In a world where race is a social construct, what’s stopping a WASP from labeling himself a Hispanic?
Jeb Bush is putting this question to the test after the New York Times revealed he marked the “Hispanic” check box on his voter registration form in 2009. The hilarity of Bush—the younger and more boring brother of George—placing himself in the same category with brown-skinned mestizos wasn’t overlooked in the media’s reaction, especially considering his solid WASP background.
But this whole checkbox malfunction isn’t as silly as it may seem. Jeb is, believe it or not, socially and culturally Hispanic. He has a mestizo wife, his son looks like a Mexican caricature of Dubya, he speaks Spanish, and he is Roman Catholic (albeit a convert). He even lived in Latin America for a significant amount of time. So you could say he is an assimilated Hispanic. . .and he has no less Indian blood than many of the pure Spaniards who check “Hispanic” and reap the benefits. In Jeb’s case, he didn’t even receive any benefits or advantages from marking the “wrong” ethnic box.
While Bush and his staffers are claiming that the box check was simply a mistake, there’s certainly more here than a slip of the pen. The Bush family would appear, on the surface, to be one of the last vestiges of WASP prestige in the country—yet the political dynasty’s current representatives have seemingly dropped their WASP identity in favor of another. Jeb became a Hispanic Catholic, George became a southern evangelical. However, their dad is still a WASP, and was widely mocked for it when he was President.
It doesn’t take an extensive demographic survey to see the declining power of the WASPs—it’s pretty clear America is no longer ruled by this once-prestigious ethnic group. As relics of the past with an evaporating culture, it’s not shocking that WASPs like the Bushes take on new identities. It’s a negative to be a WASP in politics—no one wants to vote for pompous squares. So there is the clear political advantage for the Bushes to adopt the identity best suited for the states that launched their respective careers. And both Bushes certainly pay back their new compadres with the issues they promote. George took up socially conservative causes during his political career, while Jeb is currently serving as the Republican spokesman for immigration boosterism. Immigration does allows more of Jeb’s people to come to America, y’know.
But there might be something more to it than mere political calculation. Both Bushes converted to their new faiths after facing a crisis—George hit rock bottom with his drinking, Jeb lost a vicious gubernatorial campaign. They then fully immersed themselves in their new identity and never looked back. What’s interesting is how this highlights a particularly White trait of adopting the culture of the Other as their own. From the teenage wigger to the blonde-haired Buddhist monk, many Whites have a habit of becoming the Other to satisfy the craving for an authentic identity. The vast majority of Whites have mixed ancestry and few grew up in the ethnic enclaves of their grandparents, where everyone knew who they were and everyone took pride in the community’s identity. For most of our people, there is no identity outside of the confines of bourgeois banality and soulless consumerism.
So why not engage in cultural appropriation if you’re one of the innumerable wayward Whites searching for a meaning to their lives? Especially if you’re a decadent WASP looking to join the new elite.
While it’s easy to argue that the Bushes were engaging in political strategy when they adopted their new identities (and Dubya’s was still implicitly White), they still reflect a larger trend among our people. Whites in America aren’t allowed an organic identity that we can call our own, so many search for one that still remains socially-acceptable. And since non-whites are allowed to have their authentic and unique cultures, it’s understandable where many of these searches lead.
But Whites do have an identity that can provide meaning for their lives and connect them with a long ancestral line that’s greater than the short span of time granted to us on Earth. But it requires racial consciousness, the consciousness that every other people on this planet has. Awakening that racial consciousness will mean less culture appropriation and less Jebs (both in the political and Hispanicizing contexts).
It’s clear that many of our people desire this authentic identity—it’s our task to awaken the one within them.