To keep the masks off at schools, sane adults must seek strength in numbers.
Hispanics Are Normal People
Democrats don’t understand that Hispanics want to live in the real America.
Throughout the pandemic, Miami was framed by liberal pundits and Democratic operatives as a city of heathens and deplorables resistant to science. But the resistance, especially in the early days of the pandemic, had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the Hispanic spirit that animates the city. Working-class Hispanics, unlike the laptop class that has taken to deriding them, are rooted in physical reality and desire face-to-face contact with their friends and family. To Hispanics, the conviviality that arises from engaging with one’s crew is the stuff of life. The Zoom “happy hours” favored by the urbane upper crust were never going to fly. Touch, banter, and hijinks are the necessary ingredients that constitute working-class Hispanic interaction. Communication that deviates from that mode is considered abnormal.
As Democrats begin to grapple with the fact that Hispanics are shifting rightward, they’ve blamed the turn on “misinformation” and other oxymoronic concepts such as “multiracial whiteness,” but the main reason is far simpler than their esoteric explanations: wokeness. Democrats have gone all in with wokeness, an ideology that registers to working-class Hispanics as anti-American weirdness. Hispanics, if nothing else, are pragmatic and sensible, and wokeness is just too damn weird—to anti-American extremes—for their reality-based sensibilities. Democratic operatives will incessantly poll Hispanics in the coming years in order to understand the rightward shift, but they will never ask the two simple questions that will help them understand: 1) Are we too weird? 2) Do we come off as anti-American?
Hispanics are deeply repulsed by disconnected elites spouting anti-American weirdness because most of them immigrated, as the man said, from s***hole countries. The woke will surely bristle at this improper language, but only because they live in their little metaverse of unreality. Ask any working-class Hispanic what he thinks of Cuba or Guatemala or El Salvador or any of the other s***holes they came from, and he’ll tell you about the unrelenting squalor and dysfunction that brought him to America. Here’s a simple truth, one so basic and non-esoteric that the woke just can’t grasp it: Hispanics like America because America is good. New polling—that they even have to poll this is ridiculous—revealed to Democrats that Hispanics are extremely patriotic.
Even the Hispanic understanding of race and ethnicity itself would be considered “problematic” by progressives. But Hispanics get along with one another, if not seamlessly, then with far greater ease than the race-obsessed woke. Hispanics aren’t a monolith, of course, which is why disparate Hispanic demographics sometimes might not like each other—but this isn’t a problem that needs fixing. There are all kinds of petty beefs among Hispanic groups, some of them grounded in a historical context and others simply due to aesthetic dissimilarities. But when these disparate Hispanic demographics are grouped together, like in Miami, there’s tolerance and even appreciation between groups. Racial harmony doesn’t mean that racial tension is eradicated, but that it doesn’t overwhelm the societal fabric. This mutual, often begrudging understanding among disparate Hispanic groups, is reality-based, unlike the woke perspective that groups all Hispanics as “people of color.”
The Calle Ocho Festival that takes place every March in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood would quickly disabuse a woke progressive of the belief that all Hispanics are interchangeable. The event, the largest Hispanic street festival in the country, brings together thousands of people each year; you’ll know where each one is from by the flag they’re waving. You’ll see Cuban flags, Dominican flags, Nicaraguan, Mexican, etc., but what you won’t see is a “Latinx” flag. Everyone is repping the county they’re from, because some woke white idea of “Hispanidad” or whatever is far less important to a working-class Hispanic than their country of origin and its singular cultural makeup. At Calle Ocho, a motley, boozed-up crew will gorge on food, dance, sing along to reggaeton jams, and occasionally, brawl. This is a healthy a way to diffuse some of the tension that animates a multicultural city like Miami. All this to say that the racial neurosis which afflicts the woke is nonexistent among working-class Hispanics. If Robin DiAngelo, for instance, showed up at Calle Ocho and tried to get some of the light-skinned Latinos to examine their proximity to “whiteness,” I have no doubt that a black Dominican or a saucy, mixed Cubanita would tell Robin that if her white ass wanted to stay she better drop it like it’s hot and shut the hell up about “white supremacy.”
Hispanics resist the misguided woke view on race that attempts to flatten all differences, because they know that manageable tensions between demographics bring zest to life. This is evident when a Puerto Rican boxer faces a Mexican boxer. Both countries produce tremendously talented and tough fighters, so the bouts—especially when two greats face off—are less about boxing and more about Hispanic supremacy. If the Mexican fighter beats the Puerto Rican, for that moment in time, Mexico is the superior country. The pageantry, beauty, and glory that surrounds these matches is something to behold—but to the woke, the dueling flags and savage trash-talk between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans rooting for their bruisers is retrograde. These bouts often take place in that great American mecca of ridiculousness and excess, Las Vegas, a town that understands the true meaning of the “melting pot” and plays up the jarring differences that makes the country unlike any other.
On the issue of gender and sexuality, Hispanics, once again, fall on the side of reality. Working-class Hispanics, like their spiritual kin, the white working-class, live reality-based lives in which antisocial, weird beliefs confer no social status. In the woke view, the weirder the belief, the more it aligns with their ultimate goal of subverting traditional Americanism. The Hispanic woman, for all her flamboyance, is quite traditional and, at the end of the day, takes great pleasure in her womanhood. In her mind, there are women and there are men, and she is blessed to be a woman. The woke concept that a woman can become a man, or vice versa, is simply preposterous to Hispanic women. New polling has shown that Hispanic women, both in South Florida and Texas, are shifting rightward quicker than any other demographic, and I have no doubt that the Democratic view on womanhood—pro-feminist but anti-femininity—is a big reason why. The girlbossism pushed by Democrats also doesn’t register with Hispanic women, because the idea that a pant-suited woman who climbs the sterile corporate ladder and replaces the man as the dominant breadwinner is, once again, weird. Shouldn’t the man be taking care of the woman?
In recent years, the left-of-center or previously apolitical Hispanics of my acquaintance who are in the process of shifting rightward have been red-pilled by the Democratic Party’s commitment to anti-American strangeness. Rarely will I talk to a Hispanic who’s in the process of shifting and hear anything that isn’t woke-related. It’ll start with something small, like their hatred of the term “Latinx,” and then they’ll be shocked by the trans and gender stuff. Next, they’ll be clued into CRT craziness and what’s going on in schools, and the red-pilling is just about complete.
Hispanics were always going to shift right, but the Democratic response to the pandemic accelerated the move. The fear of discomfort, and of life itself, that permeates so much of the woke worldview, reached its apotheosis during the pandemic. The laptop class, the sedentary, shrieking footsoldiers of woke progressivism, already disconnected from their bodies and the nitty gritty stuff of life, were quick to cocoon themselves in their lofts and cheer for soulless bureaucrats, but working-class Hispanics didn’t have that luxury, not that they desired it. They were working throughout the pandemic, delivering food to pajama boys and the panicked, wine-soaked girlbosses who were now climbing the corporate ladder from the comfort of their homes. This new normal was being pushed as normal, and even better, than the old life, but working-class Hispanics didn’t come to America for some anesthetized slug-life devoid of physicality. Sapping life of its human verve in the name of some weird new normal is not only anti-Hispanic but anti-American. That’s why Republicans will continue to win Hispanic votes if they play their cards right. They don’t have to deliver their speeches in Spanish or make any other fawning, cringey overtures. All they have to do is appeal unapologetically to healthy, normal, American values—no race pandering required.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.