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April 04, 2005

Comments

Andrew Reeves

Well, in a way I'm glad that the folks involved in this thing are turning out to be mostly poseurs. This business would have the potential to go wrong in a very ugly way if more of the people talking shit on the internet were actually out running around with guns. As it stands, I'm still rather worried that someone who is a bit too excited will wind up shooting a shooting someone whose in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Abiola Lapite

What I worry about is what happens when these morons start challenging native-born Americans legally going about their business, just because they happen to look "Mexican."

Andrew

Or, indeed, Mexican-born Americans legally going about their business.

Andrew Reeves

Yeah, I think the worst thing that could happen would be for some would-be Defender of the West to open fire on someone whose family has been in Arizona since the eighteenth century but is Hispanic.

Abiola Lapite

Heretic! Next thing you'll be saying Hispanics lived in California, Texas and New Mexico before their incorporation into the United States!

You know, to me at least, the strange thing about all these "Save Western Civilization!" ranters is that it's a very strange definition of "Western Civilization" that doesn't include speakers of a lineal discendant of Latin as part of it. Since when has the Spanish-speaking world ceased to be part of the West?

Chuckles

[...it's a very strange definition of "Western Civilization" that doesn't include speakers of a lineal discendant of Latin as part of it. Since when has the Spanish-speaking world ceased to be part of the West...]

Most definitions of Western civilization are to me, very strange. Huntington doesnt include Greece as part of his Western bloc in TCOC. And whats more, we can query the entire notion of the retroprojective incorporation of the Mediterranean into the "West" in the first place.
I intuitively suspect, that when people talk about the West, they are referring to a WASP core; with peripheral elements. Indeed, the Anglosphere IS the West. Under this model, Catholicism is a minor irritant, the French and the Germans are auxillary etc etc etc. Democracy, Free Markets-Thats the west, Nada for socialists. Under this model, the repressive South Americans dont qualify. Even Spain doesnt qualify under Huntingtons model. Yet, I have seen scholars that subscribe to this view go on and cite 12th century Turkish scholars as origins of Western thought etc; as well as refer to the Timbuktu scrolls as "preservations of Western knowledge"-scrolls which of course, predate, in some cases, Chaucer by at least 100 years.
This entire "Western civilization" thingy is one huge scam. It is so amorphous and the purveyors can redefine it on a whim; I must say, Japan is looking more and more like a Honorary member of the West; yet, if Koizumi makes a misstep, back they go into "Sinic" camp.

Or perhaps there is a more straightforward explanation. The blood of South American hispanics is probably more contaminated by that of Native Americans. Har Har Har.

Abiola Lapite

"Or perhaps there is a more straightforward explanation. The blood of South American hispanics is probably more contaminated by that of Native Americans."

I think this is the *true* explanation of 80% of the "Western Civilization" rubbish: it's a shorthand way of talking up fears of racial "pollution" without being visibly seen to resort to 1930s-style language. Using "Western Civilization" as a stand-in for "Nordic/Aryan race" buys one plausible deniability amongst the generous-minded, just as "States' Rights" did in the 1960s.

Andrew Reeves

"You know, to me at least, the strange thing about all these "Save Western Civilization!" ranters is that it's a very strange definition of "Western Civilization" that doesn't include speakers of a lineal discendant of Latin as part of it."

Very strange indeed. It's almost as if maybe, just maybe, by "western," these people mean, "white."

Nah, couldn't be.

Andrew Reeves

Gah, Abiola, you beat me to the punch! Seriously, though, I think that reading Free Republic over the last couple of years has been very informative. I mean, it's easy enough to cover up any residual racism in a publication in the news rack, since you've got editors. But when you've got the True Voice of the American right posting its thoughts on the internet... Well, it's an eye-opener.

Especially when they talk about their hero Milosevic.

Abiola Lapite

"Especially when they talk about their hero Milosevic."

Yes, it's at such times that you see the ugliness showing through at its clearest; anytime the Balkans come up, out come the nutcases who make this mass murderer out to be a valiant defender of "The West" against the Islamic hordes.

Jim

The Defense of Western Civilization: The really is a residual fear of Catholicism in some parts of the US. I think it is a cultural lag from the days of great power rivalry between England and Spain. So much for Americans having no sense of history - these Americans just have no sense of the present! and as for Spanish being a lineal descendant of Latin, that is obviously true, although the Razista community likes to downplay that when it is slamming Western Civilization and all the evils it has wrought. The French supposedly don't consider Africa to begin at the Pyrenees, so maybe the Razistas are not so far off; maybe they ceased being part of the West in the 700's. If so, people need to update their stereotypes.

I don't think defense of the West really comes into the calculations of people who want to set up a theocracy based on a Middle Eastern text.

The Racial Thing; That would be more valid if it wern't for the fact that the race in qestion is Native American. Native American was fashionable among the bubba demographic long before the campus radicals made a fetish of it. The animus is more cultural xenophobia than anything else.
Mexican-born Americans and such - there really was such a problem about five years ago in Chandler, AZ, and it wasn't brainless vigilantes, it was the actual Border Patrol that stepped in it. A lot of people left public service over that.

Huyntingdon's model doesn't include South America in the West - one more example of how crude his analysis is. He lumps Iran in under a blanket Islamic civilization too.

Final thought - the Hispanic, to use the neologism that Mexican-Americans hate, presence in the Southwest dates to the mid 1500's. It has exactly the same ehtical basis as the Anglo presence, except that, oops, they lost the war with the Anglos. But well before that in Arizona and New Mexico the Hopi and Zuni carried so thorough an ethnic cleansing that there was no more of thatcolonial nonsense until the Anglos showed up. In texas it was even more humilaiting. As soon as the Comanches got horses in the 1700's they took Texas from the Spanish the way before they knew what was happening and bragged that they only tolerated them in Texas because they liked to have them around to steal horses from. That is something you won't see in the Razista vsersion of events, but ask a Hopi or a Comanche about it.

Abiola Lapite

"and as for Spanish being a lineal descendant of Latin, that is obviously true, although the Razista community likes to downplay that when it is slamming Western Civilization and all the evils it has wrought."

It isn't the "Razistas" who are exhorting people to flock to the border to engage in vigilantism.

"The Racial Thing; That would be more valid if it wern't for the fact that the race in qestion is Native American. Native American was fashionable among the bubba demographic long before the campus radicals made a fetish of it. The animus is more cultural xenophobia than anything else."

I don't buy this for a second. The culture of Mexico is in many ways closer to that of the United States than that of Russia or Greece, and while it may be fashionable for people to claim 1/8 Native American ancestry (or some other negligible fraction), it's something else entirely for them to see people who look like Mestizos or full-blooded Indians showing up at their doorstep. Another sign that it's about race is that the same people who don't like "Hispanics" coming over the border tend not to mind the American presence of (white) Cuban exiles at all, even though the latter are just as Hispanic as people from anywhere else in Latin America.

CLO

I've always thought this "Hispanic as an ethnic group" stuff is a crock, though. From my experiences, white hispanics generally don't like being associated with brown ones. My argentinian friend made the analogy between the Hispanic "ethnic" group and an English one including India or Jamaica..

Jim

"I don't buy this for a second." I didn't mean that it was an either or thing - I wouldn't buy that either. Race runs right through the center of this. I just enat that Mexican Indians are not going to raise the same hackles with these people that Chinese or black people would. As for the culture of Mexico being more or less like that if the US - the people involved in this nonsense are the same ones that violently hate anything French, so any cultural similarity with Mexico would not register with them. Spanish cultures are going to seem a lot less foreign on the East Coast, obviously, with all the Italian and Southern European influence.

The point about Indians showing up is well-taken. Mexican-Americans and northern Mexicans show a lot of animosity to the people coming up out of the southern states too. "Indio" is one of the nastiest slurs there is in Mexico. Even remarks about tortillas can be trouble. You know, "Tan indio como una tortilla"

"The culture of Mexico is in many ways closer to that of the United States than that of Russia or Greece, .." That's is an understatement! Even the indigenous cultures in Mexico are closer. These people are not analyzing the cultural distances; they are just xenophobic.

CLO - you are right about that "Hispanic as an ethnic group" scam. However the term is still useful, in the same contrastive way that "Asian" or "Anglo" is. For instance, a Polish-American is not going to think of himself as an Anglo in Chicago, but in Arizona it might be different. The real usefulness though is bureaucratic, for when you are squabbling affirmative action slots.

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