They`re all having dinner together tonight (Wednesday). On the guest list, of course, is Mexico`s Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan
Doing a recent blog item about Sarukhan, I was inspired to ask myself “Sarukhan? What kind of name is that anyway?”
“He didn`t know where he came from. The delicate New York way of establishing origins is to ask: `Merdeka, hah? What kind of a name is that now?` And to this he would reply that he wasn`t a lying Englishman or a loudmouthed Irishman or a perverted Frenchman or a chiseling Jew or a barbarian Russian or a toadying German or a thickheaded Scandihoovian, and if his listener didn`t like it, what did he have to say in reply?”
Like I said, unpleasant.
But it was the “What kind of name is that” investigative technique that led me to this story about the Lapjani family—because you never see a headline that says “Family of Albanian Gypsies Sells Daughter Into Slavery.”
Sarukhan, as you may find out from Wikipedia, is an Armenian name, short for Sarukhanian. (He actually spells it Sarukhán, but we`re writing in English, so we`ll ávoid thát.) There`s even a town in Armenia named Sarukhan, named after the Bolshevik revolutionary Hovannes Sarukhanian.
Ambassador Sarukhan isn`t descended from him, apparently, but from the Menshevik revolutionary Artur Sarukhanian, who worked for Kerensky and fled Russia when Kerensky lost.
Why is this important? Well, as I wrote last week, Ambassador Sarukhan has his Armenian heritage “right up there with oxygen” on his list of priorities.
In fact, he thinks that the “Armenian community” in the United States should make common cause with Mexicans against Americans:
“In a November 21, 2008 interview granted to The Armenian Reporter, Amb. Sarukhan emphasized that “communities like the Armenian and the Mexican communities are natural allies. They share agendas and challenges in this country. Many of them have come here driven by the same problems of lack of economic opportunities. Both are hard working societies. [In the past] the Armenian community faced the prejudice and racism and discrimination in this country that Mexican communities are facing today.”
“He stated that `It would make more sense if Armenian and Mexican communities work together especially in the West Coast and New England where we have the highest concentration of Armenian-Americans to bring down the bombastic nature of the debate, to look at the opportunities and the challenges in an objective and forward-looking way.`
“Mr. Sarukhan`s candid position regarding his Armenian roots is not only uplifting for the Armenian Youth, but also enriching for Mexico`s international image. His grandparents arrived in Mexico in the early 1930s. His grandfather was a Russian-Armenian also named Artur Sarukhanian, and grandmother, a survivor of the Genocide arrived in Mexico with the idea of coming to Canada. Having read a lot about Mexico, Sr. Sarukhan decided to stop in Mexico on their way to Canada. The elder Sarukhanians fell in love with Mexico and they stayed in Mexico. Amb. Sarukhan was born in Mexico.”
Someone should alert Mark Krikorian to this.
As for Sarukhan`s suggestion that Armenian-Americans are naturally disloyal, it`s not true of the assimilated Armenians of the William Saroyan generation—see How Can An Armenian-American Oppose Immigration? It`s Easy! It might be truer of the more recent Armenian immigrants who`ve come in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Ethnically speaking, Mexico is, according to the CIA`s World Factbook,
- mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%,
- Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%,
- white 9%,
- other 1%
If the United States Justice Department had jurisdiction over Mexican elections, they`d be asking why the white Mexicans always get elected President, and trying to put a stop to it.
Mexican elections may be like this partly because of the corruption of Mexican society. But it`s also because the descendants of the Conquistadors have more energy and intelligence than the descendants of the conquered. (Which may have something to do with why they conquered in the first place.)
But a lot of people have more energy and intelligence than the Spaniards, and that`s where immigration to Mexico comes in. Not only is the ambassador from Mexico an Armenian, but
- Vicente Fox`s grandfather was a German-American named Fuchs (which is the kind of name that you sort of have to change).
- The world`s richest man lives in Mexico, but he`s not a Mexican. Carlos Slim`s family name is Salim, and they come from Lebanon.
- The best-looking Mexican actress in the United States, Salma Hayek, [Pictures, amusing video] is not entirely Mexican, she`s part-Lebanese.
- Here`s what Elena Poniatowska said in 2001:
“The Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska affirmed today that Mexico is presently recovering the territories lost in the past to the United States, thanks to emigration. `The people of the poor, the lice-ridden and the cucarachas are advancing in the United States, a country that wants to speak Spanish because 33.4 million Hispanics impose their culture` affirmed Poniatowska when presenting her novel La Piel del Cielo in Caracas.”[Leading Mexican Journalist: "Mexico is recovering lost territories via immigration", El Imparcial, July 3rd, 2001]
Poniatowska was born in Paris on May 19, 1932. (Happy Birthday!) Her birth name is Princess Hélène Elizabeth Louise Amélie Paula Dolores Poniatowska Amor.
So if an Armenian, a German, two Lebanese, and a Polish Princess are stopped by the Arizona police, can they be asked for their identification without Eric Holder and President Obama crying “racial profiling?”
Answer: no, of course not.
Hayek, by the way, is now a naturalized American citizen, and to add further confusion, is also the wife of a French multi-millionaire, Mme Salma Hayek Pinault.
Hayek, as a Mexican-American, who speaks English with a thick Mexican accent, represents what`s supposed to be the ultimate horror of the Arizona law—a person who can easily be mistaken for an illegal alien, because of her “national origin,” rather than her race, but is actually legal.
There are also Mexican-American natives of Arizona and legal Mexicans with green cards who, as I say, are supposed to represent the “victims” in the “racial profiling” suit. Of course, as demonstrated above, Mexicans aren`t all one race, any more than Americans are.
However, if all these Armenians etc. can become Mexican patriots, perhaps the (legal) Hispanics of Arizona can become American patriots—and stop complaining about measures that are as much about protecting them as they are about protecting the remaining White Anglo Saxon Protestants of Arizona.
After that, we could work on restoring American patriotism to the Oval Office and the Justice Department.