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Parker: Are you Hispanic enough?

Register • May 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Excerpt: Enough with this “enough” business.

Latest to the question of whether a person is sufficiently identifiable as belonging to a particular demographic is Ted Cruz — the conservative Texas senator who happens to be of Hispanic descent.

But is he Hispanic enough? For what, his family taco recipe? Before you send in the sensitivity police, permit me to finish, por favor.

The suggestion that Cruz might not qualify as a representative Hispanic comes from a fellow Hispanic, former U.N. Ambassador and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Richardson was asked whether Cruz, who opposes immigration reform as currently proposed, represents most Hispanics with his views. Richardson replied:

“Almost every Hispanic in the country wants to see immigration reform. No, I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic.”

Translation: If you disagree with the consensus of the demographic to which you belong, whether black, female, gay, Hispanic or whatever, then you are essentially not part of the conversation. At least not the one that matters -- the vote-organizing constituency.

President Obama suffered similarly from a not-blackenough trope that began circulating when he first emerged as the potential Democratic candidate. His truly African-American bona fides aside, his civil rights resume was lacking and his ancestors hadn’t been slaves. What could the son of a Kenyan know about being a black American?

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