What`s Spanish for “Chutzpah?”
account of the new Spanish-language reality show
Gana la Verde ["Win the Green"] in which immigrant
eat worms and the like to garner the help of
immigration lawyers in getting their
Green Card, I noticed that the show was produced by
a division of
Liberman Broadcasting, which owns 15
Spanish-language radio stations and four
"Wait a minute," I thought
"Where have I heard the name
Then I remembered—it featured in
one of the funniest affirmative action conundrums that
Dan Seligman covered in his wonderful old "Keeping
Up" column in Fortune. (Here`s Peter Brimelow`s
profile of Seligman.)
A mysterious aspect of the debate
over ethnic preferences is that while everyone seems to
have a strong opinion about affirmative action for
African-Americans, almost nobody (except us here at
VDARE.com) seems to care that
Hispanics also benefit from quotas. Yet Latinos now
outnumber blacks. They therefore deprive whites of
even more jobs, given quotas`
This is especially puzzling since
the most persuasive argument for preferences for
blacks—that quotas are compensation to the descendents
of slaves—doesn`t apply to Hispanics. They were never
slaves here. And it makes even less sense to give
preferences, as public policy now does, to newly-arrived
Latino immigrants. They are presumably choosing a
better life for themselves in America, with its warts
and all. Above all, it is especially bizarre to provide
affirmative action to illegal immigrants, as is
often done. But hardly anybody makes a peep about it.
Moreover, preferences for Hispanics
are awarded based on ethnicity, which is an even fuzzier
concept than race. Nobody seems to have a
clear idea of who exactly is eligible.
- For example, if your father is
Hispanic but not your mother, that makes you
Spanish-surnamed, so you`re probably in.
- But what if you were raised by
your Irish-American mother and didn`t see your
Ecuadorian father, like
Christina Aguilera? How can you be of Hispanic
culture if all you have is a Spanish surname?
- What if you are Spanish-surnamed
but the connection to anyone Hispanic is distant. For
instance, I have a friend with a Spanish last name
whose Irish family claims it descends from an admiral
Spanish Armada who was
shipwrecked in Ireland in 1588, settled down, and
married a local colleen. Is he Hispanic?
- What if your mother is Hispanic
but not your father? New Mexico Governor Bill
Richardson, for example is constantly
described as America`s only Hispanic governor,
although he doesn`t have a Spanish surname.
- What if only one grandparent was
Latino, like singer
- How about one great-grandparent?
One great-great-grandparent? Where does the madness
- Can you be Hispanic if you are
from Mexico, but don`t speak Spanish, like the 100,000
Mixtec Indians in California?
- What about Brazilians? They are
Latin Americans but they aren`t Hispanic—they are
- What about Spaniards? If
King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated and moved to
America, would he be eligible for special minority
development loans from the
Small Business Administration?
- What if you are a Spanish-hating
Basque separatist terrorist who is
on the lam for blowing up a police station in
- What if you have a Spanish
surname for a first name, like
Gomez Addams on the old
"Addams Family" TV show?
King of Siam would say, "`Tis a puzzlement."
But the Liberman case took the issue of who is Hispanic
to a surreal new level.
To help me explore the story,
Dan Seligman kindly faxed me his "Keeping Up"
column of August 10, 1981. It explained how the Liberman
family, whose patriarch was born in Poland, cost the
taxpayers a sizable amount of capital gains taxes on the
sale of a Los Angeles AM radio station by having
themselves declared by the Federal Communications
Commission to be officially "Hispanic."
As Seligman recounted:
seems that Storer [Broadcasting] sold an AM radio
station in Los Angeles to a company owned by a family
named Liberman. After the sale, Storer and the Libermans
asked the FCC to grant the certificate that makes the
tax advantage possible. Their contention was that the
Libermans were a minority family. In acceding to this
argument the other day, the FCC noted that they `are
regarded by both themselves and their community as being
Hispanic,` to which the commission added: `The Liberman
family is descended from Spanish Jews who were expelled
from Spain in 1492. Although Adolfo Liberman was born in
Poland, the language spoken in his home during childhood
was Castilian Spanish…`"
This is really quite intriguing.
The possibilities seem endless:
- If Lord Beaconsfield, also known
as British Prime Minister
Benjamin Disraeli, whose ancestors were also
driven out of Spain in 1492, had had any direct
descendents, and they illegally immigrated to America,
would they be eligible for quotas reserved for
- How about Moroccan Muslims whose
ancestors were kicked out of Spain in 1492? (It was a
- If you are a descendant of the
Marcus Aurelius and his no-goodnik son
note: Played by Puerto-Rican born, Hispanic
first-named child of American missionaries
Joaquin Phoenix in
Gladiator], two Roman Emperors whose
family originated in Spain, does that qualify you
for affirmative action in this country?
Diversity, as we all know, is
strength. It`s also a corrupt racket.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and