« Mr. Rogers passes | Gene Expression Front Page | Out of this country »
February 27, 2003

Great Latino Hope

Dahlia Lithwick gets all worked up over the food fight that characterizes the Miguel Estrada nomination. Why are well meaning liberals always surprised when their utopian intents become the instruments for bloody ethno-politics?

Also, I find it interesting that Lithwick focuses on Estrada's skin color, because if his last name was Tucci or Milano instead of Estrada, his skin color would be totally different, huh?

Posted by razib at 04:59 PM

Heh. Brings to mind the italian deli I used to frequent in Brooklyn. Everybody who worked there was Italian (so I thought), running the eye/skin/hair color gamut from blue/fair/blondish to brown/swarthy/dark. They all spoke italian. Then I learned that "Joe" (in the b/s/d category) was actually Puerto Rican & learned Italian so he could talk to his wife's parents. You never would have known by looking. . . .

Posted by: Whackadoodle at March 1, 2003 09:35 AM

have a friend that has a cousin who married into a san francisco italian family (they own a few restaurants). this guy is israeli arab (muslim, though atheist) by origin, but he is pretty much assimilated into the italian-american subculture now.....

Posted by: razib at March 1, 2003 10:07 AM

The District Attorney of Westchester County, New York, is a Lebanese woman with an Italian husband. She looks more stereotypically Italian than he does.

Posted by: Jonathan Edelstein at March 1, 2003 11:07 AM

american conceptions of what "italians look like" are shaped by the fact that most of the immigrants to this country seem to have come from the south and sicily, though you see names like "milano" now and then, and some areas, such as the napa valley, had north italian waves of immigration.

Posted by: razib at March 1, 2003 11:44 AM