On Tuesday evening, the two Democrats who are running for mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, faced each other in a debate, during which one of the moderators, Telemundo’s Dunia Elvir, called Caruso one of the worst names a Democrat candidate for anything can be called today. Corrupt? A Putin puppet? A closet Trump supporter? Worse. “The next mayor of Los Angeles,” Elvir said, “will be either an African-American woman or a white man.” Caruso, who is as white as Al Pacino or Robert De Niro, immediately objected, and it’s easy to see why: in the eyes of the Leftist intelligentsia today, there is no worse thing in this world to be than a white man.
Desperate to avoid the stigma of being a white man, Caruso immediately declared: “I’m Italian,” whereupon Elvir said, “An Italian American,” to which Caruso responded: “Thank you, that’s Latin, thank you.”
Rick Caruso, when introduced as white: “I’m Italian… that’s Latin.” pic.twitter.com/bUpSZe6IIE
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) October 12, 2022
Yeah, no. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Hispanics or Latino refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” Although Italians have just as much of a claim as Spanish speakers to be the children and heirs of Latin-speaking people and the Latin culture of the Roman Empire, no one ever uses the term “Latin” (or “Latino,” “Latina,” and everybody’s favorite, “Latinx”) to refer to people of the same nationality as Michelangelo, Don Vito Corleone, and Enrico Caruso, to say nothing of Rick Caruso.
At least Caruso objected only to the “white” part. He didn’t also insist that he wasn’t a man and demand that Elvir refer to him by some made-up, unpronounceable faux-pronouns. In today’s climate, it could have happened so very easily. After all, Caruso has switched teams before, having been a Republican for years before he decided that he wanted to be mayor of Los Angeles, which at this point is an authoritarian one-party city. Now that he is a trans-Democrat and trans-white, it wouldn’t be a big leap for Caruso if he needs to identify as “non-binary” to have any chance of getting elected in the Land of Fruits and Nuts.
The emphatically non-white Caruso stated: “I connect with the Latino community but quite frankly my job as mayor is to connect with every community — the Latino community, the Black community, the Asian community, right? The Jewish community. If one group rises, we all rise. We do this together in unison and we don’t separate, we don’t divide. But we all say to ourselves we can do this and we can have a better city.”
He connects with every community, apparently, except non-Jewish white people. That’s the one community that no one seems to care about in these days when the Biden administration has repeatedly insisted that phantom white supremacists constitute the biggest terror threat the nation faces today. As far as the Left is concerned, white people are a terror threat, that’s all. Otherwise, they warrant no consideration whatsoever. Did you know that they used to own slaves?
Alberto Retana, who is the president of the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles (“Uniting Black & Brown”), was appalled and wasn’t about to let Caruso slither out of being white: “Wow, did Caruso just say he is Latin?” Retana tweeted. “That he is not a white man? I am floored. We cannot let him do this. Terrible.”
Yet Caruso’s actions are entirely understandable. In the bad old days of Jim Crow, some black people would try to pass as white in order to escape discrimination and harassment. Now the shoe is on the other foot. White people are so demonized that many prominent white people try to pass as people of color. There is Hilaria Baldwin, the upper-class Bostonian who pretended to be Spanish for a decade. The white Jewish professor Jessica Krug passed as black for years. So did Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP official who famously turned out not to be a CP at all. Still at it is Shaun King, aka Talcum X, who strenuously insists that he isn’t white despite photographic evidence he was a light-haired white child before he was woke. Elizabeth Warren passed as Native American and was even hailed as the first “woman of color” on Harvard’s faculty. Muslim “feminist” activist Linda Sarsour said in a Vox video published in January 2017: “When I wasn’t wearing hijab, I was just some ordinary white girl from New York City.” But in an April 2017 interview, the hijabbed Sarsour referred to “people of color like me.”
Now add Latin Rick Caruso to that list. If he loses the LA mayoral race, which is likely, it won’t be because he didn’t try to be everything the Left wants, and nothing the Left hates. His objection to someone pointing out what he obviously really is was a dispiriting sign of the times.