

By the way, one oddity of the NYT article is that while much space is devoted to the mayor's mother Rosie Castro, a single mother who gave her last name to her twins, there's no mention of who the Castro twins father might be. I started to read other articles about Mayor Castro, and noticed the same omission. Everybody keeps talking about the wunderkinds' mom, but nobody ever mentions who their dad is.

After awhile, I found a vague reference by Joaquin to an unnamed father as "a retired teacher," and Rosie's explanation that she and the unnamed father broke up when the boys were about eight.

It all seemed odd. Were they keeping the father's identity hidden because he was somebody intriguing?

More research revealed that two fairly prominent men had been friends of Rosie Castro from long before the birth of her sons in 1974: Jose Angel Gutierrez, the radical Chicano professor, and Henry Cisneros, the moderate former wunderkind Kennedy School professor, mayor of San Antonio, Clinton HUD secretary, and coconspirator with Angelo Mozilo in the Minority Mortgage Meltdown. Both might be described in some sense as "retired teachers." Gutierrez co-wrote a seven page biography of Rosie in 2007 that celebrates her sons' triumphs. And Cisneros, who went to kindergarten with Rosie, dispenses avuncular advice to her sons on how to climb the political ladder.

Interesting ...

I then spent many hours trying to see if the chronologies of either celebrity's life might fit with the few clues Rosie had revealed about her time with her ex-boyfriend.

Just when I felt like I was on the verge of a huge scoop, I stumbled upon a 2005 newsletter of the Edgewood Independent School District, which featured a picture of Julian Castro making a speech. The caption read:
Councilman Julian Castro served as keynote speaker at the recent Retiree Banquet. ... Castro shared in the celebration as his father, Jesus Guzman, a Memorial High School teacher for 30 years, also retired.
Oh ...

So, their father wasn't mentioned in most of the articles not because he was somebody exciting, but because he was somebody ordinary. Oh, well ...

28 comments:

Abed said...

OT

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703338004575230142684329162.html

Good piece on the mind of the recent terrorist.

I wonder if Zionism has been for Jews what neo-Islam has been for Muslims. On the other hand, Zionism is closer to something like Pan-Arabism that had been powerful in the 60s. Both were fierce nationalist ideologies. Jews stuck with secular nationalism whereas Muslims took up genuinely religious internationalism. Of course, Jews are internationalist too but through secular ideologies, religions, and policies.

dearieme said...

Oh c'mon, Steve, demand to see his birth certificate!

Anonymous said...

When I grew up I learned that the “heroes” of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them.

Doesn't it tell you something when a bunch of drunks beat the mighty Mexican Army.

I guess the British were drunk when they defeated the Spanish Armada as well.

Mr. Anon said...

Castro won't merely be our first hispanic President. He'll be our first oriental president too:

http://mysapolitics.com/media/blogs/photos/.evocache/julian.JPG/fit-400x320.JPG

Anonymous said...

The wonderful thing about Chafets’ article, however, is that the veteran reporter, who was born in Michigan but then served in the Israeli military
--

14000 US jews serve in the Israel military and why not inn the US military

Anonymous said...

The other interesting thing was that one twin got into Yale Law and one didn't, to go along with the theme of some of your recent posts. Again, twins have differences. Also, both Castro and Obama have acknowledged that they benefitted from AA.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

Sure, why not? I mean, the first-term mayor of a comparable size city, say, San Diego or San Jose or Seattle would certainly be considered a credible candidate for president, right?

Black Death said...

"the Bush dynasty’s hopes for young George P. Bush"

OH NO! I think we need a constitutional amendment barring anyone named Bush, Clinton or Kennedy from ever holding the office of President of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Just a little off-topic, but the following story touches on so many iSteve/VDARE themes that it almost reads like a parody [except that I'm pretty sure it's intended to be serious]:


Racehorse owners at Pimlico lament shortage of Latino barn workers
By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun
May 11, 2010
baltimoresun.com

Michelle Sharp, who keeps some of her racehorses in Pimlico's barns, does not normally muck out her own stables.

These days, though, she is doing just that, as well as other menial but essential chores that go hand-in-hand with the occasional glories of turf racing. There's almost no one else to do it.

A dearth of Latino racetrack workers - grooms, exercise riders and other stable hands, the largely unseen but indispensable backbone of the $1 billion thoroughbred horse racing industry - is forcing a realignment of duties at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course and other tracks, and appears to be affecting the ability of some owners to compete effectively at the races...

While undocumented workers have never been allowed to work officially at Maryland's racetracks, Sharp and other racehorse owners are chafing at crackdowns on immigrants that have sharply reduced the number of people applying legally for the hard, filthy and often dangerous job of tending to thoroughbred horses...

Janet Davidson, co-owner of D3 Racing in White Hall, was stabling 14 horses at Pimlico last week with help from just three pairs of hands - a female groom who is recovering from cancer, and two men, neither of them Latino. Even so, Davidson, whose colt Volcanic Ice won a Maiden Special Weight race during last year's Preakness week, won't be running any horses at Pimlico this year, largely because she needs more help with training and exercising the animals.

"I just won't be ready," she said, but will aim instead for the season at Colonial Downs in Virginia that begins later this month. "People on the backside work very, very hard. They are my support. They're important. It's a dirty job"...

Geoff Matthews said...

That's some fine researching there. Well done.

concerned netizen said...

Nice try getting us riled up about the Hispanic invasion.

This guy has no chance of doing anything on a national level.

Why have you been so silent about the Arizona immigration law? About the tea party movement taking over Utah state politics?

Reading you is like reading someone who wrote about nothing but slavery from 1855 to 1861, and then after April 1861 he said nothing about Fort Sumter.

Oh, and you left out one obsession on your list:

Jews.

Whiskey said...

It is unlikely we will have another Barack Obama. You've seen this from City Journal. Basically its the Magical Negro movies in politics.

That audience is White Women. Women voted Obama 56%, single women 70-29%. That's part of women's higher religious feeling (in survey after survey) and fondness for stuff like hunky vampires, witches, Gnostic heresies of Christ's "Royal Family" and Magical Negroes. About feelings and so on rather than winning.

Men's fondness for sports leads to different views on race. Most NFL fans would want their team to have an all-Black WR and Corner corps. Because of perceived (regardless of reality) superior athleticism and performance. In leadership positions requiring selfless sacrifice, innovation, team cohesion, and so on, not so much. Those qualities are very rare (see: Romo, Tony, and Roethlisberger, Ben) but when they are found, are found almost always among White QBs and Coaches.

Teams can win without that -- no one figured either Cowher or Tomlinson to be innovators or scheme geniuses. But to reach that level consistently you tend to need a Walsh or Belicheck.

Bottom line -- a big Depression that has "normal" unemployment of 10% for the next 20 years is going to kill that mystical debased post-Christian desire for Magical Negroes out of the White female population.

Christopher said...

Speaking of the Bush dynasty, why did Laura Bush put out a book? Nowadays a book means a book tour, and coverage like the cover of Lady's Home Journal with the two daughters. Barbara Bush: A Memoir, appears to have been published in late 1994, almost two years after HW Bush left office. Laura Bush's book is out a year and a few months after her man left office. Is there a Bush Wife playbook?

Anonymous said...

This guy isn't going to get near the same kind of boost from his race that Obama did. Jews and white liberals simply don't have the same bizarre obsession with Hispanics that they have with blacks.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like the Bay City Rollers were going to be the next Beatles, as I recall...

Anonymous said...

Chafets's book Devil's Night is recommended. It's about Detroit.

I imagine that a Pontiac, MI-raised kid like Chafets has fewer of the approved illusions than the average NYT writer.

Dano said...

"When I grew up I learned that the “heroes” of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message—we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for..."


Apparently, she doesn't know that a pretty sizable portion of Spanish-speaking Catholics in Texas joined the pro-independence side in that war, largely because they were sick of the incompetence of the Mexican government and its revolving-door military dictators, and thought throwing in their lot with the gringos couldn't possibly be anything but an improvement.

Richard Hoste said...

That audience is White Women. Women voted Obama 56%, single women 70-29%.

WHITE WOMEN, you're ultimate boogymen, went 53% for McCain, only 4% less than white men. Income, race and education are all better predictors for how one votes than sex.

Stop seeing the world through the lenses of your own personal frustrations.

Anonymous said...

"Sharp and other racehorse owners are chafing at crackdowns on immigrants that have sharply reduced the number of people applying legally for the hard, filthy and often dangerous job of tending to thoroughbred horses..."

The owners and trainers just want cheap labor that won't say anything. Pay a higher wage to Americans and they will work. They would have a harder time getting miners if they were paid 15,000 a year.

Anonymous said...

Jews and white liberals simply don't have the same bizarre obsession with Hispanics that they have with blacks.

I don't think we'll be seeing a Hispanic president anytime soon. Whatever you have to see about blacks, at least their numbers in the US are basically stable. Many people see a Hispanic po, though, and it instantly reminds us of a certain mess on our Southern border. Hispanics are seen by far too many as intruders for any one to gain traction in a presidential candidacy.

14000 US jews serve in the Israel military and why not inn the US military

No idea whether this stat's true or not, but time used to be that a person who took up arms in a foreign army was assumed to have relinquished his U.S. citizenship.

Anonymous said...

He look very asian to me.

James Kabala said...

Anonymous: Can that part aboyt losing your citizenship really be true (whether it should be or not)? I know William Faulkner served in the Canadaian Air Force in World War I. (According to Wikipedia it was because he was too short for the U.S. Army.) And what about the Americans who served in the French Foreign Legion (such as poet Alan Seeger in World War I) or who fought in the Spanish Civil War?

levi johnston said...

The Greenblums are associates of Tony Sanchez, the near-billionaire Republican turned opportunist ethnic Democrat in the 2002 gubernatorial election. I’d imagine Castro’s politics are more-or-less along the same lines.

couple of points:
1) The Brooks City-Base closed and the rest received deep funding cuts in 2006(?).
2) Castro lost the first time around.
3) Involvement in the RUP in the 50s/60s hardly makes someone a ‘radical’. At the time, LULAC and local Hispanic leaders were telling Mexicans to pretend to be white and oppose civil rights for blacks. The NAACP was founded by a communist, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Stop seeing the world through the lenses of your own personal frustrations."

Applies to most of the blog.

David said...

This comment ought to get through:

Was George W. Bush the final white president?

David said...

>"Stop seeing the world through the lenses of your own personal frustrations."

Applies to most of the blog.<

Ad hominem without knowing the hominem.

Anonymous said...

This guy is perfect! He's not white, he has plenty of past radical associations, his mom was a radical, and, going B. Hussein Obama one further, he has a name that not only is very close to one of the country's greatest enemies, it actually IS the name of one of the country's greatest enemies.

You can't make this stuff up. Osama bin Laden / Obama joe Biden.

After his term is over, make room for President Saddam Chi Minh!

Anonymous said...

I was told by my mother, that he is my half brother.??? I am 12 yrs older.