One of the hallmarks of the traditional definition of racism is the idea that a person’s skin color or racial background confers upon them either special rights or special responsibilities. In a deeply troubling opinion column at NBC News, Julio Ricardo Varela accuses Goya CEO Bob Unanue of supporting President Trump and Republicans in general as an attempt to gain “white acceptance.”
In an article about the Goya CEO’s praise for Donald Trump, Varela writes, “Well, as a long-time supporter of Republican candidates, Unanue has had no problem shunning his grandfather’s Puerto Rican migrant roots by playing up his family’s Spanish and European ones — as though the quest for white acceptance is something noble to achieve in these times.”
This is a horrible and racist attack that could only be leveled at someone of Latino heritage. Valera who has apparently appointed himself the Commissioner of the Who Is Hispanic Police won’t even call Unanue a Latino, preferring instead “Spanish American.” It is a vivid example of the way that casual racism has made its way into so many of our “liberal” institutions.
In 2016 Donald Trump won 28 percent of the Hispanic vote. Presumably Varela and whatever editors at NBC News thought this piece was a good idea, believe that those millions of Republican Hispanics are self-hating race traitors who only care about “white acceptance.” This is a classic feature of racism that holds that people aren’t really individuals with their own ideas, but rather symbols of a racial collective and if they stray from the stereotypes they are not a credit to their race.
I wonder if it has occurred to Varela and the wokesters at NBC News that maybe Unanue is a Republican not because he detests his own brownness and can only find fulfillment in “white acceptance,” but because as a business owner he knows how important a government based on free market principles is. Maybe, just maybe, he sees the Democrats efforts to overtax businesses and individuals and their penchant for endless regulation as a net negative for his company and the country.
But Varela isn’t even done yet. There is more racist scorn to be heaped upon Unanue for failing to live up to the standards Varela has set for Hispanics. Apparently, because Goya makes inexpensive food it is contributing to negative stereotypes about Latinos. As here, “The unhealthiness of sodium and preservative-filled foods (which are cheaper to manufacture, package, transport and sell in mass quantities without losing any to spoilage than foods without those ingredients) is part of what leads many to say that Latino cuisine — and thus Latinos — are inherently unhealthy.”
This is insane. It is racist, it is divisive and it doesn’t even make any sense. Is every person of color who sells “unhealthy food” responsible for promoting negative views of their racial group? The whole thing is remarkably gross and also quite dangerous.
It’s dangerous because this kind of attitude, that a person’s skin is essential to understanding them and more importantly in deciding how to treat them, is being taught to our kids. And not just in college anymore, but in grade school too. Our kids are taught to think long and hard about their skin color, to make judgments about themselves and others based on it, just as Varela has done to Unanue.
This has to stop. The surest way to destroy the American experiment, and this is something our foreign adversaries like China have long known, is to separate Americans into competing racial groups. This must be resisted at all costs and part of resisting it is calling it out when we see it in articles like this awful smear job at NBC News.
The left is about to find out that both sides can play the racism card. If the left wants to call conservatives racists for refusing to treat skin color as the most important thing about a person, then the right will call progressives racists for refusing to see people as individuals and putting everyone in identity boxes that they better not escape from, or else, Julio Varela will give you a talking to.
This is a debate conservatives should want. This is a debate conservatives will win, and this is the debate conservatives need to be having every day, starting now.