Beto O’Rourke speaks at a rally in Los Angeles, Calif., April 27, 2019. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)It seems that being thought Hispanic is an advantage, not a disadvantage.
A great deal of controversy has continued the past few days over Robert Francis O’Rourke’s longtime use of a nickname given to him at birth (albeit temporarily jettisoned while in prep school) — especially in the wake of his recent sensational and unfounded charges that Donald Trump is directly responsible for the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and that white supremacy defines America, past and present, and explains Trump’s culpability.
The point of the amused contention is not that O’Rourke was given such a nickname at or near birth. Rather, the controversy is over his continued use of the sobriquet for cynical political advantage in a somewhat related manner to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s longtime false cultural appropriation of a Native American identity for careerist purposes. After all, we live in a progressive era in which “cultural appropriation” is a mortal sin and non-minority university students are routinely chastised for wearing clothing or hairstyles associated with minority groups or appearing in dramas playing the roles of characters of a different ethnic background.