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A spate of recent articles has identified a curious trend
(Katherine Dee, Unherd) The New Yorker recently published an article by Geraldo Cadava titled, “The Rise of Latino White Supremacy.” It’s a frustrating piece that asks — or at least tries to ask — an interesting question: “Why are there non-white white supremacists?”
The question of “Latino white supremacy” is particularly fraught. The New Yorker piece follows on from several other stories in the liberal media about how “Latinos can be white supremacists” and the “rise of white nationalist Hispanics”. But something that’s oddly not explored in this article is that “Latino” is itself an artificial category that, ironically enough, whitewashes not only the diversity but the reality of race relations in Latin America. (See the practice of “blanqueamiento” for just one example.)
In today’s political climate in the US, a light-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Colombian-born immigrant is considered roughly equivalent to a dark-skinned, Honduran asylum seeker with indigenous heritage. These differences aren’t granular, but in the United States there is one “Latino” bucket, into which everyone from your Italian-Argentine grandmother to your first-gen Chicano neighbour is supposed to fit. So of course Americans find it weird when they hear a Spanish-sounding last name — like Fuentes — and find out that person is on the far Right. It’s not that Latinos have assimilated and “become white,” as the narrative goes, à la the Irish and the Italians. It’s that the category is plainly a flawed one.
The other issue with Cadava’s piece is that it assumes there’s a monolithic “white power” movement, instead of acknowledging that…