>or only partly Hispanic?
of worms that has no place on this ng. However, as I expect Rudy's ethnic
background will be the subject of some discussion in the future (as he is
the first Mexican-American FS champion), I'll address this briefly -- and
as gently and uncontumaciously as possible.
The term "Hispanic" was originally coined by the U.S. Bureau of the
Census in an attempt to jointly categorize the many nationalities and
ethnicities of immigrants to the United States from Latin America and the
Carribean. It has no real meaning as such, and is actually rather
misleading, as it lumps together people whose culture and geographic
distribution is as wonderfully varying and differing as the American
population taken as a whole.
Because Mexican-Americans are quite different in their personalities
and outlook on life from, say, Cuban-Americans, or Venezuelan-Americans,
or Puerto Rican-Americans, it would be a mistake to say that Rudy was
wholly or partially "Hispanic." He is Mexican-American, i.e., the
descendant of Mexicans, who are themselves the product of unions between
Spanish and other European colonizers and the indigenous native
Mexican-Americans lived in California and throughout what is now the
Southwestern United States long before Anglos (what we sometimes call
whites of primarily European descent) ever showed up, and we will
continue to grow and thrive here. I'm not sure how long Rudy's family
has been in California; given the fluidity and mobility of the
population, he may be the son of immigrants, or the grandson, or a sixth-
or seventh-generation Chicano (what we sometimes call ourselves). He is,
as I understand from some of my cousins who live in San Jose, 100%
Chicano (i.e., there is no intermarriage within his family with Anglos).
I bring all this up, partially because I'm proud of Rudy and of our shared
heritage (I'm a second generation Chicana, born in San Jose, the
grandchild of Mexican immigrants from Coahuila and Sonora) and I'm always
thrilled when one of my own excels in any field, and partially to remind
everyone that regardless of his ethnicity or heritage, Rudy is an
American, born and bred in this country, and as such an appropriate
representative of the United States at Worlds. I can't stand the thought
that Rudy might lose out on any opportunities in his sport or in the
commercial arena simply because he's not blond and blue-eyed. I was
infuriated on reading in various business and trade journals that Kristi
Yamaguchi was less successful at attracting endor***t offers than Nancy
Kerrigan because Nancy was more "American-looking" than Kristi. I was
similarly angered by the posts of people on this ng claiming that Kristi
had a "flat, ugly Asian face" or words to that effect. Kristi is lovely,
Rudy is well-favored (the goatee is hot), and they're both Americans and
worthy representatives of this country's figure skating talent.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a sort of library."
- Jorge Luis Borges -