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Hashtag Discusses Cruz’s Latinoness

Republican senator and Dr. Seuss fan Ted Cruz was in the news again this past week after launching a fake filibuster against Obamacare. Whenever old Ted rears his comb overed head on the national stage people inevitably start talking about his “Latinoness”. Twitter decided to poke fun at Ted with the hashtag #TedCruzIsAsLatinoAs. The joke is that he’s somehow a “fake” Latino in the same way that a Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell has anything to do with actual Mexican food. A few zingers include: “#TedCruzIsAsLatinoAs Mitt Romney’s dad.”,” #TedCruzIsAsLatinoAs My organic hummus from Trader’s Joe”, and “#TedCruzIsAsLatinoAs Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend”. While I’m all about making fun of Ted Cruz, is this hashtag fair?

Let’s be clear, I don’t like Ted Cruz one bit. But as a light-skinned Cuban from Texas I unfortunately share a common identity with this guy. The question of what is a Latino is a tricky one. In the broadest sense it’s anyone who was either born in Latin America or to at least one Latino parent and self-identifies as a Latino. Cruz’s father is a Cuban immigrant and, (even though it may be political), he does self-identify as Latino. So, what’s the problem? Is it his light skin? I get told all the time that I don’t “look Latino” or “Look Cuban”. I point out that I’m of the same complexion as friggin’ Fidel Castro and Desi Arnaz and they’re certainly Cuban. Is it his politics? My grandmother never spoke a word of English, lived in Cuba until she was 40, and was a rabid Republican. Was she also not Latino?

The truth is that, like it or not, Cruz is one of us. I’m sure it’s the way a lot of African-Americans feel about having Clarence Thomas or Kanye West a member of their ethnic group. You can’t just reject someone from your group because they are a huge d-bag. We’d all lose half of our cousins if we started doing that.There is so much more about ted Cruz to make fun of than his Latino identity. What about his Dumbo-like ears or his ridiculous hair or lack of chin? Let’s raise the level of our mockery of morons.






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