Man Without Qualities

Friday, July 01, 2005

How can The Washington Post Be This Clueless?

The Washington Post reports:
One possibility is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the former White House counsel and a longtime Bush aide dating back to when Bush was governor of Texas. Bush may want to make history by selecting the first Hispanic American for the Supreme Court.
Whatever else may come of this appointment, President Bush apparently CANNOT make history by selecting the first Hispanic American for the Supreme Court. That honor goes to Herbert Hoover, with his 1932 appointment of Benjamin Cardozo. Although there are those who question Cardozo's Hispanic bona fides, a major biography of Justice Cardozo says:
Cardozo family tradition holds that their ancestors were Portuguese Marranos--Jews who practiced Judaism secretly after forced conversion to Christianity--who fled the Inquisition in the seventeenth century. They took refuge first in Holland and then in London. Later members of the family emigrated to the New World. Aaron Cardozo, was the first Cardozo to settle in the American colonies, arriving in New York from London in 1752. He lived in Wilton, Connecticut, during the Revolution and later resided in Richmond, Virginia. He married Sarah Nunez, his double first cousin. In the small Sephardic community, marriage of close relations was common.
Justice Cardozo's family had not only been in North America for a very long time, but they were present at important events. For example, his great-great-uncle Rabbi Gershom Mendes Seixas attended George Washington's presidential inauguration.

If the Washington Post wants to accept the "not-proved-Hispanic" argument, the paper should at least say so. But one gets the impression that this article was written by someone who didn't even know about the issue. This article reminds me of something a very Italian-American friend who moved to Texas used to say: "I had to move to Austin from Brooklyn just to find some place where I could be an 'Anglo.'"

Even if you're making your argument on the basis his ancestors came from Portugal, the Portuguese are not "hispanic." Two separate cultures and languages.
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